Natural-Object Instruments


Many of Leonard's projects involve the creation of unique musical instruments, often constructed from found natural materials. Her instruments range from tiny eucalptus-leaf miniatures to a 30-foot tall installation in an oak tree. These one-of-a-kind inventions often possess voices of surprising character and nuance and Cheryl and her ensembles often play them live on stage in composed works and improvisations.

Leonard's instruments have also been exhibited and sold in art galleries and auctions. Some pieces are available for purchase and the artist accepts commissions to develop new instrument/sculptures. She is particularly interested in creating site specific works. Leonard also teaches workshops in instrument building to children and adults. Please contact her if you are interested in instruments, classes or private instruction.



teasel harp
pipe organ bubbler
driftwood tree chime

music for rocks and water
compositions and improvisations that evoke motions and gestures from the natural world

water, rocks, feathers, bones, pinecones, flowers, roots, ice and wood are cultivated as instruments in a collection of compositions inspired by Chinese wilderness poetry from the Tang Dynasty
instruments in trees
a composition for arboreal materials (sticks, twigs, leaves, needles, pinecones, bark, and lichen) and strings (two cellos, viola, and violin) investigating cycles and processes inherent to trees

han shan tree
site-specific instrument constructed in an oak tree at the Djerassi Resident Artists Program