Steve Wilkes - WMNF Artist in Residence 2017

We welcome musician, sound artist and Berklee College of Music professor Steve Wilkes as our WMNF Artist in Residence for 2017!

Wilkes, who earned his BFA from Berklee, has received a number of awards for his work, including a Newbury Comics Faculty Fellowship, and he is a three-time recipient of the Japan Foundation Uchida Fellowship. As a percussionist, Wilkes has performed around the country and around the world -- at Carnegie Hall, the National Cathedral, San Francisco's Davies Symphony Hall, Suntory Hall and Tokyo Opera City, the National Concert Hall in Taiwan and Petronas Towers Concert Hall in Malaysia. He also served as a cast member of the Blue Man Group production of Tubes in Boston.

A member of the Electronic Percussion Industry Council and the "Berklee on the Road" team, Wilkes teaches clinics and workshops in addition to college courses. He has designed core curriculum in Native American Drumming and Studio Drumming Techniques and Applications at Berklee.

"As a musician, I'm proceeding by going with what intrigues my ear," says Wilkes. He is passionate about sound artistry, music production and unique field recordings. "My work represents an artistic effort to document and archive geographical locations in sound and music. I want to work with individuals, communities and organizations to teach and encourage a means of listening to the world around us in a musical way."

Wilkes previously created a sound archive of Cape Cod, recording from 2010 to 2013. (The image below shows him recording on the Cape.) You can learn more about this project at

We are grateful to Friends of Mead Base in Center Sandwich for providing artst housing.





As WMNF Artist in Residence Steve engaged in an active process of field recording on the Forest, gathering, collecting and archiving sounds of wildlife, insects, water features, and human activity. The edited files are being transformed into an aural map of the WMNF that will be accessible to residents, hikers and campers, interested listeners, musicians/artists, and the world at large.

You can follow the progress of Steve's Hear the Forest project at

Steve also led several public programs and will return to the Forest in 2018, with the goal of encouraging residents and visitors to continue the work of recording and contributing to the ongoing sound file collection. If you are interested in learning more about the project, and would like to hear about upcoming programs, we invite you to email us at