Tides: Estuary

Tides:Estuary is a collaboration between composer Cheryl E. Leonard and visual artist Rebecca Haseltine comprised of installations and musical compositions based on aspects of tidal flows in estuaries. Topics explored in the work include: water patterns and cycles, the dynamic equilibrium of environments in flux, and how life adapts to these changing conditions. Salt, water, shells, mud, sand, rocks, kelp and more are played as musical instruments and many of these same materials are used in creating the visual art components of the project. Several of the Tides: Estuary works were commissioned by The Illuminated Corridor and were presented in the spring of 2009 at Middle Harbor Shoreline Park in Oakland, California.

In its natural state, Oakland’s waterfront was comprised of hundreds of acres of salt marshes and shallow tidelands, which supported a rich and complex ecosystem. Dredging and fill for military, port, and commercial uses have greatly reduced the habitat in size and quality. By 1935, fill had extended some areas of the Oakland shoreline nearly two miles into the bay! Middle Harbor is located on some of these former tidal wetlands. The site was developed into the Oakland Naval Supply Depot, an important supply center for the U.S. Navy's Pacific Fleet from World War II until 1998. The Port of Oakland took over the site in 1998 to restore its natural habitat and to create a public park, with an interest in promoting local history and ecology.

Special thanks to everyone who donated to the Illuminated Corridor Commissioning Fund to help make this work possible.