The Performing With Trees Workshop is designed to enhance your listening and touch awareness of trees, and co-create a performance and sound art with them. This workshop grew out of a class project in Andreyev’s MDIA300: Media, Sound, Ecology course (performance examples can be found in an e-collection in the ECU Library). Student Cara Jacobsen developed it into a workshop that guides you through the process of creating a collaborative, improvisational performance with a tree, using listening and contact microphone techniques. The workshop incorporates the Tree Awareness exercise (below).
Note: If you don’t want to do a performance or make sound art, you can just follow the simple listening and observational exercises at the beginning of the workshop PDF and listen to the Tree Awareness exercise (below).
The Tree Awareness exercise below is intended to be listened to when you’re out in the field, before doing any work with a tree. Please download it onto your device, and listen to it with headphones while your leaning against a tree. This exercise will guide you through a process of picturing the vital biological functions of the tree, and their networked community. It will help you relax your mind and body and feel connected to the tree you are working with. Voice: Julie Andreyev
The workshops and exercises are informed by methods and information from:
Gorzelak, Monika A., Amanda K. Asay, Brian J. Pickles and Suzanne W. Simard. ‘Inter-Plant Communication Through Mycorrhizal Networks Mediates Complex Adaptive Behaviour in Plant Communities’. AOB Plants 7: plv050. 2015
Nelson, Camilla and Alex Metcalf. “Branching Out in Somerset: Making Art with Trees”, workshop, Somerset, UK., 2016
Schafer, R Murray. A Sound Education: 100 exercises in Listening and Sound Making. Indian River, Ontario: Arcana Editions, 1992
Scheub, Ute. Terra Preta: How the World’s Most Fertile Soil Can Help Reverse Climate Change and Reduce World Hunger. Vancouver/Berkeley: David Suzuki Institute/Greystone Books, 2016
Simard, Suzanne. Suzanne Simard: How trees talk to each other | TED Talk, 2016