Recital With a Forest
The Branching Songs Ensemble held a live performance called Recital With a Forest in Tuwanek Springs Forest on May 20, 2023. The performance was an intervention with a public audience, intended to draw attention to the precarious status of this beautiful forest. Tuwanek Springs Forest is home to old growth cedar and fir, salal, mosses and diverse wildlife. It provides nesting for Anna’s hummingbirds and Hairy woodpeckers, has active elk trails leading to a year-round natural spring, and is part of the Gray Creek watershed. Despite this, the forest, listed as “AN14” in the Angus Cutblock, is scheduled to be clear-cut by Sunshine Coast Community Forest for BC Timber. The team, in collaboration with Elphinstone Logging Focus, is advocating for the preservation of this forest and all forests.
For the performance, the Branching Songs Ensemble designed and created instruments made of contact mics, biosensors, computer software, and land-based materials to enact a live sound art collaboration with trees. The Ensemble used techniques of listening and touch interaction with trees, interspecies communication, and improvisation to create this multispecies work.
The Ensemble considers this work as a gesture of care and gratitude for the Tuwanek Springs Forest and all forests.
The performance was documented, and this material is used for a gallery installation. The audio recording of the performance is played back, accompanied by video clips of the site and performance, displayed using recombinant computational techniques. The installation can include the Tree Feelers used in the performance, and the tree bark used for the Tree Voice instrument. The wood resonators used to reproduce the audio in the installation are similar to the ones used in the performance.
Recital With a Forest can be performed in other sites at risk of logging, and the documentation can be exhibited as a gallery installation
Performance and exhibition:
The Branching Songs Ensemble held a public interventionist performance in The Tuwanek Springs Forest, on May 20, 2023.
The performance was exhibited as a generative media installation in the Sunshine Coast Arts Council June 23-August 13, 2023.
Branching Songs Ensemble:
Julie Andreyev, Tree and Lightning Stick instruments
Simon Lysander Overstall, Tree instrument and software programming
Giorgio Magnanensi, Resonators and diffusion
Keira Madsen, Tree Voice instrument
Myles V Feltenberger, Looper instrument
Tree feelers by Julie Andreyev and Lara Felsing
Medicine Wheel Blanket by Lara Felsing
This is a 10 min excerpt from the 60 min performance. The video shows a generative output of the video documentation for installation in a gallery exhibition.