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Recital With a Forest

The Tuwanek Springs Forest is home to old growth cedar and fir, salal, mosses and diverse wildlife. It provides nesting sites for a variety of birds including Hairy woodpeckers and Anna's hummingbirds. It has active elk trails that lead to a year-round natural spring, and is part of the Gray Creek Watershed. The forest, listed as “AN14” in the Angus Cutblock, is scheduled to be clearcut by BC Timber and the Sunshine Coast Community Forest. The Branching Songs Ensemble is advocating for the preservation of this forest, in collaboration with Elphinestone Logging Focus.


Tuwanek is the old name for the shishalh (Sechelt) village that used to be located where the current Tuwanek is. As told by hiwus Calvin  Craigan (shishlah knowledge-keeper), Tuwanek was home to a shishalh clan or family grouping living on the Inlet for thousands of years. However, a landslide wiped out the the settlement and the survivors moved down to the Porpoise Bay, a protected bay directly below the Tuwanek Springs Forest. The forest would have been used by the people for gathering and hunting. The name of the forest also refers to the year-round spring, a critical feature in a land that is currently suffering drought from climate change. Logging will destroy this spring and this important heritage forest and habitat.


In an effort to draw attention to this forest, the Branching Songs Ensemble held a public interventionist performance called Recital With a Forest, in The Tuwanek Springs Forest, on May 20, 2023. The performance was supported by the Sunshine Coast Arts Council, and Vancouver New Music. Documentation from the performance will be exhibited 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

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