Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Wednesday Wonder: 'Living Symphonies'

This summer, Forestry Commission England and Sound and Music are presenting Living Symphonies, an immersive sound installation by composers James Bulley and Daniel Jones. The composers' concept is to demonstrate "an ever-changing symphony" created by the ecosystems of four forests' wildlife, plants, and atmospheric conditions. The locations are Thetford Forest, Fineshade Woods, Bedgebury Pinetum, and Cannock Chase.

To realize the concept, each location was surveyed to identify its flora and fauna. The results of the survey were then used to build a model of the particular forest's ecosystem that encompasses and mimics the real wildlife's behaviors and movements, as well as temperature, wind, rain, and sun conditions captured onsite with a weather station. Every animal, tree, and plant is described with its own unique musical instrumentation and motifs (for example, cello harmonics represent a butterfly's movements). The "interactions" of those sounds issue from all-weather speakers embedded invisibly in forest undergrowth and the canopy. Read the journal by the project's artists, which documents research, recording sessions, and other project-related activities.

The "performance" of the musical composition for Thetford Forest began May 24 and will conclude May 30. The musical composition for Fineshade Woods begins on June 20 and ends June 26. The "living symphony"of Cannock Chase can be heard from July 26 to August 1, and that for Bedgebury Pinetum from August 26 through August 31. See the Visit page of the Living Symphonies Website for brief descriptions about the forests and maps.

Art director Patrick Fry designed the project's beautiful limited-edition poster illustrated by Katie Scott.

The video also can be seen on YouTube.

Living Symphonies on FaceBook

Sound and Music on FaceBook

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