Living Symphonies

Living SYmphonies

Last Saturday I went to see/hear/whatever a sound/music-installation in forest.

It is all a bit too complicated too explain properly (I can’t do it justice) but essentially a weather station and computer model generate a constantly-evolving musical soundscape that’s comprised of thousands of fragments of music that were composed to represent the flora and fauna in the area of the forest where the installation is…installed. All of this is then played back through a 24-speaker system which has speakers hidden in logs, buried under moss and strung up in trees.

The experience was incredible, beautiful and actually (for once the word isn’t misused) completely immersive. As I walked into the area where the installation was, I was totally enveloped in a wash of strings and percussion, when I say enveloped I mean that the sound seemed to rise from the ground behind me, travel up and over me and disappear off into the distance, like a flock of birds…or something.

The installation is called Living Symphonies, you can find a proper explanation of it here, it’s the result of a collaboration between James Bulley and Daniel Jones and it is – in my opinion – a flawlessly realised concept. I was totally blown away, rarely do installations fully deliver on the promise of their grand ideas, this was totally successful.

The only problem is that it is a little bit difficult to get to, but it is well worth the journey. The installation is currently in Thetford Forest and tours:

  • 24 — 30 May 2014 – HIGH LODGE, THETFORD FOREST Suffolk, IP27 0AF
  • 20 — 26 June 2014 TOP LODGE, FINESHADE WOODS Northamptonshire, NN17 3BB
  • 26 July — 1 August 2014 BIRCHES VALLEY, CANNOCK CHASE FOREST Staffordshire, WS15 2UQ
  • 26 — 31 August 2014 BEDGEBURY NATIONAL PINETUM & FOREST Kent, TN17 2SJ