These two fallen trees were perfect to become a long stringed sound instrument, lying on the forest floor at Heydon Hill wood in somerset. I first chainsawed horizontally along the length leaving three bridges and two sections for the placement of the piano tuning keys. I also created a much shorter section which I hollowed. I then shallowed gouged the surface of the wood to create the suitable texture. I then removed all the side branches bar two which were to be my listening spurs, this is where you listen to the sound of the strings transmitted through the wood. I proceeded to wire up the tree with piano wire and tune to my ear and not notes as such. A person listening to the sounds leapt up in astonishment and declared, "it sounds like vinyl" because of this I just had to call the piece 'analogue'.
The length of tree
The joy of playing and listening, there is a small listening point carved so one can play and listen. The sounds produced from the strings and transmitted through the tree are a treasure, a timbre of tremendous depth which can only be heard in the tree. Beyond the two listening spurs are the end of the tree, I have left a few branches intact and even here the sound can be heard, every bit of the tree transmits sound.
The whole tree comes alive to sound and a much gentler sound is heard sitting at the end by the root, where a natural cave has been produced by the tree falling over, to sit here is to listen to a magical quite ethereal sound.
The listening bud enabling you to play both the long and short strings and listen.
The Root Bole Harp.
detail of the strings
Play the Root Bole Harp and listen on the root listening spur
This again produced a fantastic sound transmitted from tree to root.
Posts coming, first up a couple of images from Wycombe Awakes.
So thanks to Hogarth Productions for curating the event and to Mike Taylor for the above photographs
To Billie-Daisy Fairfax and Anna Harcourt for performing with me.
Whilst gigging around Britain I have also taken time to go to the studio and start making some stringed sculptured sound instruments, (anyone come up with a better name and I will be more than happy!.
So another ear harp which had to be made because the piece of wood was just too good not to be.
Triolin II detail
Then a couple of stringed flat oak wood pieces, the second of which became more decorative and this might be a feature of things to come, although time will come to make the numbers and bronzes for West Brierly soon.
The sun is shining and the studio is warm. The world cup has started.