Monday, 23 June 2014

Analogue Harp and Root Bole Harp

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 surface

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.


  1. These both look completely beautiful, Michael. Would love to hear the sound. Seems like this current work is on a strong trajectory. Rxx

  2. Thanks Roselle, The sounds have now been posted on the next blog, yes I am very happy with where this is all going. xx