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Paths II: The Music of Trees's video poster

Help me bring the music of trees to Seattle's Washington Park Arboretum! Read more

Seattle, WA Public Art
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pledged of $8,000 goal
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This project was successfully funded on February 14, 2012.

Help me bring the music of trees to Seattle's Washington Park Arboretum!

Seattle, WA Public Art
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About this project

Scroll down to hear my music, see some beautiful footage of the Arboretum and to watch a short clip about some of the cool rewards you can get for donating!

Why bring a sound installation to Seattle's Washington Park Arboretum?

The Arboretum is filled with astoundingly beautiful plants and trees and an enormous variety of sounds.  Too often we walk through the Arboretum without stopping to look, and without stopping to listen.  Paths II: The Music of Trees is a series of sound installations that explore the layers and permutations of acoustic space in seven sites throughout the Arboretum, giving visitors the excuse they need to step back, to sit down, to explore and most importantly, to see and to listen.  

Paths II is nature, science, music and technology, hand in hand.

Each installation creates a sonic dialogue with its acoustic and physical space. The striking physical forms of the trees and plants, as well as their relationship to the surrounding environments, inspire the specific modes of interactive listening; this in turn inspires the qualities and types of sonic environments investigated in each space.

In the Arboretum, a number of sound worlds coexist: the inaudible electromagnetic sound fields emitted by our cell phones as we walk the paths are interspersed with the soft creaks and moans of trees in the wind. The laughter of children and the scampering of wildlife exist in contrast to traffic from Lake Washington Blvd., and air traffic above. The sounds used in each installation will be gathered on-site from this enormous variety of sources and perspectives. Through detailed analysis and sonic manipulation, these simultaneous yet distinct layers of sound will be brought into dialogue with one another. The music will then be brought back to the original sites and played back softly through small speakers attached to the trees.  

I am not just playing my music outside in a park! This is the music that is ALREADY THERE, that is inherent to these spaces. When visitors sit or stand under a tree they will be immersed in multiple distinct layers of sound, from those that I have found, recorded and brought back to the site, to those that are happening in real time.  This is music and nature in dialogue.

To read about all of the installations, please check out this website.

Why Donate??

There are a billion different projects, ideas and charities out there that need your support -- so why donate to this project?  Well, for a number of reasons:

1. This is THE FIRST TIME a project like this is being brought to the Arboretum. Do you love nature and art and music and want to see them co-exist in this natural space?  Do you want to send the message that there is public support for art in our natural spaces?  Do you want to pave the way for more projects like this in the future?  This is your chance to make it happen.

2. The Arboretum is a gorgeous space, but there is so much noise pollution.  Hidden underneath the planes and traffic noises, there is a world of fascinating sound waiting to be heard.  Our natural spaces are being overtaken with noise, and this installation is my small way of bringing the beauty of the softer sounds of nature to the listeners.  I truly believe that this installation will start a dialogue in the community about the importance of preserving the beauty of natural sounds and silence in our city and in our parks. 

3. Paths II: The Music of Trees will get people outside, listening, exploring and interacting.  How much time do you spend on your screen per day?  Honestly?  A lot.  Me too.  And while not all of us need a sound installation to convince ourselves to get outdoors, for those that are looking for something a bit different, this is your project.  

4. This project WILL NOT HAPPEN without your support.  I will record sounds and make music no matter what happens, but I will not be able to bring the music back to the sites without you.  So if you are interested in the project, or think it might be fun to check out, consider pledging.  

5. Donate because every little bit counts.  Even if you can only afford a dollar, I will be so grateful and will always remember that you supported this effort.  

6. Donate for the REWARDS! Pledge just a dollar and get a ringtone!

7. Donate because the Arboretum is a beautiful space, that deserves the attention!  


About the budget:

This project is very ambitious. There are seven sites and each of them needs power, electronics and waterproofing.  These costs add up very quickly. So far I have $6,000 raised apart from Kickstarter, with the Arboretum Foundation itself contributing $3,000.  

I am now in the process of reaching out to friends, family and supporters through to raise additional funds.  Kickstarter is an all-or-nothing platform, meaning I need to raise $8,000 by February 14th in order to keep any of the funds I have raised.  The remaining funds will be raised through grants and in-kind donations.

Where is all that money going?

Your contributions will go directly towards the purchase of all the little pieces that will bring this project together: microcontrollers, sensors, batteries, wire, waterproofing and more!  While each of these items is relatively inexpensive, in an installation of this size the costs quickly add up.  Please remember that Kickstarter is an all-or-nothing every little bit counts!  

"I love the project, but I really don't have a dollar to spare.  How can I help?"

In so many different ways!

Tell your friends, tell your family.  Like the project on Facebook, post it to google+ or twitter.  Spread the word. Thank you for supporting this project in any way that you can.

In-kind donations:  Maybe you are a student in Seattle with limited funds but a bit of extra time.  Maybe you are a local company that sells marine batteries or conduit or other relevant materials.  If you are interested in getting involved, please be in touch: I would love to make this not only an awesome experience for Seattle, but a community-building one as well.  Oh, and you can get some of the cool rewards for your non-monetary donations as well!


And special thanks to Aileen, Erika, Laura, Cody and Kate for their help in filming!


Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $1 or more

    3 backers

    $1 THANK YOU. For your time and donation, you get a heartfelt thank you email AND a ring tone made from original audio recordings made in Seattle’s Washington Park Arboretum. Because you are so awesome, you get the ringtone even if the project isn’t funded. If 100 people donate $1, you all take home one additional ring tone! And when someone asks where you got your AWESOME ringtone, be sure to direct them to this site!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $5 or more

    4 backers

    SWEET, THANK YOU!! For your generosity take home all of the above, access to 5 additional ring tones made from recordings of Arboretum sounds AND an awesome jpeg photo for your phone or desktop, taken at one of the seven installation sites at the Arboretum.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $10 or more

    3 backers

    YOU ARE AWESOME. For your generous support, you get everything listed above AND a PDF printable signed poster with original artist sketches from the project (8 1/2 x 11 or 11 x 17 option)!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $18 or more

    1 backer

    New reward! All of the above AND a second signed PDF printable poster with original artist sketches. (Different than the first, of course!)

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    16 backers

    YOU ARE SUPER AWESOME. You get all of the above AND jpegs of all seven installation sites, a signed CD containing a 20 minute collage of unprocessed, unedited Arboretum sounds, AND a PDF with descriptions of installations, background and inspirational material for the project.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $50 or more

    9 backers

    YOU JUST MADE MY DAY. Get everything above AND a signed CD of original music and/or audio documentation from all seven sites. Reserved seat (limited quantity, first 20 donors only) and special thank you in the program for a recital of my music. Your name and/or company and your link will be listed under the support page on the Seattle Arboretum Project website (optional), AND link to private blog updates on the project.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    5 backers

    HOW CAN I EVER THANK YOU? You get ALL OF THE ABOVE, AND high quality AIFF files of ALL recorded Arboretum sounds, with permission to use in your own work, with creative commons license, a signed hard copy of the poster with original artist sketches, AND two tickets to exclusive artist presentation and discussion, Q&A and tour with fellow donors. (Airfare not included).

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $180 or more

    0 backers

    New reward! All of the above, plus a set of Paths II postcards -- made from photos of the installation sites (pre-installation) and original artist sketches.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $250 or more

    4 backers Limited (6 left of 10)

    WOW, THANK YOU!! For your stupendous generosity, get ALL of the above AND a private artist tour of the sound installation in Arboretum (airfare not included).

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    2 backers Limited (3 left of 5)

    HOLY COW, YOU ARE AMAZING. In addition to EVERYTHING above, you get my everlasting gratitude immortalized in the form of your very own ONE-OF-A-KIND composition created from sounds recorded in the Arboretum, dedicated to you or a person of your choosing. You will get your own signed CD of the piece, and it will be included in a recital of my music. I will personally introduce and thank you at the recital.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $1,000 or more

    1 backer Limited (4 left of 5)

    I AM SPEECHLESS. As a small token of my appreciation, you get all of the above AND a thank you dinner with with me at Araya’s Vegetarian Place in Seattle. I will also put an acknowledgement at the installation of your choosing thanking YOU personally for your support of the project. If you prefer you can donate in honor of or in memory of a loved one.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $2,500 or more

    0 backers Limited (4 left of 4)

    BEYOND SPEECHLESS. WOW. Take home all of the above AND I will throw you a private thank you reception and give a private tour of the Arboretum installations for you and your guests (airfare not included).

    Estimated delivery:

Funding period

- (60 days)