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.
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!
THE INSTALLATION WILL BE COMPLETELY FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. THINK OF DONATING AS BUYING A TICKET IN ADVANCE TO MAKE SURE THE PROJECT COMES TO LIFE!
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 kickstarter.com 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 platform...so 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!
YOU MADE IT ALL THE WAY TO THE BOTTOM! THANK YOU! THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME AND FOR YOUR SUPPORT.
And special thanks to Aileen, Erika, Laura, Cody and Kate for their help in filming!
- (60 days)