Harmonies With Nature

By Chloe Mercier-Legros

Amid nature, music flourishes. Whether it’s the wind through leaves, the lapping of a river on wood, or feet sliding on soft moss, the sounds all together blend into a striking orchestra. The forest is the noisiest of sceneries. Inspired, artists have always honoured nature through works of art, but more specifically, musical arts are taking it to another level. Discover the connection between music in nature in Harmonies With Nature

Living Symphonies is the perfect example of the synergy of music and nature. This an exceptional visitor experience which explores the intersection of music and the natural world. The unique reinterpretation of nature provides a way for visitors to connect with the forest. The musical composition mimics the development of the forest ecosystem, highlighting the complexity of the natural world. Through the use of musical movement, the meditative and thought-provoking experience connects visitors to art, nature, and creativity. The immersive sound installation engages the senses, providing an unforgettable experience.

This installation not only enhances people’s appreciation of nature, but also seamlessly integrates with the current state of the Compton Valley forest, including its weather, population, and time of day. It offers an augmented reality experience that stimulates not only sight but also sound and touch, on the deepest level ever.  

The installation, created by British artists Daniel Jones and James Bulley is located in Compton Valley and is open to visitors until August 6th.

The forest’s enchanting scenery has become a playground for artists who are not only drawing inspiration from it but also incorporating it directly into their art.

In Japan’s deep forest, there is a breathtaking location where a massive wooden handmade xylophone is displayed. When a wooden ball rolls down the instrument, it plays the keys, creating unique notes for each step, eventually forming a melodious tune. The melody resonates deeply as it echoes through the trees around.

This piece of art is called Wood is Good and was created by artist and engineer Kenjiro Matsuo, and is visible in the lush woods of Kyushu, in Japan.

Now imagine the soothing sound of gravel crunching under your feet, accompanied by the sweet melody of birds singing. Add in the gentle tapping of waves, and you have the perfect recipe for relaxation. These sounds have been captured in an album created in partnership with former Pulp singer, Jarvis Cocker. The 33-minute album is called Birdsong and features 13 tracks that display the beauty and tranquillity of the UK National Trust’s historic sites. By listening to this album, you can experience the same peace and serenity that visitors enjoy when they explore these special places. The goal of this wonderful project was to make people experience the beautiful landscapes through their ears only and to show the brilliant intricacy of all the elements of nature.

But since the dawn of time, nature has always been a source of inspiration regarding musical pieces of art. When Antonio Vivaldi created his Four Seasons, he beautifully depicted the seasons of spring, summer, autumn, and winter. Through the use of various techniques and instruments, the concertos provide a poetic representation of each season. This work is widely recognized for its profound connection to nature, as each concerto portrays a unique season, with its singularities, its characteristics.

Also, a classical music Master, Justin Heirich Knech was moved specifically by the strength of the natural elements. His Natural Portray of Nature is a celebration, starting with a warm and shining sun, and then all of a sudden, the elements unleash a storm. The thunderstorm is then accompanied by murmuring winds and pouring rain, only to calm down and give way to a clear sky and fresh air. This isn’t just a musical piece, it’s an experience, transporting at the heart of a hurricane, brilliantly showcasing the unpredictable nature of the forces we live amongst.

On a lighter note, in the 60s, A Walk In The Black Forest by Horst Jankowski was a hit. This jazzy dancing tune about how pleasant and refreshing it is to walk in a forest recreates the specific atmosphere of the gorgeous and lush German Black Forest. The quiet that exists there is not just a source of energy, but also of sheer joy and peace of mind.

Even nowadays, green scenery is the theatre of life, as interpreted by modern artists such as the band The Cure, in the song A Forest. The lyrics of the song narrate a story of a lovers’ dispute amid a forest, with it witnessing the fight. It conveys a deep message about how forests bear witness to diverse life forms, from the smallest to the biggest. It also includes the ominous aspects of the woods that can be frightening. In this song, the forest is in another world, with a completely different view of the vain troubles of mankind.

Foals, in Birch Tree, were also inspired by the correlation between nature and perspective. More specifically, in this pop song, the passing of time and the gradual changes in nature are the focal points. It takes years for rivers to run dry and centuries for a forest to grow. The perspective of the song is that of the ageing process seen through the lens of a forest, which makes the human lifespan futile and superficial. This triggers reflective thoughts, about what things we choose to worry about, to prioritise.

All of these artists were inspired and chose to channel this creative energy with music. Thanks to either the beautiful scenery, the peaceful energy, or the perspective given by this other world, they are creating a new way to experience a different facet of nature. A side that’s both deeper and more poetic, cleverly crafted but also pure.

Find out more about Living Symphonies

Disover Wood is Good here

Find out more about Birdsong by Jarvis Cocker here

Listen to Vivaldi’s Four Season here

Enjoy Justin Heirich Knech’s Natural Portray of Nature here

Click here for A Walk In the black forest by Horst Jankowski

Discover A Forest, by The Cure here

Listen to Foal’s Birch Tree here

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