Climate change is currently causing the widespread death of ancient trees, leading to the collapse of forest ecosystems in many different parts of the world. All trees are clocks explores this phenomenon through a combination of sound art and music. The title refers to the fact that ancient trees capture a record of the passage of time in their growth rings, which provides evidence of how the climate has changed over the past few centuries.
The piece features field recordings made throughout the year in beechwoods currently undergoing dieback, in the New Forest National Park, UK. The passage of time was marked by the sound of breaking twigs and branches of trees that have recently died. These elements were combined with vocal textures derived from a set of chords with roots moving around the cycle of fifths, representing the cyclical dynamics of woodland ecosystems. Each chord is presented in its root version and in two inversions, with different types of extended chord reflecting the contrasting moods of different seasons. These parts are complemented by an improvised ‘cello performance produced in response to the other sound elements.
The piece was designed to complement an exhibition of still photography and video of ancient woodlands undergoing dieback, presented during 2016/17.
‘Cello composition and performance: Emily Burridge (www.emilyburridge.com
Choral composition and performance: Karen Wimhurst (www.karenwimhurst.co.uk
Field recording, sound processing and editing: Adrian Newton (nemeton.org.uk