an early work, important for me in understanding the power of located sound, and issues around perception and imposition on environments, expecting 'nature' to perform for us. 

I was asked to create a piece for 4 speakers, placed in a forest in North Yorkshire, as part of a series of works by 5 composers. Arriving on site to install the original piece, I read the 'visitor feedback' comments from the previous work on display at the visitor centre. Most were negative, complaining about sound polluting nature and distracting people from the experience they came to the forest for. I changed my mind. 

I scrapped the plans to install the piece I had been working on, creating there and then a new work. It ran for the allotted time of a few weeks and I returned to read what the reactions had been. Again, most were negative; 'how dare these artists pollute nature', 'I came to listen to the forest, not this rubbish' etc etc. 


the thing is, I played nothing through the speakers at all. No sound. Nothing. 

seeing the speakers, knowing that artists had installed work into the forest, visitors listened differently, listened harder, with more focus and assumed I was amplifying the birds or the trees, pushing odd, 'unnatural', loud sound waves into the environment. All they were hearing was the environment and their own imposition onto it. Some came with a set idea of what nature is or should be. Some came with a set idea of what an artist is or should be. Some listened, some didn't. 

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