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Featured Transmission(s):
  • Aired on May 24th 20:15 CEST 2024
  • Forest Phantoms
  • Genre: Field Recording, Soundscape Composition
  • Duration: 45 min
  • Forest Phantoms [Haagse Bos] is an audio composition made with audio recordings from trees and their environments there. We can’t see wind, only the things it moves. Likewise, we can’t hear wind unless it’s flowing past something that makes it vibrate; this causes it to adopt various sonic guises depending on what it interacts with. We hear the ‘voice’ or music of a tree when the wind blows through it and it responds by vibrating, and shaking, and tearing apart the air as it passes through the twigs and the leaves. Listening in a ‘musical’ sense to the sound of wind through the tree – the swaying, bending and creaking and the flow of air through the foliage rewards us with an amazing and rich diverse world of their sonic matter.
    This piece is composed of such tree ‘songs’ created from such source materials of the recordings of trees and they’re ever changing and unique environments, trees/wind, trees /rain, trees swaying with branches squeaking etc. Birds, bats and insects are also part of the tree’s song. Source recordings and material for this piece have been made with binaural microphones, contact mics and hydrophones, revealing and offering access to the ‘music’ and hidden sounds of the tree/environments in multiple forms. These initial recordings have been dramatically transformed and recomposed with the aim to create a sonically rich, deep listening experience intended to be experienced to on location in the historical Haagse Bos (The Hague Forest) itself – one of the only surviving parts of a once much greater primaeval forest. In the Haagse Bos you stand on the remains of an ancient woodland on a former beach wall and despite being now surrounded by a modern highway, the footpaths under the beech and oak trees of the Haagse Bos take you right back to the middle ages. Forest Phantoms in its essence is a homage to trees in general and for this occasion as a special homage to our trees in Den Haag. A forest is much more that you what you see and this piece plays with illuminating and celebrating the unseen phantoms of the Haagse Bos, The Hague, The Netherlands.

Barbara Ellison

Barbara Ellison is an award-winning artist / composer whose work explores ghostly presence and substance in a plethora of sonic and visual realms. Her creations have been presented internationally in live performances, installations, featured radio shows, and audio releases, including her latest album ‘CyberSongs’ (Unsounds Records) and the 3-hour piece ‘Cyber-Opera’. She holds a PhD on composition from the University of Huddersfield, UK. Her book ‘Sonic Phantoms’ (Bloomsbury Press, co-authored with Thomas BW Bailey) was recently published to critical acclaim.


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