“Reflection Under the Oak Tree”
– A sound piece located around the ancient oak tree in the Minchendon gardens, reflecting on a sonic journey from outside and within the garden walls
The work is a calumniation of working towards creating a sound map of Southgate Green, London. The original intention of this work is to be a site specific piece, held on the exact location of the gardens. It is intended to give the listener a sonic snapshot from one perspective of traveling to and from the area, from inside and outside the garden walls, whilst drawing attention to the ”Secret Garden”, as referred to by local children (Minchendon Gardens). Observing the way we use this space as a sanctuary away from the busy life outside the garden walls, it is also intended that the listener absorbs the surroundings of the Secret Garden, walking around, exploring the different angles of the garden which lead to the viewpoint of the tree, or sitting down under the shade of the ancient oak tree, whilst listening to the soundscape piece.
This great ancient oak, said to be the second largest oak tree in England, approximately 800 years old, is so central to the garden, that it gives a good perspective on the ambient sounds surrounding it. The fascination with the tree was to capture the deep vibrations, and subtle sound, which on occasion can be experienced. Based from memory I can describe it as a very low to mid frequency, subtle, less audible sound, which I could feel from placing the palms of my hands on the oak. This is a personal experience and a deep listening experience. However, the idea of recreating this effect from memory was appealing, wanting to evoke a sense of transformation of oneself within a space. If I were to talk about the healing aspects of art, perhaps this is one example of recreating an experience of self, transformation. The oak is definitely amazing, as it stands tall, a survivor of the ancient forest of Middlesex, amidst the modernization of the landscape, it represents a time and place forgotten.