Lung Trees

Dates: Open daily from 12 April - 28 April 2024

Times: 10am - 4pm

Where: Bicentennial Conservatory, Adelaide Botanic Garden

Free Entry

Lung Trees is a sound installation of breathing trees that invites the audience to listen creatively, bringing our attention to the elemental nature of the breath and the carbon cycle and connecting the personal and global experience of life.

Unlike traditional musical forms, sound installations typically have no start or end, which is similar to the way soundscapes occur in nature.

In Lung Trees, separate sounds are positioned in the space in order to create an immersive spatial sound experience where the soundscape is generated by software that makes a continuously changing sonic texture. Trees and vegetation in the site disperse the sound so that there is an interaction between the sound and the site.

In much of Mcilwain’s work, a recognizable sound is presented in an unusual context inviting the audience to listen creatively, making connections to associations that the sound might have. In this case the elemental nature of breathing and the carbon cycle is connected to both the personal and global experience of life.

Lung Trees is presented by Nature Festival in partnership with The Botanic Gardens and State Herbarium.

About the artist

When the composer and artist Peter Mcilwain was a student at Adelaide’s Elder Conservatorium, he and three others did a multi-channel sound installation for the opening of the Bicentennial Conservatory in 1988. Since then Peter has had a career as a composer and academic and has won a number of national and international awards for his innovative work. Recent awards include the Eureka Prize for innovations in computer science and the Yering Sculpture Award for the sound installation Bird Child Spirit.

His career has included ground breaking work in generative art practice, the use of space in electro-acoustic music and more recently an exploration of embodied perception in sonic art practice. Over the last 5 years or so he has concentrated on connecting his body and that of his audiences with sound by making sound experiences that encourage audiences to listen to the world around them, particularly the natural world.

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