THE TORN ROOTS SING AGAIN
One of three torn root pieces for the Koli Environmental Arts festival 2015, Koli, Finland.
These trees had only recently fallen in some high winds, as I walked around wondering what to
make on this residency I hit upon the idea of using these great roots to create sound sculptures.
I had the use of a saw mill and the owners were brilliant in pulling the trunks from the ground and
letting me work on them in situ. When I had finally cleaned the roots of all mud and stones we had
to transport them to three sites around the village. Ukko Koli at the top of the village, the place with
the hotel and shops and the wonderful views over the lakes was the site of the biggest and
grandest of these, a full five metres diameter, and weighing a lot. This one was carefully driven to
site, sited and then I strung it. I didn’t know how it would sound, if it would sound, but it did and the
joy of seeing people lying on the ground listening to the roots whilst people played was magical.
The sound even transmitted to the smallest of the tendrils that came from the root. What I didn’t
know prior to starting this project was that a local instrument called a ‘Kantele’ is not hugely
different, and at the opening a local group played a ‘Kantele' and the sound was very similar a