Photo simulation by the artist. Click on image for larger view.

Song of the Trees
©Stuart Williams 2023. All Rights Reserved.
Marin Art & Garden Center
Ross, California
COMMISSIONED PROPOSAL
An Immersive Environmental Art Installation: In unpredictable and ever changing combinations, specimen trees across the grounds are animated and revealed in ways never before seen, as they come to life with gentle waves of up lighting that slowly rise and fall in luminance. The fluid pacing is suggestive of relaxed breathing.
An original audio component enhances the visual experience with an abstract composition of the sound of flowing water (the life blood of trees) blended with resonant low register sounds…like the vibrant chords of a cello and the deep vocal tones of a bass opera singer. The audio is being produced in collaboration with a noted composer and musician on faculty at the New School in New York.
The intent of the audio is to help evoke a Zen-like calmness and sense of wonder at the grandeur of nature. Visitors are invited to walk into, through and around this immersive, multi-acre environmental art installation… 
a three-dimensional, visual and audio experience enveloping and engaging the viewer… fluid and ever changing…
with every vantage point being a unique experience.
View a short video simulation (1:29 mins.) of Song of the Trees.
Installation Logistics: State-of-the-art, outdoor-rated computer-controlled LED lamp fixtures are mounted (out of reach and facing upward) in low branches of approximately 15-20 specimen trees. Small in size and fully programmable, the lamps are able to project a vivid dispersed beam of white or colored light in smoothly fluid levels of brightness. The lamp fixtures are black, making them visually unobtrusive. A laptop-size digital controller device — housed in a waterproof power-accessible location — runs the lighting program which orchestrates the precise sequencing, colors and pacing of the entire lighting array. 
The lighting program is being created by the artist who is composing a detailed visual score, which in turn is digitally transferred to the controller device. The sophisticated lighting system being utilized in this project has been employed by the artist in some of his other installations in both Europe and the United States. It is a highly reliable and time-tested system by Philips Color Kinetics.
•  •  •  •  •  •  •  •
An Installation for Any Season: Song of the Trees would be a compelling installation any time of year. It would be very beautiful in winter, when sunset comes early. The visual impact would be most magical during the transition from sunset, into twilight, and into full darkness. I think trees are beautiful in all seasons, but in winter their complex branch structure becomes fully revealed. And when illuminated from below with kinetic waves of light that very graphic branch structure would be highlighted in a visually stunning way.  

Photo: marilyna

[ The two poems below speak to the essence of this project... ] 
TREES OF WINTER
trees of spring
trees of summer
trees of fall
but trees of winter
with undressed branches...  
most beautiful of all
– Barbara Stewart
•  •  •  •  •  •  •  •
SONG OF THE TREES
Gentle waves of light
rise and fall
on numerous trees
across
the grounds
unpredictable
always changing
over there
over here
all around
near and far
a visual symphony
suggesting breathing
the rhythm of life
paying homage
to trees
as living beings
sounds
deep and resonant
of the earth
sounds
of flowing water
the essence of life
water
the life blood of trees
and
of all life
on Earth
– Stuart Williams
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