Minnesota was one of the largest timber-producing states in the 1880’s. Thousands of acres of red and white pine were felled by logging companies, expending a resource thought at the time to be infinite. A survey crew mapping a region of northern Minnesota during the winter accidentally mapped a lake incorrectly, leaving a section of pines untouched. Today, these pines, known as The Lost Forty, are at least 300 years old. Currently, old-growth forests represent less than 2% of all forests in Minnesota.
Recent research has discovered networks of fungi and bacteria connecting trees in old- growth forests and suggests that trees use these networks to communicate. They share nutrients, warn of danger, and mourn lost ones. These networks take thousands of years to develop and planted or farmed forests may never develop them.
While walking through this section of old-growth forest, I felt a deep sense of loss and regret –for hundreds of years, Western conceptions of progress, destiny, and convenience have directed actions of violence, upheaval and destruction towards Indigenous Peoples and nature. Even now, as our world is devastated by the consequences of Western influence on the climate, those in power choose to doubt the source: greed and ignorance.
After visiting The Lost Forty, I wrote the above poem, “What have you seen?” as a way of processing and focusing my emotions and intent for this piece. I was drawn towards the idea of massacre – an act of extreme and widespread violence – as a way to encompass the agitation, disruption, and disorder of our history and our current moment.
Using the poem as a guide for this piece, I created two sound-worlds. The first is the swaying nostalgia of the trees: shimmering, reaching, extending. Their ancient wisdom whispers hushed and slow, continuous and watchful. The arrival of Western colonizers brings upheaval. Jagged lines intersect and interrupt, slicing and suffocating. Accented, agitated rhythms and dense clusters evoke the anguish of crashing, splintering, chopping. A sense of chaos and disorder consumes us as we’re swept away, drowning, absorbed into a picture of divine violence.
Yet, The Lost Forty survives this upheaval. They stand, rooted in place, at the mercy of an uncertain future – waiting, watching, waiting.
Available as a
This product is out of stock.
Product is not available in this quantity.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Two 5.0-octave marimba, two 4.3-octave marimbas