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木timbreland木 was a concert for the trees of Valley Park in Camp Washington, Cincinnati, performed on September 20, 2020. Conceived and organized by Mark Harris, the event brought together Japanese artist Yoshi Nakamura, based in Baltimore and Tokyo, with Froghole?, a Cincinnati band formed by Lura Bentley, Lauren Castillo, Ezra Cline, and Schuyler Smith. Nakamura provided four sound sculptures made from chairs, copper tubing, feathers, stones and other materials as well as a series of visual scores for Froghole? to interpret. These unusual instruments, that can neither be tuned nor played conventionally, produced an unpredictable variety of timbres appropriate for an audience of trees with unknown auditory capacities. Nakamura is artist with a profound hearing impairment who is nevertheless committed to making work about experimental sound and music. Without his cochlear implant Nakamura would be unable to hear anything. Frog Hole? moved around the entire park performing in turn each of the five visual scores that Nakamura composed for the different groups of trees. This segment comprised part 3 of 5. Froghole? titled this part “Teaching The Rocks How To Dance.”
Working to highlight alternative paradigms for understanding the role of sound in contemporary life, and interested in acoustic imperfections and new definitions of noise and silence, Mark Harris envisaged 木timbreland木 enabling a fuller appreciation for the green ecology of Camp Washington and a greater curiosity for the sentient capacities of trees.
木timbreland木 drew attention to a community’s enjoyment of local resources of plants, trees, and parks for fuller engagement with this “nature in the city” to improve quality of life in a neighborhood transitioning from industrial to artistic hub. It was a component of Songs the Plants Taught Us that started in early 2019 at Anytime Dept., Cincinnati. The event was made in collaboration with Cincinnati Contemporary Art Center and Wave Pool Gallery.