Walking through an area of woodland is with out question visually inspiring. From the sheer size of these fantastic natural monuments to the beauty of the yearly crop of leaves that carpet the floor. Like a coat of many colours the trees delight us with wonderful displays and signal the changes in seasons with vibrant colour. The sight of newly opened buds, of extraordinary flowers, like the Magnolia, and the stunning covering of autumn leaves. What a feast of colour and structure that prompts the artist, with every manor of medium, to creative endeavour.
The impact of trees hits many of our senses, but let’s consider how trees are so influential in the sense of hearing. Who hasn’t taken joy in dragging their feet through the fallen leaves just to listen to the sound. The crunch and rustle. At times it’s like spilling hard grains of rice on a kitchen floor, or like the sound of breaking waves. Delightful! The sound of the wind as it shakes the great canopy above. It makes me stop and look and listen. It’s like the sea above your head. This symphony of sound washing over our sense of hearing has certainly influenced many a songwriter or composer.
But, have you considered how much more directly trees have influenced the music we listen to. Of all the brilliant modern materials, created by extraordinary people, available to us in this amazing world, it is fascinating how much wood is still used to make the instruments we listen to. The piano, guitar, violin, cello, clarinet, bagpipes and drums, even modern instruments like electric guitars which can be made from any number of materials predominantly are made using wood. If not for the tonal quality of this amazing material, then for its stunning beauty. Instrument makers choose different woods for their resonant properties, many of them adamant that, ‘this wood must be used for this purpose’, only to be contradicted by another skilled maker. It’s all in the ear of the listener. If you think of your favourite piece of music whether composed 200 years ago or by some contemporary artist, it would not surprise me at all to find a tree was involved. Consider the guitar or violin played by a competent musician who amazes you with their skill. It’s very possible, regardless of how old that musician is, that the tree used to create the instrument they play was planted before they were even born.
If you want to fill the world with music in the years to come, why not have a hand in planting trees now?