Young Musician Activists Play Harps to Save the Redwoods
A Video Journey through the Ancient Redwood Forests of Northern California
Last summer, the Bay Area Youth Harp Ensemble (BAYHE) journeyed to the Humboldt redwood forests of Northern California where they performed a series of concerts to help save the few remaining ancient trees. (Their adventures playing were chronicled in the Fall 2016 issue of the Folk Harp Journal.) Micha Dunston, director of production and editing at Triple Spiral Productions, signed on to make three videos of the harpists to create some beautiful and lasting images of the magnificent redwood trees.
In the first video, the harpists play the lovely piece, “Bay Tree,” by Andy Cutting. In this video they are seen playing a rainbow of brightly colored Harpsicles. They begin in an intimate circle in the redwood forest, and soon head off into the sun-dappled trees. They move gracefully over moss-covered paths and logs; finally coming to rest on a fallen old redwood log as they finish their tribute song to the trees. This video gives the message of the dangers of losing old-growth redwoods to logging, while showcasing the beauty of the ancient redwood forest.
In their 2nd video, the harpists play Sylvia Woods lively piece from her “Harps of Brandiswheire Suite”, “Dialogue with a Brook” . The harpists emerge from the depths of the forest, stepping gently over a brook and up onto a giant fallen redwood log. It’s a dynamic hike across this fallen redwood, culminating in a well-timed turn to listen to BAYHE director Diana Stork playing a moving solo. At the end of the piece, a tiny redwood sapling tree is planted as a hopeful reminder that we can do something to protect and ensure continued growth of redwood life.
In the 3rd and final video, the harpists play “In the Forest,” also from Sylvia’s “Harps of Brandiswheire Suite”. They weave gracefully amongst the ancient trees with their rainbow of harpsicles ending with a grand circle of harps that encircle an ancient redwood. One gets the sense that the tree is looking on as the musicians joyfully finish their final song.
The Bay Area Youth Ensemble and director Diana Stork hope that the documentation of their musical journey and offering to the ancient redwood trees will help inspire peaceful contemplation of the beauty of nature and the link between nature and music. They also hope that viewers will be encouraged to take action to help conserve these precious Forests. The time has never been more important to give back to Mother Earth for the many generations of children, animals, and all living things to come.
Follow BAYHE as we take steps into an ancient Redwood forest in Northern California and play for our trees, forests, and clear-running brooks and streams.
Please enjoy the music of Andy Cutting and legendary harpist Sylvia Woods played by these amazing young women on a rainbow of harps:
BAYHE plays “Bay Tree,” composed by Andy Cutting
BAYHE plays “Dialogue with a Brook,” composed by Sylvia Woods
BAYHE plays “In the Forest,” composed by Sylvia Woods
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