Welcome to the iForest.
iForest is the creation of composer, Pete M. Wyer, a highly versatile and evocative sound installation that can be indoor or outdoor, temporary or permanent.
“This forest will sing to you”: New York premiere of Pete Wyer’s iForest
- ‘I Walk Towards Myself’, the iForest at Drums Along the Hudson, inspired by a Mohawk Thanksgiving ceremony, June 3, Inwood Park, 11 am – 6.00pm
- ‘Twilight Chorus’ of birdsong sung by humans, Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, June 21, Make Music New York 7.30pm
The iForest, an acclaimed site-specific immersive sound experience combining music with nature by leading British composer Pete M Wyer, premieres in Manhattan and Brooklyn in June.
The iForest, which has been visited by more than 100,000 people at the Wild Center in upstate New York, has been described as “an extraordinary sonic experience” (John Schaefer, WNYC) and as “unforgettable, and deeply spiritual”. The Smithsonian magazine said: “This forest will sing to you.” ( https://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/heres-what-happens-when-choral-music-and-nature-collide-180963666/) Every visitor’s experience of the choral works in a natural landscape will be unique.
Composer and musician Pete M Wyer has created scores for the London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Juilliard and Royal Opera House as well as several operas, music theatre works and soundscapes projected onto iconic buildings such as the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow.
iForest at Drums Along the Hudson
The iForest brings an immersive experience for a 72- voice choir (2018 Grammy winners, The Crossing, pre-recorded as three choirs of 24 voices each) to the ancient woodland of Inwood Hill Park via 24 separate speakers. Originally commissioned by the Wild Center, Tupper Lake, where it can still be experienced (https://vimeo.com/219417685) [hyperlink] the choir sing in the indigenous Mohawk language in western choral tradition, thanking every element of nature inspired by traditional Thanksgiving ceremonies, in a piece entitled ‘I Walk Towards Myself’.
Composer Pete M Wyer said: “In the Mohawk tradition, people see themselves as part of nature as opposed to having dominion over it. The piece is called ‘I Walk Towards Myself’, reflecting my aim that as we walk within the music we have a deeper sense of our connection to nature, which is a deeper sense of connection to ourselves.”
Trailer for ‘I Walk Towards Myself’ at Inwood Park:
Twilight Chorus (for Humans), Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, June 21
Part of Make Music New York, ‘Twilight Chorus (for Humans) at the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, is a work emerging from the idea of the restorative effects of birdsong for psychological wellbeing. Anxiety levels increase when people cannot hear birdsong because thousands of years ago, birdsong signified safety based on a lack of predators and plentiful resources for survival. http://www.makemusicny.org/blog/twilight-%E2%80%8Bchorus-%E2%80%8Bfor-%E2%80%8Bh%E2%80%8Bumans-make-music-new-york-special-project/
Pete M Wyer says: ”For ‘Twilight Chorus’, I have taken recordings of birdsong, slowed them down and transcribed them for singers. During the performance, the singers will be dispersed across an area of Brooklyn Botanical Garden, again synchronized via an app. The audience is invited to experience the piece by moving between the voices – there is no single version of the piece and each person’s experience will be unique to them. The piece slowly evolves and brings the singers together at the end with more identifiably ‘human’ music.”
Pete M Wyer and the iForest
The first iForest by Pete M Wyer opened at the Wild Center in New York State in May 2017, creating music that wraps around the audience as they walk a specially created natural trail.
A WNYC New Sounds Live commission, ‘Song of the Human’, a work for both birdsong and human voices, received its world premiere at Brookfield Place in New York in October 2016 – the full concert, recorded live, is at: https://www.newsounds.org/story/3916-new-sounds-live-pete-m-wyer-song-human/
John Schaefer, host of ‘New Sounds Live’, WNYC New York, described the experience: “We are amidst the dawn chorus, wind, a passing storm, and then there are humans, who have a different sort of music it would seem, but Pete has found a connection between birdsong and human speech.”
Pete is the creator of a setting of a Dylan Thomas poem performed by a headphone choir distributed across Manhattan, synchronised via a specially created app on smartphones and tablets; part of Make Music New York in xxxx. In 2015 he was the composer and Musical Director for the 175th anniversary of Cunard in Liverpool
and in 2016 he scored a sci-fi projection mapping installation onto the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow http://www.colour-project.com/#!/russian-international-festival-of-light-2016/
Pete M has created scores for the London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Juilliard and Royal Opera House as well as seven operas and music theatre works. He has performed with the Orchestra of the Swan, Asphalt Orchestra, Ralph Samuelson and pianist Matthew Shipp.