We have so been enjoying your interactive concert at Descanso Gardens. It truly adds a whole new dimension to the experience of visiting the gardens. You may want to update your website as the gardens are open and the experience will continue through the summer.
Jennifer, Los Angeles
It was truly a delight to walk around the space with each step changing the shape of the piece; it’s a rush to be able to mix tracks by simply moving. It also made me better appreciate the birdsong in our backyard as I’ve been more in tune with nature over the past week as a result.
Something about the scale and the ability to advantageously utilize the natural elements of a space has always been mesmerizing.
John, Los Angeles
Emerging from our ‘hibernation’ into this exquisite natural setting, with a chorus of human voices singing to the heavens, it feels like a triumph of the human spirit set in the most glorious cathedral of nature. The installation takes on an entirely new meaning and significance we could never have foreseen when we were planning it with Pete all those months ago.
Julianne Rook, Descanso Gardens, Los Angeles
I just visited Pete Wyer’s installation at Descanso Gardens and was blown away! The use of sound in partner with nature was stunning, and the vast reach of music was awe-inspiring. I’m so curious to learn some of the technical aspects of the project, primarily the ability to mix and reproduce 72 separate tracks to be played simultaneously.
John P, Los Angeles
This iForest Installation by composer Pete M. Wyer is pure Spirit. To walk through Nature listening to this choir of Mohawk voices giving thanks for Nature is Awe-inspiring. I carry it with me every day. This work was part of Drums Along the Hudson, an open-air Pow Wow held at Inwood Park in Manhattan.
Melissa, New York
Every walk through iForest is personal and unique.
I was captured by the harmonious environment created between man and nature. The intricate layering of voices from The Crossing is accompanied perfectly by the activity of the birds, wind, and rustling leaves.
Lory Diaz, Toronotonicity
Other-worldly, contemplative and calming.
The iForest is incredibly moving. It made me cry.
Mara, New York
I truly enjoyed the iforest. The immersive sound along with the environment was fabulous.
Tripadvisor review from New York
An awesome experience
Tripadvisor review from New York
There’s A Singing Forest Hiding In New York And It’s Absolutely Magical…
…as though you’ve stepped into a movie that has given you your own magical soundtrack
As I left the iForest, I found myself reluctant to rejoin the civilized world. I had sunk so deeply into the natural world. I found myself noticing small details that I normally overlook in the landscape.
Now I know how angels sound
New York visitor (age 7)
A British composer who turned a pine forest into a choral sculpture.
North Country Public Radio
Stepping outside of your home can be an unbelievably stressful process right now. But under the right circumstances it can also be a cathartic one that reminds you of the peace and beauty that abounds outdoors in Los Angeles. The latest installation at Descanso Gardens, as you might guess, thankfully falls into that second camp.
Composer Pete M. Wyer has crafted “The Sky Beneath Our Feet,” a site-specific musical piece that plays out across 72 independent speakers scattered across the La Cañada Flintridge garden’s forest of coast live oaks. (Swipe through our Instagram post below, and you’ll see exactly what we’re talking about in the videos.)
As you meander the grounds, you’ll hear different fragments of choral voices (there are nine choirs of eight voices each) and string parts weave in and out of each other. You may be walking past some quiet harmonies, but down the path you’ll hear a louder, lyrical vocal piece calling you over. Ultimately, like Descanso’s holiday tradition Enchanted, Wyer’s composition is a clever way of framing the natural allure of the gardens.
There’s no right way to experience “The Sky Beneath Our Feet.” Yes, you’ll spot occasional signage and speakers tucked at the base of tree trunks, but sound is really your sole guide here; just listen for music in the distance and you’ll know you’re headed in the right direction.
That’s ultimately where the magic rests in “The Sky Beneath Our Feet”: Since each speaker is playing a unique part of the composition, it’ll sound different with every loop through the forest. And though the piece has been in the works for two years, it’s managed to strike a perfect balance for our current chaotic moment. Neither sorrowful nor celebratory, the music acts as a poetic and uplifting way to reconnect with the crunch of earth under your feet and sunlight filtering through the trees—something many of us have probably been missing in our living-room–bound lives.
Time Out, Los Angeles
We were at our favorite oak tree a couple of weeks ago when I heard this beautiful music start to play. I didn’t know where it was coming from at first. It was so ethereal and I wanted to cry.
Sheri, Los Angeles
I love it. It is so interesting to wander around the garden and hear different aspects of the piece from different speakers. It is truly new every time.
Joanne, Los Angeles
This was a beautiful experience. Loved it.
Tanya, Los Angeles
We went today, it was magical! I hope you do it again in January when the Camellias are in bloom!
Dana, Los Angeles
“‘The Sky Beneath Our Feet’ is a magnificent piece, composed for nine choirs of eight voices each played over dozens of speakers throughout the Gardens,” said Juliann Rooke, executive director, Descanso Gardens.
“Emerging from our ‘hibernation’ into this exquisite natural setting, with a chorus of human voices singing to the heavens, it feels like a triumph of the human spirit set in the most glorious cathedral of nature. The installation takes on an entirely new meaning and significance we could never have foreseen when we were planning it with Pete all those months ago.”
NBC, Los Angeles
It makes our walk in Descanso so magical. We loved it. The beautiful music resonated deeply.
Sheri, Los Angeles
Listening to the music made me emotional and teary eyed. Really helped ease in and move around calmly. Thank you for adding this installment. Least we have this music in place of our summer concerts! Love it.
Marleen, Los Angeles
The music experience was magical.
Masha, Los Angeles