An Audience with the Trees is a sound installation for a woodland environment. Six birdboxes broadcast the sounds of six birds as they perform melodies from a Nicholas Brown’s short violin concerto of 2003, Vivaldi’s Menagerie. The installation ‘reverses’ the eighteenth-century theory of representation that underwrites performances of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. Instead of violinists imitating the sounds of birdsong, visitors walking past the bird boxes hear birds imitating the melodies of an original musical work.
An Audience with the Trees was first installed at 7am on May 1, 2005 in the grounds of Magdalen College, Oxford to coincide with the College’s annual May Day celebrations. The installation was subsequently produced for Oxford Contemporary Music in the courtyard of the Said Business School 11-13 June, 2007.