Nick Roth's Woodland Heights selected for ISCM 2016

The organisers of the 2016 ISCM World Music Days Festival in Tongyeong have announced the list of works selected from both member organisations and independent submissions. The Festival takes place 29 March – 3 April next year. 

We are delighted to announce the Irish work performed at this prestigious festival will be Nick Roth's chamber orchestra work Woodland Heights. From the programme note for the piece:

"Woodland Heights is a study of forest canopy ecology. More specifically, the work is an illustration of the premise that 'species composition and tree size distributions become more diverse with increasing stand age' and that 'with increasing age stochastic processes play increasingly important roles in creating structural complexity'.

The imagined forest is composed of seven tree species common to the garden of my original family home in Chorleywood, from which the piece also takes its title... Particular qualities of each species type are translated into musical elements in the score: maximum height, average lifespan and reproductive cycles are expressed through the statistical distribution of the overtone series from the open strings fundamentals of the orchestra, the adaptational qualities of a species by its role in the formal development of the piece and its phyllotaxis by motivical structure.

The weblike creational processes of investigation, experimentation and epiphany share many commonalities across the Sciences and the Arts; just as two hands work together to play the violin, these two complimentary aspects of human nature must form part of a single integrated response to the questions of our environment. Perhaps in the future we will understand more about how the imagination works and its evolutionary development, but for now we must be content with understanding that without freedom and diversity there can be no development. The same lesson taught in fact, by forest canopy ecologists with regard to species biodiversity. It is no coincidence that every great work of both art and science contains some unanswered and perhaps even unanswerable question buried within itself, and it is this that I believe inspires that 'sense of wonder' and imbues it with a complexity that is a microcosm mirroring patterns found in life itself. Indeed this perception is itself fractal and alive in an epistemological sense. A work that is the result of a logical or mechanical process alone risks becoming lifeless and predictable - in art, as in life, rules are made to be broken. Our greatest priority at this moment in the history of our planet should be to conserve and protect the spectral magnificence of life in all of its many forms, preserving and protecting the unknown as well as the known will provide a future for our planet and its wealth of expression in form."

Read the full programme note on Nick Roth's website.

The full list of selected works for the Festival can be found here