There has always been a strong connection between sound and image in my work, where often, many of the pieces I create are based on objects and things I see, which then act as a type of graphic score and glass has often been an inspiration to my audio work.
The Glass Forest was inspired by a visit to an exhibition called Harvest: Fruit Gathering (Cynhaeaf Casglu Ffwythau) which I visited in October 2022 at the National Glass Centre. It is created by two of Britain’s leading artists working in hot glass, Rachael Woodman and Neil Wilkin. The exhibition enabled both artists to express their mastery of glass as a medium, through the creation of beautiful new work inspired by the natural and spiritual world. Huge plants, flowers, fruit, grasses and natural forms made of coloured glass filled the room and several of the pieces became the inspiration of the 5 tracks on The Glass Forest.
Shards is based on a central piece of grasses in many shades of green. The audio piece explores the idea of the fragility, beauty and glistening blades of grass like green shards. Sounds of growth and movement can be heard, as the grasses break through the frozen soil, seeking sunlight. My own field recordings of the NGC furnaces and glass cutting can be heard as well as sounds associated with the glass making process – air, sand and heat.
Glass Seed Pod is about the anticipation of a seed pod bursting. Blown by the wind, the seeds disperse, with popping, shaking, rattling sounds. Scattering, they become food for birds and also enable the regeneration of plants and trees.
Tendril is based on a detail of the larger glass flower installation in the exhibition. The idea emerged of a melting world, possibly in Spring, where ice flowers and tendrils make their way up metal plant stems to reach the warmth of the light.
Anemone – Languid fronds and glass anemone flowers wave and sway in the watery undertow.
Forest – A strange glass forest filled with huge coloured flowers, leaves and metal stalks. Home to a myriad of metal and glass birds and insects.
The Glass Forest is my musical response to the beauty of glass and forests, using electronics and field recordings. I hope it also conveys the hopeful anticipation of the lighter days of Spring, which are just around the corner.
Glass is beautiful, tough, useful and fragile.
Forests are the same. – We need to protect and nurture them.
Composed, Recorded, Produced by O Johnson / Museleon
More information about the glass artists can be found here –
Neil Wilkin – www.neilwilkin.com
Rachel Woodman – www.adriansassoon.com/artists/rachael-woodman/
Field recordings on tracks 1 and 3 used courtesy of the Freesound Community – freesound.org. Details on the release.
All other field recordings, music, artwork and photography by O Johnson / Museleon
Best listened through headphones but beware loud noises.