Forest Song, a free music performance by artist and composer John P. Hastings and featuring musicians from TILT Brass, will be presented at Inwood Hill Park, Upper Manhattan on Saturday and Sunday, October 14, 2023 at 2pm and 4pm; and Sunday, October 15, 2023 at 1pm and 3pm. All four performances run approximately one hour and are free and open to the public. For more information: https://www.johnphastings.org/forestsong.
Forest Song is originated by artist and composer John P. Hastings who has created a number of site-specific performances, including Cloudsplitter in 2021. Forest Song utilizes a large ensemble spread throughout the park space performing a variety of sonic materials. Harmonies are reflected, words appear, and the melodies from revolutionary hymns are recycled, all conjuring a human and arboreal conversation. Over the course of an hour performance, the audience is free to wander the park, to hear the musicians at a distance, while also observing them close-by.
Many themes become apparent in the work. Myths and stories swirl around our forests, some of them fanciful and fantastic; others feed into age-old tropes of colonial settlement (The performance is sited at the location of the “sale” of Manhattan to Peter Minuet by the Lenape peoples). They have been many things to humans: a source of fuel, shelter, fear. They are a place of mystery and repose. Forest Song takes these many iterations of human conception of the forest and layers them to fashion a poly-narrative: a Native American home, a European folk drama, a technocratic “shelterbelt,” and now a conserved piece of our future. Forests are a mirror for humans: the reflection of our wants and desires throughout our years of existence.
Forest Song features musicians from TILT Brass, led by Chris McIntyre. The performances are supported by several grants from LMCC, UMEZ, and the Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance, making the project free and accessible to the public.
Inwood Hill Park, Manhattan, New York: A to Inwood / 207th Street or 1 to 215th Street. Enter at Shorakkopoch Rock.
Featuring TILT Brass:
Christopher McIntyre – trombone
James Rogers – trombone
Nicolee Kuester – horn
Blair Hamrick – horn
Rebecca Steinberg – trumpet
Jonathan Finlayson, trumpet
Iván Barenboim – clarinet
Katie Porter – clarinet
Jessica Schmitz – flute
Eva Ding – flute
John P. Hastings – originator
Aaron Meicht – music director, trumpet
Carolina Gomez – costuming
Benjamin Mayock – design
Shannon Sindelar – producer
John P. Hastings is an artist and musician focused on exploring the environment, communities, and humanity. He works across media, using performance, video, installation, photography, and sound recording. Geography and research form a large part of his artistic practice. Specific sites become a starting point to engage in a dialog between peoples as well as the landscape we live. The historical record emerges as a place to question ourselves, the ideas that have been passed down to us, and how we can function with the weight of those histories upon us. Trained as a musician and composer, Hastings uses sound and audio as major through lines in all his works, along with a diverse array of media. Hastings’ work has been featured at a variety of venues and festivals including the Hammer Museum (Los Angeles, CA), REDCAT (Los Angeles, CA), Issue Project Room (Brooklyn, NY), Center for New Music (San Francisco, CA), Roulette Intermedium (Brooklyn, NY), Festival of New American Music (Sacramento, CA,) Other Minds Festival 17 (San Francisco, CA), Itinerant Interludes (Berlin, Germany), Make Music New York (New York, NY), the LUMEN Festival (Staten Island, NY), and many more.