Treelogy: A Musical Portrait of California’s Redwood, Sequoia and Joshua Trees
Featuring Billy Childs, Steven Mackey, Gabriella Smith, and Delirium Musicum
Commissioned by The Soraya at CSUN
Thu., February 23 | 8PM
Treelogy is a celebration and a call to action to save California’s beloved and iconic trees. Inspired by California’s epic wildfires chronicled by The New York Times journalist John Branch, The Soraya’s Executive and Artistic Director, Thor Steingraber, and artist in residence Etienne Gara, have created a musical response to the fires, and a tribute to these precious trees. Renowned composers Billy Childs, Steven Mackey, and Gabriella Smith — all with deep California roots of their own — have each composed original music for this three-part concert. Produced, commissioned, and presented by The Soraya, Treelogy will tour the state bringing together scientists, educators, activists & advocates along with its inspiring message to campuses across California. This unprecedented multi-disciplinary effort will emphasize the pride of our state and the memories of every family’s national park vacation.
What can art say for nature?
Images can help us to focus, build affection, and to reimagine things that maybe never even captured our attention.
Fire and flora have old secrets, infinitely subtle inspiration, and fresh perspectives to provide. As we mourn what we’ve lost, dedicate ourselves to what we can steward, and reform our laws, society, and our minds, art and culture are the oxygen for new growth.
It’s in this spirit that Treelogy was conceptualized. Three original musical compositions were commissioned by The Soraya. They are dedicated to three of California’s most iconic tree species: the giant sequoia, coastal redwood, and Joshua tree which were all hard hit during the wildfires of 2020. Fires consumed much of the state's beloved natural space, and disrupted environments that took thousands of years to develop
Treelogy, the exhibit, co-curated by Addy Gonzalez of 11:11 Projects and Miles Lewis of Valley Art Workshop, explores the shared experience of fire and the trees’ function as ecological cornerstones. The featured artworks address fire’s various roles as creator, destroyer, and regenerator. Viewers are invited to revisit the images and understandings of this phenomenon as we all strive for a more complete and symbiotic relationship between humans, landscapes, and fire.