Louvre Abu Dhabi's 'Singing Trees' Highlights Environmental Awareness

Louvre Abu Dhabi's 'Singing Trees' highlights environmental awareness

ABU DHABI, (Pakistan Point News - 24th Feb, 2020) Tomorrow, Louvre Abu Dhabi and Théâtre du Châtelet, with the support of Bloomberg Philanthropies, will launch the world premiere of Singing Trees, a new interactive installation created by award-winning digital artists from London, Umbrellium, in collaboration with Paris’ Institute for Research and Coordination in Acoustics/Music, IRCAM, and independent producer, Katherine Jewkes.

Combining innovative technology, music and an interactive visitor experience, Singing Trees offers a unique opportunity to engage with, and appreciate, nature. Activating the outdoor landscape of Louvre Abu Dhabi, Umbrellium will give a voice to the palm trees around the museum’s entrance using non-invasive, electronic belts attached to each tree. These belts will enable the trees to sing together as a choir that will change in response to the audiences’ interaction with the work. As visitors move closer to the trees, the choir becomes louder and more in-synch. Visitors are then invited to hug the tree to maximise the volume of the choir.

Singing Trees is on view at Louvre Abu Dhabi from 25th February through 7th March and is free to experience. After its Abu Dhabi premiere, the installation will be presented in cities around the world including in the garden of Paris’ Palais Royal from 10th to 20th September 2020, followed by presentations in London, New York and Paris again for the Olympics in 2024.

The trees will sing a combination of songs in English, Arabic and French. In each country that exhibits the installation, new songs will be commissioned for the trees to sing. The featured musical pieces for Singing Trees at Louvre Abu Dhabi include Ayyala, a traditional Arabic song that reflects the artistic heritage of the UAE; "Greensleeves", a traditional English folk song from the late 16th century and the French Medieval choir song "L’Amour de Moy."

Manuel Rabaté, Director of Louvre Abu Dhabi said, "Singing Trees speaks to Louvre Abu Dhabi’s mission to provide an educational and innovative space for its visitors. Coinciding with UAE Innovation Month, this piece explores how technological advances can bring us closer to nature and heighten our understanding of the environment. We are grateful to our partners Théâtre du Châtelet and Bloomberg Philanthropies who made this project possible and look forward to seeing Singing Trees travel the world."

Ruth Mackenzie, CBE, Artistic Director of Théâtre du Châtelet added, "With climate change now a part of our everyday lives, this installation physically manifests, with pioneering technology, the urgent need to listen to what nature is telling us and respond with care. Umbrellium have used non-invasive digital technology to give trees a voice and invite the public to listen and interact with them. Built in the city that created the Paris Accord on Climate Change, the Théâtre du Châtelet is an activist theatre. We are proud to be representing the City of Paris and working with Umbrelllium, IRCAM and our partners Louvre Abu Dhabi and Bloomberg Philanthropies to raise awareness around the vital issues impacting our planet."

Based in London, Umbrellium has almost two decades of experience designing and building urban technology products and services for cities across the globe to engage communities and boost innovation. The key members of Umbrellium are Usman Haque, Creative Director; Andrew Caleya Chetty, Chief Strategy Officer; Ling Tan, Senior Designer and Coder and Nitipak Samsen, Senior Creative Technologist.

Singing Trees creators Umbrellium commented, "Umbrellium is invested in creating experiences based on our common humanity and the interconnected nature of our world. We find ways to creatively highlight the effects that climate change has from one city to another and demonstrate that everyone can play a role in tackling these issues. Singing Trees has been an amazing challenge for the studio to grapple with. We are excited to share this installation with the citizens of Abu Dhabi and to start a discussion on the environment before touring it internationally. We would like to thank our collaborators IRCAM and partners Théâtre du Châtelet, Louvre Abu Dhabi and Bloomberg Philanthropies for making this installation possible."