Conifers, Soundtrack for a Soniferous Forest is the ambient accompaniment to an art installation of the same name. When stripped of all but its aural elements, Conifers becomes an installation piece for the mind.
Jamie Allen, music editor of THE Magazine says,“Conifers, in my humble opinion, is about transformation. Transformation from the inanimate to the animate. In its fullest realization, Conifers is a “total art” experience: a room full of 25 wooden organ pipes standing upside down and at odd angles, planted in bases of concrete polymer. Some of them hide speakers and some of them hide nothing. Scattered about their “roots” are circuit boards and other electronic sundries. In the corners of the room are “ferns” of crumpled paper and wire. It is a forest full of unknown promise, beckoning to Hansel & Gretel in us. But nothing in this particular Black forest is natural. Nothing is animate. Like this flat little box of plastic, paper and ink you hold in your hand. Conifers is a self contained universe. All the elements are controlled, computerized.”
Richard Bitting (b.1950) is an artist, composer and teacher residing in Cincinnati, Ohio. His visual work is in museums and private collections across the United States; his music has been performed internationally. Mr. Bitting is an adjunct professor at the Art Academy of Cincinnati where he teaches Music in the 20th Century and Introduction to Music Composition.
The natural soundscape is rich with color and nuance beyond imagination. It is from this sonic metaworld that I draw inspiration for my projects.
The human perception of sound has a relationship with the other senses. As I grew to appreciate this relationship between the senses, I began to realize that my musical scores—the physical scores themselves—could serve not only as performance directions, they could convey meaning as visual art in their own right. Visual art—painting, sculpture, etc.—has its own way of expressing rhythms and harmonies. I have created separate works in both visual and sonic media that are representations of these same, intangible ideas.
As a species, we have evolved to rely primarily on our sense of sight. Our brains have evolved to edit our soundscapes, to filter out “perceived” background “noise” and to process only that sound we deem necessary as information. I invite you to close your eyes, open your mind, and listen to the world through fresh ears.