Dialecto de Árbol / Tree Dialect (n.2)

for 24 voices / para 24 voces


[This piece is the second of three 'études' for 24 voices which serve as preliminary studies for a larger work in progress.]

In Roald Dahl’s short story The Sound Machine, we learn about a device made to hear the inaudible. Its inventor—a young, anxious man who lives in the middle of the woods—does not quite know what he will listen to with his machine. The outcome is something he did not suspect: the machine could capture and make audible to human ears the screams of pain that flowers and trees produce when getting hurt.

With this short story in mind, I started to wonder if there could be some sort of vegetal sonic language besides the many other complex ways in which plants communicate. If there were, then how would this sound to humans? Its linguistic variants: would they be separated by species or rather by geography? Would humans relate differently with plants if there was an aural/linguistic element involved?

"Dialectos de árbol" [Tree Dialects] represents three linguistic variants of one imaginary vegetal language. In each of them (short “discourses” by each plant,) we can hear a bit of the plant´s idiosyncratic differences and its personal—vegetal?—character.

Performed by: The Crossing (reading session) during their residency at Northwestern University, March 2018.
Image: "The Absent-Minded Deciduous Rainforest Man" by Santiago Evans Canales
Additional editing and noise removal: Grayson Elliott Taylor