Five musicians from the Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra played on a unique stage recently, in the middle of the Waitakere Ranges. It was all for a good cause too – raising awareness about kauri dieback disease.
The soil-borne disease is widespread in the ranges, with recent survey results revealing the number of infected trees having more than doubled to nearly 20% in the last five years. There is no cure.
For the musical piece five cameras on state of the art rigs scanned the visible symptoms of the disease on a sick tree. Using the software MAX for Live the imagery was then enhanced, manipulated and turned into musical notes by digital audio technician Tom Cosm, and a classical musical score produced that the musicians could understand and play.
The haunting piece of music inspired by the dying giant can be heard on www.akauricries.co.nz
“It was a wonderful but strange experience watching a piece of music being played around a large, dying kauri tree. The trees have been suffering in silence until now, and this project has given them a voice to communicate the pain and peril that they’re in,” says Dr Nick Waipara, Principal Advisor, Auckland Council Biosecurity.
“We had a very stringent biosecurity plan in place for the musicians and crew, as they were entering a disease zone. They were required to clean in, and clean out – including footwear and equipment like camera tripods.
“This is also the message that we want to spread to everyone visiting the forest – cleanliness is the key to protect and save our kauri. Always clean your shoes and equipment before and after visiting kauri forest, stay on marked tracks and stay off closed tracks.”
To find out more about how you can help, visit www.kauridieback.co.nz