Terminal Moraine (2021)
Brooklyn Botanic Garden
w/ Ben Rubin

Trees planted today in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden will reach their full height only after the demise of the last glaciers around the world—remnants of the vast ice sheet that shaped the land where these trees now grow. Terminal Moraine places sonic representations of both past and future in the Garden so that visitors might contemplate the inflection point we currently inhabit in our climate’s history.

A 16-channel Ambisonic surround-sound environment is situated within an open-air concrete structure in a newly planted section of the Garden. Drawing from research at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, a generative music composition simulates the behavior of compressed ice crystals as they melt, which gradually fills and then recedes from the space. Subsequently, recursive cello motifs emerge that represent the branches of the new trees. By spatially positioning the audio, these sounds are "grown" to correspond to the trees’ actual anticipated future size.

Cello: Topu Lyo. Support: New York State Council on the Arts. Thanks: Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Katie Pidgeon, Rowan Blaik, Tyler Rai, Michael Mercil, Ann Hamilton.