From a young age I was touched by the mystical unexplored properties of nature. From then on I was looking for a deeper connection with nature. Involved in people, planet and profit for the past 30+ years.
The idea originated from a forest walk with a friend (Scot Gresham-Lancaster) who is a Professor in geo-sonification at the university of Berkeley. An experiment with a lie-detector and a tree led to the discovery of talking trees.
Putting the lie-detector on a tree the duo discovered signals coming from the tree. They immediately realised these signals could be turned into music. However, it took another decade for Bert Barten to get the call to action as he heard about the Polish cutting of their ancient Bialowieza Forest.
This kickstarted the birth of Talking Trees.
Talking Trees works on the verge of art, science and nature. Scientific data from nature is used to produce art. The reach of these projects is then again used to support nature. Thus coming to full circle.
Initiator of Talking Trees. Talented in a wide range of fields - he is a theatre director as well as a composer, an entrepreneur and experience builder. You might call Barten a true Renaissance Man. His gift is for integrating multiple art forms.
How does it work?
We developed special tools to measure the sap stream, the valid organic compounds, moisture and photosynthesis on trees. These signals are transferred into synthesizers. The data can be translated to notes, midi- and analog signals. A diversity of artists and instruments can plug-in and act as a interface between nature and performance.
This can either happen live with the artists responding to the real-time output of a tree. Or with long-term collected data from trees worldwide.
Real-time data of a tree is minimalistic and slow. A tree has a different pace in life compared to us. Collecting data over longer periods of time and compress these data into scores gives our orchestra input for a wide variety of arrangements and styles.
Composing with tree data means connecting sounds to the data stream, cutting, moving and rearranging parts without adding extra music to it.
And then the orchestra can decide to play along with the trees, composing music together with the trees.
Part of our Tribe are the ambassadors of Talking Trees who support Talking Trees from backstage:
Emeritus professor of Information and communication Management Unyversity of Amsterdam and Radboud. Founder AI&M. Passionate interest in inspiring learning in combination with philosophy, arts, design & architecture.
Drs. Sarah Marijnissen, Television maker and presentor at 'Boeddhistische Omroep'.
Dr. Kaouthar Darmoni, director of Atria Institute on gender equality and women's history, speaker, trainer, dancer.
Prof. Dr. Matthijs Schouten, professor of ecology and nature conservation at the University of Wageningen, professor of landscape and nature conservation at University College Cork (Ireland) and senior strategist at the National Forest Service of the Netherlands.
Mr. Boris Dittrich, human rights activist, former politician and writer.
Drs. Harry Starren, speaker, writer, teacher, former general director of de Baak, Institute for personal leadership.
Jørn Copijn, Garden and landscape architect, tree surgeon.
Wim Hof, ‘The Iceman’, writer, trainer, speaker.
Dr. Ir. Frank Sterck, associate professor Forest Ecology and Management at Wageningen University.
Rob Doornenbal, entrepreneur, Business Developer, coach, co-founder of Conscious Academy.
Floor de Ruiter, co-founder and partner of Flying Elephants, expert in the field of organisational and communicational culture, writer.
Koen Vanmechelen, conceptual artist.
David Chambers, professor theater and performance studies, Yale University. Director, producer, writer.