Tree Quartet 樹四重奏

A proposal for the Guandu Nature Park A dynamically changing interactive music quartet for 4 trees. Each tree has two sensor arrays (soil moisture and micro-climate), 8 per tree 32 total channels of information.

Click here for the Materials Budget for this project

The charts are updated in real time that the "Quartet" is played back by a loop of the record of the last 2 hours of data played back every 4 minutes. This 2 hour window is constantly updated in the span of each 4 minute playback. Also, participants can set their own "loop points" with the touch screen. The setup will return to its initial position after 5 minutes of no interaction.  


The actual installation is pictured here and in a larger version on 

The user will approach a 43” touch screen with software softly playing an ambient sonification of the last 2 hours of information collected from wireless solar sensors in 4 trees within site of the observation deck. This will have a 3x6 foot footprint near power and network access in the observation deck area. The user will have some obvious controls to change the start and stop points of the looping playback and will be able to investigate the sounds generated directly from the environment they are observing. Additionally, a mobile based WAP version of the web page, also pictured here, will provide web enabled cellphone users the option to interact with the system while walking in the park or, for that matter, anywhere in the world.


 I will be working with my good friend and “visual” collaborator Hsin-Chien  Huang, whose amazing commercial and artistic work can be seen at  His support and help has been invaluable in the planning and realization of this proposal.


The intention of this piece is to evoke a state of understanding about the connections of time of day and the general flow of life that is still an inescapable aspect of urban life and the larger context of the natural world from which our modern life has emerged. It is important to celebrate this connection so that we will more fully value the nature that surrounds and subtly influences us. This piece puts that connection directly to the participant and allows them a clear demonstration of the interconnected quality of our lives and to reaffirm the continued value of nature in our modern world.

Scot Gresham-Lancaster

3148 Sylvan Ave.

Oakland, CA 94602 U.S.A.   email: