The kauri is an iconic New Zealand tree that can live for thousands of years but there's a disease that is silently killing them and it's spread by the people who love our trees the most - bushwalkers.
Kauri dieback is caused by a microscopic organism that hitches a lift on their shoes and when it infects a tree, it rots the root system and then continues to travel upwards until it dies. You can tell a kauri is infected because it will start weeping gum, in an attempt to wall off the disease.
83% of bushwalkers walk past the cleaning stations in place to prevent the spread of the disease. How could we raise awareness of the disease in a unique way so that we may change this behaviour?
To give one dying kauri a voice. In collaboration with a digital audio technician, develop a bespoke piece of software that will transform the 'tears' of a dying kauri into musical notation to be performed by musicians.
Working with Tom Cosm, a Digital Audio Technician, we developed a plugin using the software MAX for Live, which allowed us to turn the mass, brightness and colour intensity of the kauri's bleeding into a musical score.
This score was performed by members of the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra at the base of the 'crying' kauri tree.
To support the campaign we also designed and built a webpage for people view the final piece and also create their own versions of the A Kauri Cries track by rearranging the notes composed by the dying kauri - providing a personal and interactive experience.
These original tracks can also be recorded and shared to all their followers on social media, helping spread the word even further.
"so hang-on.. you're turning visual imagery into music? If you listen very carefully you can hear people's minds being blown around the country"
- Alex Behan RNZ Music 101 show
"Arts and conservation combine to make something beautiful and raise awareness”
- Maggie Barry MP
"Kauri dieback has been a silent killer in our forests for so long and this project has really given the kauri a way to communicate the pain and peril they are in - and no longer suffering in silence"
- Dr Nick Waipara - Principal Biosecurity Advisor