Voices of the Rainforest was originally a CD released in 1991 in Mickey Hart’s World Series on Rykodisc. In one hour, the CD chronicled twenty-four hours in the life of the Bosavi rainforest and Kaluli community in Papua New Guinea. After 20 years of physical circulation, a digital edition was released on Smithsonian Folkways in the Mickey Hart Collection, where it is still available.
In 2016 I digitized and re-catalogued all of the original analog reel-to-reel tapes from this project and recomposed the piece in 7.1 cinema surround sound, in collaboration with Skywalker Sound editor Dennis Leonard. Concert and gallery versions were performed in art museum, festival, cinema, and concert venues in the US and Europe through the spring of 2017.
Now an ambitious plan is underway to produce an immersive film visualizing the 7.1 surround track with the help of fifty years of photographs, film, and video from the Bosavi Digital Archive. Additionally a trip to Bosavi is planned for 2018 to film additional material and to play the film back or Bosavi people.
In this demo reel, with the soundtrack down-mixed to 2.0 stereo, you’ll experience waking in Bosavi, and an early morning trip through time to visit with women and families making sago, the staple starch, from forest palm trees. The twelve subsequent sequences, each in a different visual style, will utilize diverse historical and contemporary images, including graphics, animation, drone, and body-mounted video recording.
October 15, 2017