May 25, 2021 Douglas family art centre

Story Trees

STORY TREES is an interactive installation that serves as a tool for listening to and learning from echoes from an era that is open to reinterpretation.

While digitizing old reel-to-reel oral history interviews, Don Hill was surprised by how things were said at the time in northern Ontario. It wasn’t the content of the conversations that first caught his ear; it was the little asides, the nuanced bits of intonation, inflections of speech, as if northern Ontario had a different dialect way back when. As the towns and the province grew in population, he heard a shift in the patter. He also heard something — an emergent literary voice, a kind of wisdom — that wasn’t accounted for by words alone.

The work can be experienced online at storytrees.ca.

Story Trees exhibition banner. Bright red background featuring a small, black silhouette of a pine tree and text in white that reads "STORY TREES" (left) and "STORYTREES.CA" (right).
 

ARTISTS:

Sound artist and designer, writer, broadcaster, musician, and interactive media producer, Don Hill is a former national host of CBC Radio One’s Tapestry. His newest work STORY TREES is a modified ‘responsive architecture’ and interactive online exhibition. Don’s prior investigation of psychoacoustics of ‘place’ inspired his augmented reality app Edmonton Soundwalks, a 3D audio guide for mobile phones. Special Places: Writing-On- Stone is an immersive 360 video presentation that scales from full-dome screens to VR (virtual reality) headsets. In residency with the UK’s renowned Blast Theory he made WRGO (what’s really going on), a surreal 3D audio narrative.

Anne Hill is a principal collaborator on Story Trees. She developed a fascination for textiles and clothing early in life from sewing her own unique creations to exploring hand painted silk. Her Master’s degree from the Department of Human Ecology at the University of Alberta investigated clothing and people in a cross-cultural context. Anne’s exhibition of Traditional Tibetan Dress at the department’s gallery was also complemented by her entry on Tibet in the Praeger Encyclopedia of National Dress: Traditional Clothing Around The World and a short film presented to an annual conference of The Textile Association of America.

 

CREDITS:

Recordings & Interactive Design: Don & Anne Hill
Digital Coding Consultation: Kyle Elliot Mathewson
Responsive Architecture Consultation: Jim Ruxton
Voices (1975): Sam Allen, Russell Brown, Ruth Budge, Bernard Clay, Dorothy Coate, Art Lees, Buzz Lein, Viola Moody, Don Parrott, Anna Rawn, Diana Taft, and Anonymous.

Produced with Support from the Canada Council for the Arts.

Logo for the Canada Council for the Arts which provided funding for the exhibition STORY TREES.

Did you know?

Group of Seven member, Frank Johnston, visited Kenora and painted “Serenity, Lake of the Woods” in 1922, a shoreline view of Kenora with it’s distinctive smoke stacks from the pulp and paper mills.

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