Soul of the woods

The Soul of the Woods” is a visual and sound exhibition that pays homage to the relationship between man and nature. The images of celebrated French photographer, Carl Cordonnier and the music of American-born classical guitarist and composer, Anthony Glise, lead us on a magical voyage from the seed, to the tree, to the harvesting, and finally, the rebirth of the tree as a guitar. The exhibition includes photos in the workshop of famed guitar builder, Gioachino Giussani, at his Tuscan home in Anghiari, Italy.

The audience is invited to walk inside a structure built as an oversized guitar to view the photos in a several “Camera Obscuras.” The Camera Obscura is forerunner of the modern camera and possibly existed in Asian religious ceremonies as early as 1045 BC. This creates an almost 3-D effect as each of Cordonnier’s photos gently transform into the next, while Glise’s composition, “Allotropy for Violin and Guitar” (recorded by Glise and Ken Sugita, of the French National Orchestra-Lille) plays mystically in the background.

Cordonnier’s photos also offer us a visit into the forests of Tuscany, Italy where wood is harvested to build some of the world’s finest instruments, while Glise’s composition is based on the number of protons in the atoms of the four primary elements of wood: carbon 6, oxygen 8, hydrogen 1, and nitrogen, 7, to offer a musical representation of a tree.

That similarity between man and tree is implied as early as Leonardo da Vinci. By superimposing his drawings of “The Vitruvian Man,” with his sketches of trees, the results show nearly identical proportions.

The Soul of the Woods” is an invitation to experience life, death, and rebirth through the eyes of nature; a path that we all share in common.