Louvre Abu Dhabi and Théâtre du Châtelet with the support of Bloomberg Philanthropies
25 Feb – 7 March | Free
Singing Trees is a ground-breaking interactive installation – a choir of palm trees around the museum’s entrance that sing louder when they are hugged. Louvre Abu Dhabi is Singing Trees’ world premiere, with a tour to follow, visiting major cities around the world.
Singing Trees invites the audience to engage with and appreciate nature, raising environmental awareness. This gives the installation an educational as well as an artistic role, encouraging dialogue on a global issue. Timed to coincide with UAE’s Innovation Month, the piece explores how technological advances can add to our understanding of the environment.
These dynamic trees sing in English, Arabic and French. At Louvre Abu Dhabi, their songs will include Ayyala, a traditional Arabic Emirati song reflecting the heritage of the UAE; ‘Greensleeves’, an English folk song from the late 16th century; and the French Medieval choir song ‘L’Amour de Moy.’
The trees also respond to the audience. As visitors move closer to the trees, the choir becomes louder and more in-synch. Visitors can even hug the tree to maximise the volume of the choir.
The trees are powered by rechargeable, renewable batteries, charged using power drawn from the grid. The belts are designed to use energy-efficient equipment that can easily be recycled and reused for other projects. Wherever possible, the creators work with local companies to lower travel impact and support the local economy.
The project has been created by digital artists Umbrellium, in collaboration with Paris’ Institute for Research and Coordination in Acoustics/Music (IRCAM) and independent producer Katherine Jewkes. Members from the IRCAM Amplify supported on the project, including Manuel Poletti, Julien Chirol, and Martin Antiphon.