Wind Garden: New Tree + Breeze Symphony

Composer John Luther Adams has created a meditative stop-and-listen spot in a eucalyptus grove at UC San Diego.

RUSTLE, CLICK, WHOOSH: A walk in nature isn't just about the dappled sunshine or the woodsy crunch underfoot or the scurrying critters you might encounter along your path. You're also sensing the breeze, both as it blows by you, and as it causes the things in your periphery, and up ahead, to move, too. Very often those moving objects are trees, and the branches and twigs and leaves will create a quiet forest symphony of rustle, click, whoosh. Composer John Luther Adams is someone who has connected with the arboreal mysteries of wind and sound, and he's created a fresh space, in a long-standing eucalyptus grove, that's dedicated to the music of breeze and branch. It's The Wind Garden, the 19th public art addition to the Stuart Collection at the University of California San Diego, and it will enjoy its opening public reception on...

MONDAY, AUG. 7... from 1 to 3 in the afternoon. Visitors to the pretty natural space, which is located at the La Jolla-based campus, can expect "... a leafed choir (that) sings in response to subtle shifts in light, winds, and seasons." So toasty August? It will be different from the start of February, when days grow damper and visits to The Wind Garden may produce a sparer, more haunting feel. It's a feel that's helped by the motion and light sensors installed in the trees above visitors' heads, sensors that "...translate varying forces of wind and changing light patterns into sound instantaneously by sophisticated software." Helping to gently but stirringly broadcast what the sensors are reading? Speakers above, in the trees' canopy, and sub-woofers closer to the earth. Of interesting note? "No sounds are pre-recorded," meaning you'll be savoring the full-on live feed. It's a...

A BEAUTIFUL AND GENTLE CALL... to awareness, and mindfulness, as well as treeness and wind-a-tude. However you define "treeness" and "wind-a-tude," whether you define those terms as getting close to nature and staying aware, or simply understanding how breeze and tree can make music, best do your contemplating while standing within the new Wind Garden. How to best breeze on into the university's spectacular Stuart Collection? Start here.

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