A Mycorrhiza

for solo player

A mycorrhiza is a mutual symbiotic association between a fungus and a plant.

 

I wanted this work to pivot between the idea of the mycelium network under woodlands, and an imaginary mycelium network between people. It’s curious to think about how trees are connected underground, when on the surface we perceive a distinct physical separation between trees. Besides possible tree roots touching, the mycelium network (fungus) connects all trees to each other and has been described as a way trees can communicate with each other.

 

The other part of my idea originally stemmed from how our own social patterns have been limited due to coronavirus pandemic and restrictions, and how we must now have a distinct physical separation whilst trying to find other ways to connect to friends, family, and colleagues - letters, zoom, virtual events.

 

On a tangent, I’ve been reading more during lockdown and thought how reading books, listening to music, connect us (in my imagination at least) to something akin to our own mycelium network - a system where we can connect, or reconnect, to ideas, memories, places, and people.

 

The score

From these wonderings, I used an old book about trees to start an improvised score - the score is also improvised. I chose one page in the book and kept all the ‘o’s’ as they reminded me of note heads. I cut out the remaining letters, to mask the perceivable meaning of the text, and was left with almost proportional notation (if reading portrait-wise). The o’s are then connected by scored out lines and also by colour. I placed drawings of trees on manuscript paper within the score.

 

Written for Fidan Aghayeva-Edler, piano

Recorded in Berlin, February 2021.

with friendly support from Berliner Senatsverwaltung für Kultur und Europa

Performances:

23/02/21 Fidan Aghayeva-Edler@ studio in Berlin

A mycorrhiza_SWestwood_edited.jpg
Berliner Senatsverwaltung für Kultur und Europa.png