East Sussex guitarist explores music of trees for Virtual Festival of Chichester

Ringmer-based guitarist and composer Geoff Robb – who has played at the past two Festivals of Chichester – is back for this year’s virtual festival.

Geoff Robb
Geoff Robb

He will be offering The Music of Trees on Mon, June 29.

Simply log on to the virtual festival’s website at 7.30pm on https://festivalofchichester.co.uk/virtual-festival/.

Rob’s contribution will stay on the festival site for the rest of the summer.

In the meantime, Rob wants to hear your stories about trees for his latest musical project.

Geoff Robb is currently recording his new album The Music of Trees and he would love to hear about your favourite tree.

He is asking people to send him audio clips of themselves describing their favourite trees. Depending on the response, he might well use some of the clips on the album itself. He is also intending to produce a podcast as either a one-off or as a series if lots of clips are forthcoming.

“The clip should be between 20 and 40 seconds long and might be about a tree near your house, from your childhood or one you walk past on your way to work. This is open to people of all ages!

“You’ll need to have a smart phone or tablet and be able record yourself using a voice recording app and then go to www.geoffrobb.com/tree-stories to upload your file. If your recording is used you will receive a free digital download of the album.”

Geoff has performed at venues including Buckingham Palace, The House of Commons and Glastonbury Festival and was the Winner of the 2018 Brighton Fringe Live Music Award.

He was due to be performing at this year’s Fringe as well as a summer tour of 30 dates ending at the Edinburgh Fringe before it was all sadly cancelled due to COVID-19.

“I have always loved being outdoors,” Geoff says. “I have always loved being in nature, and there is just something about trees that has always fascinated me.

“About a year and a half ago I wrote a song inspired by a willow and that gave me the idea to start writing songs about other tress.

“I just think there is something really calming about being in the woodlands, being alone surrounded by trees.

“For me, it’s a really easy place to be inspired and to think musical ideas. It has always been a good place for me to find inspiration. There is just something about trees when you think that they are living, breathing things. They aren’t just something to look at. They are alive – and they are very grounding.

“I am going to do a podcast which will feature music from the album and also people telling their tree stories. I just thought it would be a nice idea for people to be telling these stories in isolation.

As for the album, Geoff will be recording it at home. The Music of Trees album will feature ten new compositions inspired by different trees (ash, silver birch, cherry, elm, holm oak, hornbeam, lime, Scot’s pine, willow and yew).

“The idea is to use the voices on the album. It depends on what I received. One option is to have a bonus track at the end of the album that would be full of people’s stories or maybe I will weave the stories into some of the tracks. I won’t really know until I know what I have received.”

The album is likely to be just Geoff and guitar – a solo instrumental album.

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