Before the ashes lose their leaves

script, recording and production BY hannah fredsgaard-jones
assistant sound recordist valentine sithole
supported by Oxford contemporary music
in partnership with oxford preservation trust

The performance took place during Oxford Open Doors , September 2022

Address: 46 Godstow Rd, Wolvercote, Oxford OX2 8NZ

Join a guided sound walk in a landscape in which memories of the past echo between the trees, and songs of the future float gently on the surface of the water.

Ash trees are disappearing from the landscape like the eroding sounds on tape cassettes. This is a story about a birthday candle, an old Fisher Price Tape Cassette recorder and trees that fissure as they age. Before the Ashes Lose Their Leaves is a site-specific sound piece reflecting on ash trees, cultural heritage, and early motherhood. Fuelled by a desire to pass on the sounds and stories of the now, before it is too late, a mother records a letter to her daughter. The walk takes you past the world tree Yggdrasill, into the glow of hospital lamps and under the fence into the neighbour’s garden.

Audience feedback:

Thought-provoking, interesting and well-executed.

Really unusual combination of storytelling and music.

Otherworldly, poetic, engaging.

I just loved it! The combination of the location at wolvercote lakes, walking in silence and the fantastic audio transporting you to another time and place worked perfectly. Very evocative and thought provoking.