Nat Evans’ and eight artists’ bioregional music of the Pacific Crest Trail

Seattle-based composer Nat Evans is thru-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail and he’s using his time in the wild as a mobile music residency. He’s creating his own new work, and collaborating with eight West Coast composers along the way in a project called: The Tortoise.

Composing music in the Sierra Nevada.

Composing music in the Sierra Nevada.

With a portable recorder, he captures the sounds he hears. Every couple of hundred miles, he mails a memory card to one of the composers who lives near the region he’s been hiking through. The composer then chooses a recording and writes a musical response to layer atop the ambient sounds of the trail. As the pieces are published this summer, you’ll be able to hear how the sounds of the trail change as Nat heads north. You’ll also hear how the different composers relate to their local landscapes.

Listen to the 1st composition:

Nat tells us that he “hopes to instill a greater sense of bioregionalism. By instilling bioregionalism into this collection of music and sound, people will be able to better understand the places they live, each other, how we relate to the natural world, and, perhaps, the arbitrary nature of the boundaries we’ve created for ourselves.”

Nat Evans on the PCT.

Nat Evans on the PCT.

He is also writing a new long piece on the trail to serve as a sonic travelogue. After returning to everyday life, Evans will record the music he worked on all summer, as well as collect the pieces the composers wrote. The entire collection will be released on Quakebasket records in early 2015.

Listen to the 2nd composition:

Want to find out what #TheTortoise is up to all summer?

  • Listen to sounds from the trail as they are posted every couple weeks on Soundcloud.
  • Read updates about Evans’ trip on a monthly blog he’ll be writing on NewMusicBox.
  • Visit The Henry Art Gallery in Seattle from June 21-September 15th.
  • Have a look at pictures #TheTortoise posts on Instagram (@natevansmusic).
  • Follow the progress of #TheTortoise on Twitter (@natevansmusic).
Recording the sound of windmills.

Recording the sound of windmills.

Author: Jack "Found" Haskel

As the Trail Information Manager, Jack works to connect people to the PCT. He's involved with a wide variety of projects that help the trail, the trail's users and the community that surrounds the experience. He has thru-hiked (Pacific Crest Trail in 2006; Colorado Trail in 2008; Continental Divide Trail in 2010) and is an obsessed weekend warrior.