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Sound Forest Installation, Songs of Disappearance
Art Installation by Soli Pierce and Bruce Odland

May 25 - August 2024

Art Installation by Soli Pierce and Bruce Odland

Accompanying Programs: 

Opening Reception 

Sunday, May 25, 3-5pm

Free with museum admission

3pm: Soli Pierce and Bruce Odland introduce their collaborative creation made for the Hammond’s Japanese Stroll Garden.

Saturday, June 29, 3pm 

Free with museum admission

Jan Johnsen, landscape designer and author, is known for her advocacy of the beneficial effects of nature and gardens upon our well-being. She is the principal of Johnsen Landscapes & Pools and author of 5 books, most recently Floratopia: Flower Garden Ideas for Yard, Patio or Balcony (2021). She received the Award of Distinction from the Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD) in 2019. Trained in landscape architecture, planning and professional horticulture, she has worked in Japan, Hawaii, and Kenya, among others. She has taught at Columbia University and the New York Botanical Garden, where she was awarded ‘Instructor of the Year’.  Her garden blog is ‘Serenity in the Garden’.

Japanese Stroll Garden

Sound Forest Installation,
Songs of Disappearance
Art Installation by Soli Pierce and Bruce Odland

May 25-August 2024

Soli Pierce, an interdisciplinary artist working with natural materials to create thought-provoking, immersive environments, in collaboration with composer and sound artist Bruce Odland have created a site-specific installation for the Hammond’s Japanese Stroll Garden. Five wood “totems” are placed in and around one of the garden’s dry stream beds situated next to the hill known as Mt. Fuji.


These totems—a fusion of past and present via portals—call upon all the senses. Discarded wood is transformed into totems to celebrate the forest’s history and honor it as part of our disappearing natural world. The totems are blackened by means of a Japanese technique shou sugiban, whereby the wood is charred, then burnished with sandpaper and wire brushes, and finally sealed with a natural oil to create a biological yet dramatic appearance and texture. “Leaf Speakers” and a “Trunk Subwoofer” invented by Odland, play a haunting soundscape created by stretching a 1-second call of a Carolina Wren into a long “Song of Disappearance”. The scorched wooden parabolas focus the sound of the leaf speakers into beams emanating from the “Totems”, cutting across the garden’s landscape.

Soli Pierce has won numerous awards, recognition, and grants for her artistic endeavors, which have taken her to communities in Nepal and Guatemala, and a special honorary government grant to work with Mayan women to teach them how to marry contemporary design with old world skills. Pierce has done numerous installations in New York and Europe including Saatchi & Saatchi, and Ars Electronica. Pierce taught photography at NYU based on earlier installation work that incorporated architectural elements, photography, and video. Her work is offered in galleries and museums worldwide from Telluride to Tokyo. Her recent encaustic work just returned from London and Venice.


Bruce Odland is a composer, sound artist, and sonic thinker. He is known for large-scale sound installations in public spaces, creating unique instruments that reveal music inherent in natural and urban environments. His pioneering work in theater, film, and interactive multi-media has led to collaborations with many of his heroes, including Wooster Group, Peter Sellars, JoAnne Akalaitis, and Laurie Anderson. He has done projects in Seoul, New York, Berlin, Sydney, and Zurich; in art museums including the Denver Art Museum, the Field Museum, and Mass MoCA; and at the international documenta14, Ars Electronica, Edinburgh International and Salzburg Festivals. Odland is founding director of the Tank Center for Sonic Arts in Rangely, Colorado.

Jan Johnsen: How to Place Five Rocks

Closeup of Art Installation by Soli Pierce and Bruce Odland
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