This piece of wood is connected to the heart of the "Bohemie Alps" near Vining, Iowa. I used the wood to create a sound capsule for the landscape of this region, which inspired Czech settlers to begin their life in the 'new world'.
Over the next few months, I will collect field recordings around farms and along the Turkey River. These recordings will become one of my sound compositions along with being part of a sound archive at the National Czech & Slovak Museum and Library. This wood piece will be used in the project's exhibition to present a different format in the way we might think about our soundscape - how does it impact us or in this case, how did it impact Czech settlers?
The Czech composer Dvorak was often seen sitting along the Turkey River near Spillville; writing about the sounds he heard and conversations with other Czech settlers about their experiences in the 'new world'. Iowa's landscape and bird sounds were a great inspiration for his compositions such as String Quartet in F Major and String Quartet in E Flat - much controversy surrounds whether or not it was his stay in Iowa that Dvorak created all or some of the famous "New World" symphony. Either way, Dvorak felt at home in Iowa - his spouts of homesickness were quickly cured when he visited other Czech communities across Iowa.
If you have any field recordings or would like to take part in the project, please contact me: email@example.com - I'm looking for more farms to document along with any personal stories about Czech heritage.
artist-teacher/heirloom caretaker/community organizer