a work arising out of a deep love and reverence for the woods — places of comfort and solace

Keir Neuringer’s Litanies of Trees

Combining our series of 2020 Diversions films with the release of our album Keir Neuringer’s Elegies & Litanies, we’re delighted to present the new film Litanies of Trees.

“Litanies of Trees (2019) was conceived as a companion piece to Elegies at the Border (2018). From the scene of the ruins evoked in Elegies I find myself, with my survivor guilt, still here. Litanies is a composition arising out of a deep love and reverence for the woods—places of comfort and solace to me—and the anxiety and sadness I experience living through the cataclysmic destruction of forests, biodiversity, and indigenous land throughout the world. Our dependence on trees is at once biological, cultural, civilizational, and personal. The enormity of the environmental decimation and collapse of our time greatly exceeds my ability to articulate it, but articulate it one must; whatever else this work is, it is also a note to my son and walking companion, Emiri, to whom the work is dedicated.

“Where Elegies is, for me, compositionally expansive in scope, Litanies was composed quickly and simply, as a proposal of a piece of music that was actualized in rehearsal with Ensemble Klang. It’s a simple canon, the length of which is determined by the performers as they play, and related in obvious and oblique ways to liturgical and performance litanies of the past.” (Keir Neuringer)

The film was made by Keir Neuringer, with support from Dag in de Branding Festival, where it premiered in their online edition on 25 October 2020.

Our 2020 Diversions are a series of online videos and recordings (replacing our regular live performances) made during the corona lockdown and socially-distanced year of 2020.