The inspiration for this project came while searching for the ideal trees for our first treeharp project. We found many beautiful trees that were not ideal for installing strings directly. At the same time we began to discover  sutartines in the archives that we were unable to interpret directly from the field collected transcriptions.  We decided it was fitting to match these quirky sutartines with the the trees, which we thought of as orphans from the previous project.  In Finnic and Baltic culture, the term ‘orphan’ can have a deeper meaning, referring to a persons sense of isolation from nature or the community.  The sutartines we chose tell the story of leaving one’s home to start a family, yet never feeling accepted in this new place.

We had experimented with attachable tree harps that are fastened to trees with tie-down straps.  We decided to construct attachable harps whose shape was inspired by the trees that we had selected for the project.  The design of the harp was further influenced by the subject matter of the sutartine.  The first sutartine contains the call of the rooster.  Part of the tree that we found for it resembles the rooster’s comb, and in turn a harp we constructed for it also reflects this.  The second sutartine contains the image of ducks.  We found two trees leaning over the river, and the harps reflect ducks lying in repose as well.  We were pleased to hear ducks and roosters during our filming.

This project is supported by the Lithuanian Council for Culture.