Audrey Nadeau, also known as Cello Bride, filmed a performance for “Big Lonely Doug”—the second-largest Douglas Fir in Canada. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Alberni Valley cellist gives old growth forests a voice through her music

‘Cello Bride’ performs for documentary amid giant trees

Audrey Nadeau, a classically-trained cello performer also known as “Cello Bride,” has embarked on a new project to bring a voice to the trees.

The Alberni Valley-based musician has started an artistic documentary called “Voicing the Forest” to draw attention to the old-growth rainforest of Vancouver Island—a project that she says has taken “a thousand hours of work” and thousands of dollars. The first video in her project involves a cello performance next to Big Lonely Doug, Canada’s second largest Douglas Fir tree. To depict the suffering of the nearby clearcut land, she even filmed a section where she plays naked behind her cello.

“It’s something I noticed that was present throughout the Island,” she said. “There is a lot of clear cutting happening and people are worried about it. I decided to do a statement with my art.”

RELATED: From Carnegie to the Alberni Valley, cellist finds a new path

The idea came to her “very naturally” as she started to become aware of the consequences of losing old-growth forest. Working alongside the BC Coalition for Forestry Reform, she has learned that old-growth forest provides a natural buffer for forest fires and also offers a unique habitat for many plants and animals. “They protect against drought, and they’re the best carbon buffer we have on earth,” she said. “It’s very serious.”

She believes that more people will listen to her message if it is presented in “a nice way.” So in the spring of this year, she travelled to Port Renfrew to meet Big Lonely Doug, climbed up onto a stump beside the enormous tree and started to perform “Celtic Passage,” written by David Eby. As the music began, she said, the clouds dispersed.

“It was like the hand of God just showed up,” she said.

The video on her YouTube page has received more than 5,000 views and garnered dozens of comments. Her endeavour is to raise awareness and, eventually, have protection for old-growth forests on the Island.

“People are coming by plane or across the globe to see those beautiful forests,” she said. “Hopefully they’ll be able to enjoy them for years to come.”

Nadeau herself was once one of these tourists, travelling all the way from New York to the west coast, where she eventually settled permanently.

“I realized that the scenery was quite broken,” she said. “This is really my way of making this issue heard. Obviously the locals know, but the rest of Canada should know. This is something that really needs to be voiced.

“The bare minimum was to play for the tree, even if nobody else heard it,” she added. “I believe that a small act, even if unseen or unheard, can have tremendous repercussions.”

Nadeau is attempting to diversify her career. She hosts performances across the Alberni Valley and the West Coast, offers music lessons and has even started recording her own music. Now, she is establishing herself as a YouTube artist, with some help from her boyfriend, who works in computer animation.

The next video in her project is even more complex, as she brought a piano to her forest performance.

Watch Cello Bride this summer at the Rollin Art Centre in the Alberni Valley. Cello Bride will be performing at Teas on the Terrace on Sunday, Aug. 18.



elena.rardon@albernivalleynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Uu a thluck Community Dinner hopes to feed 400 at Christmas in Port Alberni

Biennial dinner takes place on Dec. 25 at Alberni Athletic Hall

BUDGET 2020: Alberni’s animal shelter to assume broader social role, says SPCA

Nanaimo manager lays out new educational role to Port Alberni city council

Port Alberni author Shayne Morrow holds book signing

Morrow’s true crime book is featured at Salmonberry’s at Harbour Quay

Motorhome catches fire in Port Alberni mobile home park

Space heater left inside thought to be cause of fire

Aid a priority for idled Vancouver Island loggers, John Horgan says

Steelworkers, Western Forest Products returning to mediation

WATCH: Christmas kettle campaign volunteer gets musical in Port Alberni

Salvation Army hopes to raise $100K to help families hard hit by forestry strike

B.C. VIEWS: Hunger does not end with the season

Despite innovations in food distribution, the need is still there in B.C. communities

Sharks beat Canucks 4-2 to snap 6-game skid

Vancouver visits Vegas on Sunday

Fans sing Canadian anthem after sound system breaks at BMW IBSF World Cup

The Canadians in attendance made sure their team and flag were honoured on the podium

VIDEO: Fire destroys Big White Ski Resort chalet

Social media eulogies peg the property, nicknamed “The Pharamacy,” as both loved and hated

Prince George RCMP use bait packages to catch porch pirates over the holidays

First-in-Canada program with Amazon looks to combat parcel theft

Nanaimo mechanical engineer creates thief tracking program

Nanaimo Thief Tracking lets users plot and share information about thefts online

Mayor wants B.C. to institutionalize severely mental ill people who are homeless

Those suffering from mental health conditions, such as schizophrenia, need specialized care, mayor says

Most Read