Apple Tree Orchestra at the Heathrow Haystack

First Blossom of 2015
First Blossom of 2015

Haystacks is a series of events organised by artist Kathrin Böhm. Exploring our relationships with the rural and the urban. In the next of these events Kate Corder will be conducting a tour of orchards near Heathrow airport and has kindly invited the apple tree orchestra to be a part of this event.


Heathrow Apple Blossom Walk
with Kate Corder
Sunday 27 April, 2-5pm

The next Haystack takes the form of a tour to various orchards and apple related sites around London’s Heathrow area.

Kate Corder is interested in the Thames Valley Corridor as a former apple tree orchard cultivation area, which included Heathrow prior to the building of the airport. It is still undecided if or when a Third Runway will be built at Heathrow. Kate will direct a walk searching for apple tree blossom along one of the potential runway sites in the public domain. The walk will meet at Transition Heathrow, a squat in an old market garden at the village of Sipson, then walk to Harmondsworth to visit the grave of Richard Cox, who grew the first Cox’s Orange Pippen apple. The walk will continue to the Sheraton Hotel at Heathrow, where the managers planted an orchard, and the Haystack ends with drinks at the Discovery Bar.

Kate Corder is bringing a bag full of apple stories and histories to have along our tour – hopefully just in time for apple blossom.

Our first meeting point is at West Drayton train station (TFL zone 6) at 1.30pm (trains from Paddington take 20 minutes), there we will get the 222 bus (towards Hounslow) to Sipson. If you are coming on the Underground meet us at Grow Heathrow in Sipson Village at 2pm. (Take the Piccadilly Line to Hounslow West and then take Bus 222 toward Uxbridge and get off at Sipson Close). Grow Heathrow is a minute walk away from the bus stop, turn right onto Sipson Lane and left onto Vineries Close, where you will find the entrance.

Grow Heathrow is the market garden set up by Transition Heathrow. Here Kate is going to introduce the site and apple history followed by an I Phone screening of artist Tom Ingate’s “Apple Tree Ochestra” performance.

From there we’ll be walking to Harmondsworth (1.1miles), passing the former Greenpeace Airplot. Artist Jo Thomas will be remembering the apples trees planted and twinned in support of Greenpeace Airplot.

In Harmondsworth we will go to St Mary’s church and visit Richard Cox’s grave in the churchyard. Here, Kate will read a short essay on Richard Cox and apples.

We will then walk to the Sheraton Hotel Heathrow for a drink at the Discovery Bar, and visit the orchard planted by managers two years ago in the hotel garden.
From there we take a bus back (U3 and 350) back to West Drayton or Heathrow tube.

Addresses along the way:

Transition Heathrow, Grow Heathrow, Vineries Close, Sipson, West Drayton, UB7 0JH
Richard Cox’s grave, St Marys, High Street, Harmondsworth, UB7 OAQ
Sheraton Hotel Heathrow, Colnbrook By-Pass, Harmondsworth, West Drayton UB7 0HJ

Kate Corder is an artist, researcher, curator of Cultivation Field and her recent PhD explores allotments, plant material and land cultivation.

Haystacks are a series of informal meetings to talk about rural links and rural realities, organised by Kathrin Böhm /

Memories of Environmental Utterance 2012

Red Admiral on a fermenting apple in Tremough Orchard © Tom Ingate

Unfortunately my apples have taken a backseat of late and are rather neglected. I’ve been busy with photographs and teaching but if I don’t post a review of the incredible Environmental Utterance conference soon there will be brambles everywhere and no chance of retrieving a single memory.

I must admit I started the weekend with some trepidation. Not fully engaging with the what an Utterance is or could be. The family were off to Devon for the weekend and I was left to fend for myself at something that I really wasn’t so sure about. I was also worried about the weather. It was forecast as rain and drizzle all weekend and musicians, violins and cellos don’t like getting rained on. But as I arrived on the Saturday morning the sun broke and the conference kicked off with the usual coffee and biscuits.
In the opening address we were informed that this conference hoped to be different from the usual PowerPoint driven events that performers, poets, artists and musicians feel stifled in. Having not been to many conferences or symposia I didn’t have any expectations based on previous experience but I was pleased i wouldn’t be spending my time sitting down feigning interest in a relentless two day death by power point. The venues of the presentations, talks and performances gave a clue to space that this ‘utterance’ would emerge from. The Sound Studio, The Orchard, The Walled Garden, The Italianate Garden and the Performance Studios. Even the board room which was the base for the whole event softened as the weekend went on, the wood paneling emitting more of its wood qualities than austere decoration.

Oral/Response by Angela Bartram & Mary O’Neill © Tom Ingate

The speakers were passionate the discussion lively and revealing. Highlights for me were, Oral/Response, The Living Figurine by Lula Buzz, poetry by Paula Claire, The Secrets Garden by Lucy Frears & Ian Biscoe, a key note about listening by Antti Saario and generally getting to meet some very interesting people throughout the weekend.
As luck would have it the weather deteriorated on the second day. The cloud layer descended and by the time the musicians arrived, drizzle swirled the orchard. It wasn’t looking good. The rain drove the musicians inside for rehearsal while I introduced the orchestra to the gathered few around the dripping trees. By the time we moved indoors the musicians had set up in the 3D CAVE of the secrets garden, partly serendipitous partly the quick thinking of Lucy Frears & Ian Biscoe. The final effect was really quite incredible, completely unplanned.

The Apple Tree Orchestra playing music written by apple trees in a projection of the orchard. © Kate Corder
The shapes of the audience merging with the projection. © Kate Corder

Thanks to Kate for taking the images, I was so relieved it was all working I completely forgot to take any. I had planned on doing a performance like this in a couple of years. This event has really developed my understanding of how an environment can utter.
Many thanks to the organisers Camilla Nelson, Jeanie Sinclair, Natalia Eernstman and the Articulating Space Research Group Dr Misha Myers and Dr Simon Persigetti

Three Seasons for Cultivation Field 2012

Recorded in the walled orchard at Tremough.

Three Seasons from left to right. Tom Sharpe – Double Bass, Kath Williams – Cello, Cally Gibson – Viola, Eva Cooney – Violin Sarah Claman – Violin, Emma Barber – Clarinet

With thanks to

Maisie Thomas-Ayde – Sound recording

Sam Jones – Camera operator and sound

Chris Brown – Camera operator /Editor

Stuart Cottle – Camera operator / Dop

sample of the score
sample of the score


2012 will be a poor crop of apples

It’s going to be a quiet year, my trees have been hit by the warm March and cold April. Any blossoms left on trees after the storms were abandoned by the bugs who were too cold to come out and pollinate. After the relatively noisy success of 2011 I only have 17 apples on my six trees. All of which are getting nice and fat with ample space to grow on the branches, therefore no ‘June drop’.

Lord Derby Cookers © Tom Ingate

Maybe this year the trees will beat their 43 days of silence.

From a humble little apple

This evening I’ve had the greatest loveliest experience. Sitting in an old walled orchard watching the first performance of three seasons. An amazing experience to see something that has been in my head for so many years being performed in front of me. Slightly out of body and very pleasant.

My sincerest thanks to everyone involved, musicians, film and sound people, cello & chair carriers alike. I hope no one suffers from too many insect bites.

Really looking forward to seeing the finished video but in the mean time here are a few stills from this evening.

Three seasons will be played at the Cultivation Field Exhibition in Reading throughout June so pop along and see what’s going on. I’ll post a copy of the piece here after the exhibition.

Call for Musicians

The Apple Tree Orchestra has been invited to the Cultivation Field Exhibition at Reading University in June this year. Very very exciting but I now need an ensemble to interpret and perform the score.

Preferably 5-10 musicians, strings, woodwind and flute. Three rehearsals should do it and then a recorded performance in a very old walled orchard. There might be some more performances later in the year but they’re not confirmed yet.

So any local musicians interested in a collaborative interpretation of music written by trees then you know where to come.

And for everyone else watch this space for the recorded performance.

Call for Papers; Environmental Utterance 1st-2nd September 2012

Call for Papers

University College Falmouth inc. Dartington College of Arts

invites you to


 1st-2nd September 2012 


Deadline for applications: 31st March 2012