From The Journal of Music:
On the previous weekend in Paris, the composer Nick Roth was putting the finishing touches to a new work for string orchestra. The culmination of a three-month residency at the Centre Culturel Irlandais, as well as many months of research and correspondence prior to that, Woodland Heights is described by its composer as a study of forest canopy ecology.
Roth’s new work is a deep engagement with the patterns of a forest’s development. The form of the piece is mapped to 720 years in the life of a forest, where one crotchet in the score is equal to one year of ecological time. Each string of the orchestra corresponds to a species of tree: silver birch, laurel, holly, rowan, beech and oak. A seventh species, wild apple, is introduced by a viola solo.