The forest symphony

Chia is from Iraqi-Kurdistan. Here, Chia takes us with him on one of his loved hikes . . . to play a symphony to the forest. Chia is an incredibly talented (and humble) classical musician and is currently studying at a conservatory in Trieste, Italy. Chia speaks Kurdish, English and Italian.


Photos courtesy Chia.


THE birds took their place in the balcony. The squirrels filled the main hall, quietly eating acorns while waiting for the concert to start.  Finally, the leaves began to clap and I walked on the stage, bowing my best bow.

I was in the forest because I was tired of movies. When I see a film about the forest, the sea, or the desert we always want to be there.  So I thought, “What am I doing at a movie?”  Wouldn’t it be better just to go to the forest? But there is another reason for my concert. 

Many times my professor says, “Think about a huge place while you are playing! Pretend you are on the top of a mountain or at the shore of the ocean, or in a huge forest.”  So I said to myself, “If I play in my room and just imagine a forest I will keep playing as I have always played.  It is not enough,” I said.  “I will go to the forest!”

I wanted to leave the next morning, but the morning brought rain. So I waited until it stopped.  It was already 2pm. I put my double bass on my back and left. People were looking at me and asking, “Where are you going?!” They thought it was nice when they learned that someone will play to the trees.  There was the perfect tree waiting for me. It had arms like a music stand and lots of leaves (like an umbrella) to protect me from more rain.  I began with very slow, low music with which I sang softly.  It revealed to me the harmony of the forest.  Everything was in concord: the music, the trees, the whole forest.  A few people heard music and shyly came to listen, but they did not disturb me. I went to the forest to be alone, but the harmony brought them. I did not mind. 

The sound!  Oh, the sound!  The sound was huge!  All you do there comes alive. When I played a long bow, Oh, the sound!  It filled the forest. I was making this music, but somehow it was not me.  The rain joined, the wind came and joined its voice. A bird began to answer me.  I played and she answered.  I played again and she answered again.  More birds began to sing and it was all concord.  Everything was in concord.  It was an orchestra which God conducted, you see. There was no plan I had made for all this to happen. What I must practice was transformed to what I wanted to practice.  I played carefully because I didn’t want to disturb the harmony that was there.  I wanted to quietly be a part of it.  That is the magic of the forest. In the forest, you breathe.  You are bigger than you are in a small room. And in the forest there is no time. I played 2 hours as if it was 1 minute. —Chia

 ©InterestEng. July 2013  §  The stories in the magazine portion of the site are written by English language learners. Stories are corrected by a native English speaker.  § Photos are staff or used with permission.  §  To contact us: