Temple of Flora, or An Observer’s Guide to the Garden

12.05.2016 - ???

Parcours audio pour le Jardin Botanique de Montréal
Durée : 30 minutes
Université Concordia, Montréal


Audio walk for the Jardin Botanique de Montréal
Duration : 30 minutes
Concordia University, Montreal

“In the early hours of the morning the river’s face was covered with a dense white mist
...the sky began to get a first flush of rose and gold, the mists lifted like a gossamer curtain,
and the chill humidity gave way to the burning heat of day.”

Margaret Mee, Flowers of the Amazon

The Temple of Flora is a soundtrack to the greenhouse complex of Montreal's Botanical garden. Still a work-in-progress, the piece features soft music and a narrator's voice, meant to accompany the visitor in his discovery of what is visible - and invisible - around him. It weaves around the sights, smells and textures of the garden the story of a magician's journey in the rainforest and his alchemical attempts to metamorphose into a flower. Bridging the scientific and the poetic, Temple of Flora lulls the visitor in a space suspended between what is heard and what is seen, where observation leads to transformation.

"My aim here is double : to curate a space and give narration a place. That is, to organize the way we observe, while at the same time playing with how we listen, and how both senses are superposed. I’m attentive to the voicing of writing, in adding to existing space, and in highlighting what is present. I believe words are beautiful : they are simple little puffs of air shaped to look like something else. This temple of flora is one of silent, slow growth. There, I walk slowly, looking at a particular bloom for several minutes. I experience with the plants something strong that transports me inside and outside, in a way that is otherwordly and barely distinguishable. Something of a spell, really."


To Experience Temple of Flora

You will need to have the piece with you beforehand on your cellphone, iPod or other mp3 player. Also bring a pair of headphones. The files for the walk are available here.

Zip Archive

Temple of Flora.zip

Separate files

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7

Download them and put them on your audio device.

If the device is one made by Apple, you can do this via iTunes. Simply download the files and import them in iTunes, using the dropdown menu File, then clicking on Add to Library. You can then select them in iTunes and slide them in your plugged-in iPod, iPhone or iPad, by click-and-dragging them to the left of the iTunes window. If you have a device that is not iTunes-compatible, please refer to your device’s manual for the actual procedure. This usually involves plugging your device into your computer, which makes the device appear as a disk on screen, and from there you can drag the files into the disk for your own enjoyment. If you have any problems loading the files on your device, please write to me and I will assist you in the best way I can. If you have succeeded in putting the files on your audio device, make sure they work and then head to the Botanical Garden!

Temple of Flora is meant to be experienced on-site, at Montreal's Botanical Garden.

The botanical garden is on the corner of Pie-IX and Sherbrooke E, just north of the Pie-IX metro station.If you’re going by metro, the Pie-IX station is on the Green line. If going on foot, by bicycle or by car, be careful, the easiest way in is through the side entrance, on Sherbrooke east of Pie-IX. The entrance hall is located across the parking lot, near the greenhouse complex.

Please note : If you're in a remote area, out of the contry or on the moon for what I know, please DO listen to the piece still, as I have discovered that it works quite well in other contexts as well!

Here is a map to guide you.