“The Trees Community was a musical group as well as a community. We started out as disparate individuals who were just looking for the truth. In the summer of 1970 we stumbled upon a semi-abandoned loft in New York City with no locked door and through it, entered a collective life in the service of God. The language of our service was original music played on 80 instruments from around the world.
The early music was powerful, intricately beautiful and inspiring. Sometimes it was as if thousands of voices were joining and pouring through our own, like several Mellotrons being played at once in different keys, the music liquid, dynamic, ever changing. One night we might travel along a hot, dusty road in Ancient Egypt, with the sounds of donkey’s hooves and clanging pots. Another night we were adrift in a foggy sea, the boat groaning and creaking and a distant bell tolling. We were part of a living, breathing unrehearsed story — a symphony. God handed us each separate parts yet no one knew the script. Eventually the music evolved, but never traveled far from these mystic roots.
In the spring of 1971 we embarked on a pilgrimage without a destination. Our journey was so named because we had no itinerary, traveling from place to place by pure faith. We lived in a converted school bus and traveled extensively for seven years throughout the U.S. and Canada. We visited many churches and fellowships including Trappist, Benedictine, Franciscan and Paulist monastic communities, evangelical and social outreach groups of every denomination, a Hutterite farming collective, and eventually returned to New York City to the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in NYC, where we became a community in residence. We continuously learned from every group and person we met, sharing our lives, slowly building a musical expression of the gift of faith we had been given.
The Music on this CD set is both the audible manifestation and remnant of who we were as a musical community. As we evolved so did our sound, culminating in a musical mediation called ‘The Christ Tree’. This meditation was enacted live during many prayer services and concerts, with several recordings including a studio recording on a vinyl LP in 1975. This CD release includes what was on this recording as well as additional music and other material from our shared experiences. This endeavor captures some of the magic and mystery of the time, and our hope is that there is more to be re-created in the heart of the listener.” – The Trees Community, 2005
The Hand/Eye version of “The Christ Tree” is the ONLY official version, licensed from and approved by The Trees themselves.
8 panel digipak reissue with notes on the creation of the Trees, musical influences, and commentary on the individual tracks.