Artist David Gollins, who “speaks with trees”, seeks public votes to spread deforestation message on world music stage

The composer’s beautiful ‘The Tree of Life’ work – which combines poetry, music and theatre – is his most important yet and needs support to reach the final of the Worldvision Composers Contest


Britain’s representative at the prestigious Worldvision Composers Contest – multi-talented musician, poet and painter David Gollins – is looking to gain hundreds of votes to reach the final of the competition and put his most important work on a global platform. 
David – an admired figure in the art world having founded the Watermill Theatre and worked with the English National Opera – has entered the international online competition for contemporary classical composers with his orchestral narrative piece The Tree of Life

A beautiful, haunting and allegorical work, The Tree of Life is musical poetry that symbolises the very real and serious world problem of deforestation in the time of modern consumer activity.

Inspired by Andrea Roggi’s iconic bronze sculptures of the same name, The Tree of Life projects a message that’s close to David’s heart, as the composer raises funds for educational and environmental charity The Ernest Cook Trust (any donations from The Tree of Life will go towards a proposed painting competition for the planting of trees). 

The Tree of Life has been put together in a more traditional way than other entries – using a score handwritten with pen and paper. The piece also eschews electronic combinations in favour of a less mechanical – but more melancholic – orchestral piece with elements of jazz. 

The Tree of Life has already reached the Worldvision Composers Contest semi-finals – and with enough support David can move into the final round in Vienna where the piece will be played by a real orchestra in front of a row of judges. 

David stated: “I’ve worked as a painter, poet and musician in my life, and The Tree of Life brings all three of these things together. 

“Using spoken poetic lines illustrated with music and images, the composition is an allegory for the tree and what happens to the world if we destroy them – sending a strong message without being preachy.

“I saw this competition as a chance to do something quite serious – focusing on a theme I feel very seriously about. 

“When man lived thousands of years ago, he spoke with trees and nature – with his surroundings functioning as a symbol of life. Over time, man destroyed the tree to make a mass produced version for profit, and although he made a “better” tree, the nature of the world itself died around him, and everything is too late to go back. 

The Tree of Life explores this through a classical composition, using the licence of poetry to convey additional meaning.” 

The composer added: “I am so grateful for the chance to express my heartfelt concern for the environment, and for the delicate finite world we all live in, through the Worldvision Composers Contest. 

“I am also extremely grateful to voters for helping me get this far – as well as My Sheet Music Transcriptions for their fabulous digital engravings of the score, and Globegig Media Blackpool for creating the graphics and putting this presentation together. Thanks also to PrintBlackpool for their contribution.

“I hope this work can survive and move onto the next stage of the competition where it can get more exposure and recognition. 

“It could become a rather important thing that I have done for the world.”

Public voting ends at midnight 15 March 2022 Central European Time (CET). 

900 votes are required to progress to the next round. 

About David Gollins

David Gollins studied classical composition at the Royal College of Music in London, later comprising various pieces of incidental theatre music as well as designing and directing. 

He built and founded the Watermill Theatre, a small country theatre near Newbury, which survives to this day as a professional venue. 

From the 1980s, David was on the production staff of the English National Opera and composed various musical projects, moving around the world to exhibit in Italy, Germany and America. 

David returned to Britain in 2019, where he now lives and composes. He is a proud associate of a proposed National Schools painting competition for the planting of trees, funded by The Ernest Cook Trust, called The Tree of Life Competition.

David’s The Tree of Life composition has advanced to the semi-finals of the Worldvision Composers Contest – representing the United Kingdom on the global stage. 

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David Gollins

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