Kat Five – Sylva 247 (self-released)

Kat Five – Sylva 247 (self-released)

Written for The Lone Women Wood in Flashes of Wilderness collaborative sound installation in Galloway Forest Kat Five’s Sylva247 is a meditation on the relationship with the forests.

Kat FiveArtist: Kat Five
Track: Sylva 247
Label: self released
Released: 1 October 2021
Find it: Bandcamp

In fairy tales the forest is a space of danger, but one of opportunity. Fearsome creatures dwell there, what you find among the trees and thorns will be outside of your normal lived experience.

Women that go there alone – even when they slip under the woodland canopy in hope of refuge – are seen as rebels, and subversives. They are wild. They are too much, or too little, or upsetting the way of things with their very being. They are themselves afeared. They must be tamed or taught.

When you go to the forest you go in desperation, or in ignorance, or to willingly push beyond the limits set on your world and your movement through it. You find yourself (and find your self) in this liminal and transformative place.

Outside of the story not going to the woods alone, not going out after dark, are still the ways we’re taught not to invite the violence and the violation on us. The Lone Women project – a collaborative sound installation in Galloway Forest as part of Sanctuary Lab – asks the question of women ‘how do you feel about going into the woods alone?’. Would you? Would you never?

An ephemeral piece available for 24 hours, where contributions played at random from 17 trees on the edge of the Dark Sky Park, there are glimpses of  ‘desire, calm, joy, fear, myth, reality, hopes’. Women’s voices are heard alone, and together, and without interruption.

Electronic artist Kat Five‘s contribution comes in the form of Sylva 247, a meditation of electronica and field recordings exploring the ‘bittersweet relationship with the forest’.

‘But is it nature is it man / What are the tales of wooded land / The poor lost souls found too late / That’s all we hear it’s about their fate’

The track is one answer to the question ‘if trees were lone women what would they sound like’ and in that exploration of relationship with the forest, set against electronica and field recordings, the perceived and real threat of the forest in the story of women is surfaced. Fear keeps us from the forest, separates us from nature because of what the setting might better enable the harassment, abuse, and assault which happens everywhere anyway. Sylva 247 is a lament for what is lost to us through trying to stay safe, a quietly seething anger that we have to think and act that way still.

Those fairy tales, those modern warnings, are all here. They are in the rustling leaves and tapping percussion, the sense of wonder at the dappled light on cushioned paths of fallen leaves is here, so too the darting shadows and heightened senses, and the worst case scenario which plays internally generated by and as a distraction from the space around you.

While it may have been created to be heard in the particular setting of Lone Women Wood the track loses none of its power from being heard elsewhere. It does not scream, it does not shout, but holds its power in vulnerability as once again Kat Five shows her prowess as a creator of experimental electronica, blending the primal with the cerebral.

Sylva247 by Kat Five is out digitally now. It was part of The Lone Women Wood in Flashes of Wilderness collaborative sound installation in Galloway Forest on 25 and 26 September 2021 – find out more about the installation here.

Find Kat Five: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Spotify | Bandcamp

Read our review of Misled Convoy x Kat Five single Apply The Pressure here or Kat Five single Switch here.

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Sarah Lay

Sarah Lay is editor of Popoptica.
A long-standing music journalist she's also co-founder of independent record label Reckless Yes, an author of novels, and when not messing around with words and music, a digital strategist.
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