Where Now A Dark Wood Stands

by Alexander Chapman Campbell - composer and pianist in Inverness, Highland Council, United Kingdom

We did it
On 21st April 2023 we successfully raised £8,750 with 67 supporters in 32 days

Join me to create a music video about Scotland's journey from monoculture timber plantations to more diverse landscapes

by Alexander Chapman Campbell - composer and pianist in Inverness, Highland Council, United Kingdom

 New stretch target

Any money raised via a stretch target will go towards photography and marketing to help bring this video to more people. 


!Pledging - Please Read!

Creative Scotland are doubling one donation per donor for this project. Please note - only your first pledge will be matched. 

If you choose a reward, but would kindly like to donate extra money then please add it into your total as an "additional donation" before paying for your reward. Similarly, if you'd like more than 1 reward, please pay for the highest price first.

Unsure what to1679253344_screen_shot_2023-03-19_at_19.05.21.jpg do? 1) Click "Select Reward" 2) If you wish - on the right hand side of the next page, edit the amount in "additional donation". Thank you!


The project involves taking a piano into a timber plantation. The performance of a new composition will be filmed by expert film-maker Hugh Carswell. The film will combine music and words written by myself, and the poem will be read by the brilliant Scottish folk musician, Julie Fowlis.

So why am I doing this? I have always been fascinated by the relationship between humans and nature. At the heart of nature lies complexity, abundance and beauty; thre1679251852_th-2.jpge qualities that are missing within hundreds of thousands of acres of UK timber plantations. It is most evident in Scotland, where around 16% of the landmass is covered in what is termed 'non-native' tree species (with only 4% being 'native'). The majority of these forests are managed in a way that produces a maximum output of timber. The result is a dense mass of identical trees that are capable of supporting very little life. They are 'clear felled' across huge areas, scarring the landscape, compromising soil health and even increasing the risk of disease for the next generation of trees. I find they are often depressing places to be, and I see them as an uncomfortable example of how we take what we need from nature without giving much back. Wood is a valuable resource, and forests can be grown and managed in ways that not only produce timber, but also builds health, beauty and diversity, rather than taking it away.

Things are improving, but my concern is that it's very slow. In a time when we recognise the desperate need for biodiversity, and in spite of known and healthier alternatives (as practised in European and Scandinavian countries) these monocultures are still being planted on a vast scale; old ones are being largely replaced with much of the same, and open hillsides are still being drained and planted with endless tightly packed rows of spruce trees.

I want to bring music in1679251962_th_16.43.55.jpgto the heart of these woods, to talk about them in a way that only music can. Combined with poetry and expert film-making, I hope to raise awareness of this issue in a unique and powerful way. Ultimately I want the film to express hope - in recent years there has been an explosion of projects seeking to restore biodiversity to Scotland, and I do believe that the tide has turned against these monocultures, and that...

One day,

A place of light and life

Will be

Where now a dark wood stands.

Please pledge your support and help us to tell this story.

Who will be joining me in this project?

Hugh Carswell: I am delighted to be working once again with Hugh, who created my video for Song of the Evening. As well as being a musician himself, Hugh is an intuitive and extremely talented film-maker, and is wonderful at telling stories through images. He has made countless films over the years, working more recently with the Scottish String Ensemble and international trumpeter star Alison Balsom. 

Julie Fowlis: Julie is a multi-award winning singer whose music is deeply influenced by the Hebridean islands where she grew up and by the Highland landscapes where she now resides. A winner of ‘Folk Singer of the Year’ at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, Julie has graced stages around the world, from village halls in the Highlands to Carnegie Hall in New York. Julie will be the voice behind the poem that will be woven in-between the music. 

How we’ll spend the money raised

The funds will go towards:

  • Recording the newly composed piano music in a studio
  • Shooting and editing the film
  • Transporting an upright piano to and from a plantation wood. 

About Alexander

1679151148_alexander_chapman_campbell_copy.jpgTen years into his career, Alexander's music has become well known within the UK and beyond. Described as a 'glimpse of something new', his work has been aired on BBC Radio 2, Radio 3, Radio 4 and ClassicFM, and has been used extensively across TV. Born into a family of artists, Alexander grew up in rural Scotland and now lives and composes in the North-East Highlands.


For all enquiries, please contact: [email protected]


This project offers rewards in return for your donation. Please select a reward below.

£50 or more

"Behind the Scenes", Download Single & Your Name

A video diary, pre-release download of the music and your name in the film credits! (If you'd rather your name not appear, please get in touch). Wonder how on earth we will get a piano into a plantation forest? Curious about Alexander's inspiration and composition methods? With this reward you will be sent a sneak preview of behind the scenes footage of the making of the film, before it is released.

£20 or more

Pre-release Download & Name on the Film Credits

You will receive a pre-release download of the single which Alexander will create for the film. Also, your name will appear as a thank you on the film credits (if you'd rather your name not appear, please get in touch).

£100 or more

9 of 10 claimed

Signed Artwork Print & Poem (plus above reward)

A mounted print of the artwork for the single - painted by Alexander's brother, Edward, along with an extract from the poem used for the film. Signed by Alexander, Edward & Julie. The ink and paints used for the artwork will be created using plant materials foraged locally by Edward. This reward includes the previous £50 reward (download, video diary & name in credits).

£250 or more

1 of 5 claimed

Hand Written Score

A beautiful hand written score of the music, created and signed by Alexander. This reward includes the previous £50 reward (download, video diary & name in credits).

£500 or more

0 of 5 claimed

Your own Concert

Have a piano at home, in your local village hall or school? Invite some guests or club together with your community and have your very own intimate concert. (This price covers travel and accommodation within the UK - for an overseas venture, please contact Alexander first to discuss.) This reward includes the previous £50 reward (download, video diary & name in credits).

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