A central program of S(tree)twork is the Drum Corp, an emergent working group made up of woodworkers, drummers and artists.

On an annual basis the S(tree)twork Drum Corp recuperates trees that have fallen (due to age, disease or lightning storm) in Awbury Arboretum and sculpts them into percussive instruments to summon Philadelphia’s future forest.

This growing suite of instruments are played at Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s (PHS) bi-annual, city-wide Tree Tender tree plantings and at block parties, and other Philadelphia festivals throughout the year.

The S(tree)twork Lightning House hosts the annual instrument making workshops. If you are interested in making or playing drums, please contact us at [email protected]

In the first year of the S(tree)twork project, S(tree)twork collaborators were inspired by Sun Ra Arkestra drummer James Jacson’s Ancient Infinity Lightning Wood Drum made from a tree that was hit by lightning across from the Arkestra’s home on Morton Street in Germantown.

A series of Infinity* Slit Drums were made based on a form of percussion instrument used by many cultures throughout the world to communicate across time and space as well as for musical performances. As the name suggests, drum makers create the instrument’s resonant chamber by carving a long thin slit in the center of a hollowed tree trunk.

Infinity Slit Drums were played during the Summoning of the Future Forest with the Sun Ra Arkestra event.. The hollow vessels were called upon to welcome the coming forest–to awaken seeds, to propagate new life, and to inspire our collective imaginations.


Please note that Awbury Arboretum has two main sections divided by Washington Lane. The S(tree)twork structure will be built on the ruin of a former barn located in the Farm at Awbury portion. The site is located near Washington Lane. If you are arriving via car, the best location for parking is on Ardleigh Street.