Collecting climate music

One of the collections of Climate Museum UK is songs and compositions about climate change (and the wider planetary crisis).

It feels important to capture the musical response to the unfolding planetary emergency. The artists gathered in this list might be commissioned for new works. Researchers might use this collection to inform research on music & arts about the environment. These songs can provide solace or inspiration, or be sung in protests or performances.

In creative guide for the #RiseforClimate day of action (8th Sept ’18) Lu Aya of the Peace Poets has shared some ways that music can be used in movements for climate action and justice: Gathering, Grounding, Focus, Energising, De-escalation, Grieving, Bonding, Moving, Transitioning: Escalating, Accompanying, Channeling, Messaging, Transforming, Beauty, Rage, Love, Connectedness, Purpose, Closing.

In total, there are around 630 songs, and growing.

Most of the songs are on the following Spotify links:

The main playlist: Climate Change

Another playlist is Extinction and endangered species – which is also useful for Remembrance Day for Lost Species

Here are some general songs about the environment, ecology and planet Earth

Some songs inspired by the Dark Mountain Project, facing darker futures or collapse.

And in addition, songs about rain, about sun, about forests and trees, and about animals

Other things shared with me, not on Spotify, include:

The above playlist is of music produced by the duo ‘Decades After Paris’ in chronological order of the place each song has in the story. The 2015 album tells a story of our future with climate change, starting at the NYC People’s Climate March in 2014. Subsequent releases contribute to this story, at different parts of the timeline. The latest piece, Apocalypse Sky was a response to forest fires in 2017.

Composer Jonathan Dove, who went on Cape Farewell’s expedition to West-Greenland in 2008, launched a work named Gaia Theory for a symphony orchestra which was premiered during the BBC Proms 2014. Inspired by the work of James Lovelock and continuing Dove’s concern to address environmental issues in his music, Gaia Theory takes as its starting point Lovelock’s idea that the Earth behaves as a self-regulating organism, and his description of all the inter-related processes maintaining the earth in the optimum conditions for life as a kind of dance.

Aslak Grinsted is a climate scientist who makes music when he’s on location in Greenland doing his research.

You can see the Twitter thread where people shared many suggestions here.

Comment on this post or email on climatemuseumuk@gmail.com if you’d like to add a track to the collection.

 

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