Spotlight on the people behind The ClimateMusic Project

OUR TEAM IS MADE UP OF HIGHLY DIVERSE, CREATIVE, TALENTED, AND ENERGETIC INDIVIDUALS LIKE SARA CHUN, OUR DIRECTOR FOR PARTNERSHIPS. 

An environmental scientist by training, Sara has worked in Washington, D.C. as a Science & Technology Policy Fellow sponsored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.  At the U.S. Department of State, she managed the environment, science, technology, and health portfolio in the Office of Chinese and Mongolian Affairs. With the U.S. National Science Foundation, she catalyzed new frontiers of science research specifically around biodiversity.  Sara holds a Ph.D. in ecology from Duke University's Nicholas School of the Environment and a B.A. in biology from Harvard University.

1.     What’s your role at The ClimateMusic Project?

Currently, I am Director of Partnerships, and I try to broaden and enhance The ClimateMusic Project’s network and visibility in the most strategic way—by forging connections to relevant organizations or people working in science, the environment, public policy, non-profits, government, etc.  However, I really see myself as a “Jane of all trades.”  Like most of the CMP staff, I try to do whatever is needed of me!

2.     How did you become involved?

I have been fortunate to witness the evolution of The ClimateMusic Project almost since its inception when Stephan Crawford (founder) came up with this brilliant, but as yet untested idea of representing climate data and our changing climate system through music.  I attended a few workshops where he was developing a proof of concept for the idea.  That was back in early 2014, I believe.  Since then, I have been lucky to attend the concert premier in fall 2015 and subsequent performances.  As an environmental scientist, I thought, “This is so cool!  How can I not get involved?”

3.     What do you think this collaboration between scientists and artists can achieve?

I am a firm believer in the STEM to STEAM movement, which is a campaign to incorporate Art (and Design) amongst the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields.  The ClimateMusic Project is the perfect example of artists and scientists teaming up to create something bigger and more profound than what would come out of each discipline alone.  Ultimately, I believe “climate music”—that is driven by the science—has the ability to convey how our climate is changing in a visceral and emotional way compared to just a standard lecture.  By taking this “hearts and minds” approach, hopefully our audiences leave our concerts with a call to action!

4.     What’s your favorite kind of music, and whom would you like to see CMP collaborate with?

I have a pretty diverse taste in music and enjoy alternative, classic rock, grunge, jazz, and folk, to name a few.  U2 and Bruce Springsteen are on my wish list for top CMP collaborators!

5.     What advice would you give to someone who is looking to get involved in the fight against climate change?

I would say that no action is too small and don’t get discouraged!  There is so much you can do on a local and personal level.  Get involved civically and vote.  Make small changes in your personal lifestyle like visiting local farmers markets, taking public transportation, re-considering your energy choices.  Especially now, not all change will happen at the national (or international) level.  We all must be our own agents for positive change when it comes to combating climate change.

Spring update

It has been a busy couple of months here at The ClimateMusic Project.  We just completed a very successful series of impactful performances around the Bay Area, which included our first university campus shows.  We were also able to test out new visuals, including much enhanced data visualizations, courtesy of our friends at FXPAL (www.fxpal.com) and Kineviz (www.kineviz.com). We also premiered a powerful new dance collaboration with Kinetech Arts                        ( http://www.kine-tech.org/).  Over the summer we’ll be focusing on taking The ClimateMusic Project into its next phase with the development of exciting new capabilities and content!  We’ll back in the fall with a new line-up of amazing live shows and new ways to access our music…stay tuned!

Spotlight on the people behind The ClimateMusic Project

Our team is made up of highly diverse, creative, talented, and energetic individuals…and it also spans several generations!  We’re starting off this feature with a profile of our youngest member, Riti HeGDe.

What's your role on the project?

I am the social media manager for this project. I post regular content on our Facebook (The ClimateMusic Project) and Twitter (@climatemusic). My role is to post engaging content and interact with any brands, venues, and attract future ClimateMusic lovers. 

 Why did you become involved?

Over the summer, I wanted to reach out to professionals in industries I am interested in. I've always had an interest in both environmental activism and music, so I reached out, and I've been on board since last summer!

Here is a photo of something that inspires me to want to advocate for action on climate change.  This is a photo of a lake outside my grandfather's house in India. Even though cities will continue to grow, I want there to be these rural sights that people can enjoy 100 years from today.

 

 What do you think this collaboration between scientists and artists can achieve?

It is really hard to make climate change, a seemingly removed issue from most peoples' lives, seem like something relevant to them. For instance, if they are simply bombarded with facts and figures about the ice caps melting, that is not enough for people to feel they have a stake in this issue. Music allows us to reach out to all kinds of people, and attach some emotion to these seemingly cold statistics. I think The ClimateMusic Project is so valuable in the digital age because our work has the potential to reach anyone on the globe.

 What's your favorite kind of music and whom would you like to see CMP collaborate with next?

My music taste is very broad. The genres I enjoy most include: r&b, rap, country, Bollywood, swing, pop, etc. Dream collaborator for CMP? I would say Bob Dylan.

 What advice would you give someone who is looking to get involved in the fight against climate change?

My advice is plain and simple: get started! There are so many opportunities for you to make a difference. Start by doing a simple Google search of "How can I get more involved with climate change?" In my experience, people will be extremely receptive to passionate, proactive individuals who reach out to them to get involved. 

 

 

Announcing a powerful new collaboration!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The ClimateMusic Project and Kinetech Arts Announce Their Partnership to Develop Multimedia Performances to Highlight the Issue of Climate Change

SAN FRANCISCO -- Mar. 28, 2017 -- The ClimateMusic Project and Kinetech Arts, in association with FXPAL, announce their creative partnership to leverage the emotional power of music and art, guided by science, to tell the story of climate change. Their first collaboration is based on the original musical composition, “Climate,” by the ClimateMusic Project’s Erik Ian Walker and will debut April 28, 2017 at the NOHspace in San Francisco on the same weekend as the People’s Climate March. Long-term, the collaboration will deliver music and dance performances accompanied by visual features designed to educate diverse audiences about the urgency of action on climate change and to inspire public engagement. Live performances will include the video and design of Tony Dunnigan, interactive technology by Weidong Yang and choreography and dance by Daiane Lopes da Sliva.

“Climate” -- guided by the best available and widely recognized scientific data -- tells the story of climate change over five centuries (1800 – 2300 AD) to highlight humanity’s effect on the planet and the projected future impacts with and without global intervention to reduce carbon emissions.

“Our collaboration provides an exciting opportunity to engage audiences viscerally by adding visual features and other technical enhancements to our original musical performances,” said the ClimateMusic Project’s founder Stephan Crawford. Composer Erik Ian Walker added, “I was thrilled to have the opportunity to collaborate with world-renowned climate scientists, Dr. William Collins and Dr. Andrew Jones, from the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, and technical experts from Kinetech Arts and FXPAL. This science and arts partnership allows us to present the issue of climate change to audiences that might better understand its impacts when expressed through music accompanied by visual elements.”

About The ClimateMusic Project

The ClimateMusic Project is a San Francisco-based arts and science collaboration that works to create and perform original music guided by climate data, to educate and communicate the impact that human activities are having on our climate over time. Our work is made possible through close collaboration between leading scientists and artists. We are currently performing “Climate” by Erik Ian Walker and plan to expand our repertoire to include pieces in other musical genres. For more information about The ClimateMusic Project, please see: http://www.theclimatemusicproject.org/

About Kinetech Arts

Kinetech Arts creates performances that combine dancers and scientists with the newest interactive technology, to create unique and beautiful experiences. Kinetech Arts has performed at ODC theatre, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, KUNST-STOFF arts, L.A.S.T festival,

Headlands Center for the Arts, Djerassi, De Young Museum, among others. Kinetech Arts was recognized by the SF WEEKLY as the “Best Genre-Defying Sci-Artistic Collaboration of 2014.” For the last three years Kinetech Arts has hosted DanceHack, an international festival of performance-oriented hacking and dance. Visit kinetech.org for more.

About FXPAL:

FXPAL is an enterprise process research center established by Fuji-Xerox in Palo Alto, CA in 1995. FXPAL researchers are charged with performing basic research to discover and invent new technologies that improve business and society. In addition to producing prototypes and intellectual property for Fuji Xerox, FXPAL researchers also contribute significantly to the scientific community, through publication of their work in scientific journals and conferences, serving on scientific boards and committees, organizing and hosting technical events and talks and contributing technologies to the open source community. www.fxpal.com

Contact:

For The ClimateMusic Project: Stephan Crawford
26 7th Street, San Francisco
(415) 753-5515 theclimatemusicproject@gmail.com

For Kinetech Arts: Raymond Larrett
404 Bryant St. SF CA 94107 (415) 595-8240 raymond@kineviz.com

###

2017 plans and news!

We've been busy since our last performance at the San Francisco Green Festival!  We are using data visualization tools to upgrade the visual component of our performances, and are making a few other tweaks based on our audience surveys from last year.  Our 2017 performance cycle will begin in the spring with an Earth Day event in collaboration with...we'll announce our exciting new partnerships soon!  We have big ambitions for 2017--we'll post our concert and event schedule here soon...

Green Festival Wrap Up & 2017 Concert Schedule and Plans

Last week we closed out our 2016 performance cycle with a show at the San Francisco Green Festival.  The venue, old pier 35 jutting out into San Francisco Bay, made an unusual stage for the band, but we had a great crowd and also had a booth for the three day festival, which attracted thousands of people. 

Pier 35 in San Francisco

Pier 35 in San Francisco

In the old pier hall...

In the old pier hall...

Our 2016 performances were a great success, and we are grateful to have had the opportunity to perform in world-class venues like the IMAX Theater at The Tech Museum of Innovation in Silicon Valley, the planetarium at Chabot Space & Science Center in Oakland, and Grace Cathedral in San Francisco.  We are now gearing up for an active 2017 schedule, which will feature new and exciting venues as well as new music and visuals.  We will post the schedule here, so stay tuned--more news to come soon! 

The ClimateMusic Project Returns to the Chabot Space & Science Center on October 7 for a First Friday Event!

Don't just read about climate change--hear it! Join us for the next performance of The ClimateMusic Project’s original work by composer Erik Ian Walker, "Climate", which takes us through 500 years of the climate’s past and present, as well as  possible futures. The performance integrates music with synchronized visuals and includes an opportunity to engage with our science team after the concert.   With Erik Ian Walker on keyboards,  Thomas Dimuzio on synthesizer and live-sampling, Michele Walther on violin, Scott Brazieal on keyboards, Bill Noertker on bass guitar, and live mixing by Angela Lee

Friday, October 7th

Venue: The Planetarium at Chabot Space & Science Center

10000 Skyline Blvd., Oakland, CA 94619

tel:(510) 336-7373

Directions: http://www.chabotspace.org/directions.htm

Shows at 6:30P.M. and 7:30P.M.

Q&A Session with Dr. William Collins and Dr. Andrew Jones at 8:30PM

The Climate Music Project Current Work

We are currently performing "Climate", a 30-minute original composition by Erik Ian Walker in collaboration with The ClimateMusic Project. 

Climate reflects five hundred years of the climate’s past, present, and (possible) futures.

In creating this piece, we used three different climate variables, specifically:  atmospheric CO2, near surface temperature, earth energy balance. We also used ocean pH, which is affected by the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.  

The data sets for each of these variables are from simulations from the Community Earth System Model, an open model that has been used extensively in national and international assessments of climate change.    

The model simulates how the atmosphere, land, ocean, and sea ice change in response to changes to the environment, in particular both the natural and manmade sources and sinks of greenhouse gases.  In Climate,  you will be able to hear the influence of natural sources;  for example, in 1883 when the eruption of Krakatoa results in temporary cooling period.  

Climate opens by setting Earth in its context in our universe, galaxy, and solar system, then we begin the music expressing the long, stable climate humanity has enjoyed before the introduction of fossil fuels.

The unique aspect of this performance begins at the year 1800 A.D. , representing the approximate start of the industrial era.  At this point, each of the four variables influences the composition in a specific way.

1.     Atmospheric CO2 is represented by music tempo

2.     Near surface temperature by pitch

3.     Earth energy balance by distortion and ring modulation

4.     Ocean pH as compositional form

During live performances, a set of visual data animations tracks the trajectories of these variables over time.   Each minute of the composition represents 25 years.

The composition and graphs express climate changes up to the year 2005.  At this point, the composition and the graphs provide two possible scenarios projecting to the year 2300 AD:

1. The first scenario represents business as usual, in which we continue to burn fossil fuels without regard for their impact, resulting in an approximate increase of 8 degrees C.  This is represented by the bright red lines on the graphs (below); and

2. A second scenario in which there is an ambitious effort to reduce our emissions and soften the impacts of climate change, resulting in an approximate increase of 2 degrees C. This is represented by the bright blue lines on the graphs (below) .

                                                           

San Jose Tech Museum Wrap Up

Our recent concert at The Tech Museum in San Jose was a hit!  

Below are a few quotes from audience members following our past performances:

"ClimateMusic has altered my perspective on Climate Change.  The risks feel more immediate, more real..."  

"Holy Moses! The music was so effective and beautiful, I felt almost like panicking around 2100!"

“ It's the most powerful, visceral representation I have heard or seen:  because through the rhythm-tempo-dynamics-pitch we embody the music, instead of just looking at and away from the data”.

"The performance was great and very moving. In fact, the impression left is still lingering, so it has certainly done its job!”

“It was really a powerful -- one of the most effective ways to communicate
climate change that I've seen”

“Really an impressive presentation last night.… it was very stirring and it evoked strong emotions, which only good music can do.… an amazing production really! Moreover, from what I experienced and the discussion afterwards, I can see a myriad of possibilities for expansion, variation and iteration. Really beautiful & effective (and disturbing at the same time) with the Planetarium being the perfect venue”.

"It really translates into visceral terms a threat that can often seem impenetrable and abstract...We can't wait to watch the project evolve and look forward to spreading the word" 
 

“What a fabulous premiere. Congratulations…. It was all you said it would be and then some. And I loved how engaged the audience was”.

“…I’m still surprised by how moving I found the experience. You need to get the word out!”

Stay tuned for announcements about upcoming concerts!