In September 2008, Australian composer and musician Rob Slaney had an inspiration. Like many people throughout the world, he was deeply concerned about the effects of human activity on the earth’s climate, and worried that not enough was being done to deal with this increasingly urgent problem. He also felt that, despite the growing number of people who shared his beliefs, their efforts were too diffuse to have an effective impact. What was needed was something to bring people together, both literally and symbolically, to express not only their concern about the present situation, but also their hope for the future.
Thus was born the Global Climate Change Music Project. Slaney invited composers from all over the world – one from each of the 195 countries recognized by the United Nations – to send a four-bar melodic or rhythmic statement that reflected their feelings about climate change and the environment. Any key, any tempo, any instrument, including the human voice. The only restriction was that the piece not have words. Once all of the musical statements were received, they would be combined into a single monumental piece, the global expression of a planet in peril.
It turned out to be a labor-intensive process. Researching and selecting representative composers, negotiating the challenges of diverse cultures and languages, explaining in a comprehensible way the specifics of what was, clearly, an insanely ambitious and visionary project. However once the purpose and vision were understood, the artists were incredibly enthusiastic about adding their voices to the cause.
The first and largest part of the work, which you can hear here, incorporates the 195 individual contributions into a vast, multi-layered musical statement. While each idea retains its unique identity, the many strands come together to form a powerful whole greater than its disparate parts.
The complete work will include two additional sections:
1. A low drone on a single note, with melodic solos emerging at specific intervals. Ultimately these voices will blend together to introduce the final section.
2. The concluding melodic theme is a culmination and summation of the diverse musical components, cultures, nationalities and religions – a passionate plea for a concerted effort to combat climate change and for enlightened stewardship of our shared home.
The Goals of the Project
The immediate objective of the Global Climate Change Music Project is to share the composition with all of the delegates attending this years United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris in December and make them aware of the deep concern, not only of these 195 artists, but of the global population that they represent. Our vision is to galvanize and sustain a climate change dialogue, utilizing the medium of music to help channel the efforts of the growing number of people who are protesting against climate change inaction.
We further hope that this site will serve as a portal for the dissemination of climate-related information that is not currently well-known or properly understood. It will also be a resource for those wanting to change their lifestyles to reduce their carbon footprint, express their concerns about government inactivity, and organize and execute physical protests.
Any revenue generated from the use or sale of The Global Climate Change Music Project’s musical content will be donated to Cool Earth, a charitable organization working with indigenous peoples to halt rainforest destruction.
Bergen O’Brien – Film Editor
Jill Flyer – French correspondent
Jon Hofferman – Writer
Kristen Lennard – Marketing
Ksenia Kalutich – Design
Melgar Guaves – Web Development
Robert Slaney – Musical Arrangement