Conserve, Respect, Listen: Music for Earth Day

On April 22, 1970, millions of Americans marched through streets, parks, and city centers, joining together under a common refrain: humanity at large was mistreating the planet, and things were only going to get worse until something was done about it. Rallying for a more sustainable culture and the promotion of environmental awareness, these rallies sparked what has become the annual celebration of Earth Day. Today, Earth Day continues to be a reminder for individuals to be good stewards to the planet, from simply picking up garbage around the neighborhood to contacting members of public office about making more eco-friendly policy changes.

Music has long been a medium for activism and the efforts of Earth Day are no exception. In honor of Earth Day 2019 we brought together a selection of eco-friendly, aware pieces from our catalog to highlight both the beauty of the Earth and what some artists are doing to raise environmental awareness.

Composer Matthew Burtner traveled to glaciers around Alaska to collect live recordings for his most recent Ravello Records album GLACIER MUSIC. Threnody (Sikuigvik) was composed for an installation at the Anchorage Museum of Art that was set for the 2015 GLACIER Conference, where officials met to discuss how to combat the challenges of climate change and the impact it has on the Arctic ecosystem. Threnody contains sounds from the ancient Aialik glacier, as sections of the glacier melt and pieces fall into the sea below.

THE CROSSROADS PROJECT contains two pieces commissioned by the Fry Street Quartet and environmental physicist Robert Davies, one for composer Libby Larsen and the other for composer Laura Kaminsky, with the intent of covering issues of climate change and how listeners can respond and take action. Kaminsky’s pieces covers different aspects of natural life and humanity, inviting listeners to reflect on each, while Larsen’s pieces cover the emotions of change and taking action through the metaphor of the water cycle. Both composers, together with the Quartet and Davies, work to develop our social consciousness and move listeners to constructive action.

Meira Warshauer’s LIVING, BREATHING EARTH reflects just what the title suggests: the world is a living thing, full of radiance and energy, and it is our job as humans to awaken to this global energy and take our part in the symbiotic circle of life. Warshauer uses the shofar to call humanity out of complacency and draw people into action, awakening us to our full role as human beings in this rich, diverse planet.

As we are nearing 50 years since the first Earth Day, today is a good time to reflect on how far we have come in caring for our planet and how far we have to go. Whether you choose to find ways to eliminate plastic use, switch to cleaning products that don’t use toxic chemicals, or seek out more music that is supporting an environmental cause, we hope Playlist Title inspires you to take action in your own life.

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