Stormy Weather

A recent article in The Atlantic draws a direct correlation between stormy weather –hurricanes, tornados, typhoons — and stormy music.

When times were stormy in the real world, the weather in … music was darker, too. Almost three-quarters of the weather-themed songs from the 1950s and 1960s had lyrics that emphasized storminess, with frequent use of words like rainwind, and hurricane. But during the next two decades, only 46 percent of the weather-related songs featured stormy themes. The difference is pronounced enough to be statistically significant.

“That climatological difference over that four-decade period was represented in the songs that were being written…It does seem to be the case that songwriters are writing about the weather that they’re experiencing on the day they write the song.”

Matthew Burtner’s music has been featured by the US State Department at the GLACIER Conference, a part of President Obama’s initiative on Climate Change in Alaska. The compositions “Fern,” “Spectral Arctic Ice Triangulations” and “Ice Cycle: Formation” were played during the events for Obama and other leaders of the Arctic nations. The Obama State Department commissioned Burtner to create a playlist of music created out of glacial and Chukchi sea sounds, and from climate change data.

It’s entirely possible, that artists like Matthew Burtner draw inspiration from weather patterns — consciously and subconsciously.

His latest project (releasing on 1/12/18), THE CEILING FLOATS AWAY, includes the track “Geometry” featuring Pulitzer Prize winning poet Rita Dove.

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