Guest Blog: Climate Stories Music

30th May 2018

Composer and sound artist Jason Davis works on integrating climate change stories into original music.

Composer, improviser, and sound artist Jason Davis is creating original music pieces which feature excerpts of interviews of residents from frontline climate change communities, who speak about their responses to the changing climate in their home regions.

Dramatic changes underway

Interviewees speak of rapid changes in seasonal timing, wildlife migration, and resource availability, among other responses to the dramatic changes underway. His recent pieces include John Sinnok, which features the words of Iñupiat elder Sinnok of Shishmaref, Alaska speaking about his observations of how wind and the sound of footsteps on snow has changed since his youth:

Back when I was young
We have always had north wind
All the time
And we would have blizzards
And cold north winds for a good month
And it would be like that for a long time
But after that
The snow gets so cold
That you could hear people walking outside
You could hear their footsteps outside
Nowadays, it doesn’t get that hard any more where you can hear people walking past
The snow doesn’t get that hard, dry anymore
Like it used to

Ice Is What I Remember

His piece Ice Is What I Remember Most features the words of upstate New York resident Joseph Dumoulin speaking about his memories of ice from ponds on which he played hockey as a child:

Ice is what I remember about my youth
It was just a way of life I thought would never end
The ice is like a mirror
It was just crystal
I realized that way of life was gone

Through his music, Davis’s intent is to highlight the ways in which people and communities are observing and responding to the climate crisis, while encouraging listeners to the pieces to engage with the human experience of climate change on a deeper level. Please visit www.climatestoriesproject.org/climatemusic.html to listen to the pieces.

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