Can music be a solution to climate change? Is it possible to turn music into trees? Can we sing humanity into a greener future?
I would like to say yes to these questions. Music will probably not be the only solution to our climate crisis, but I think it will be part of it. Why? Because music is a language everyone can understand. It transcends culture, religious beliefs, skin color, gender, and age. I believe music is a necessary bridge that can bring us together to face climate change.
Coming together is crucial because no one can face climate change alone. It’s so big that it’s easy to feel depressed and powerless when confronting the relentless barrage of bad news. But if we find people who dare to stand beside us when we rise and fall through the pain and bliss of loving our blue planet, we can allow ourselves to dive deep and commit to making changes. With love and support, we can safely explore our gifts and talents which I believe is going to be essential for the times ahead. We’ll need every musician, poet, artist, nurturer, mathematician, craftsman, blogger, YouTuber, and politician. We’ll need all of us, using all of our skills, gifts, and talents to turn this ship around.
As a choir leader, I see the choir as a perfect arena to practice coming together to face climate change. It’s the perfect place to encourage each other to explore and raise our voices, to take a stand together. Singing in a choir is good for our health, and can create meaning and an amazing feeling of support. A few month ago, with this in mind and a longing to do something that might help keep our planet habitable for my future grandchildren, I launched Women’s Virtual Choir, an online choir experiment that gathers the voices of women across the globe to explore how we can sing together via the internet and transform our singing into trees. A few days ago, the number of members in the choir hit 600!
Our current project is to make a music video with all the voices of the women in the choir. Communicating by email, the singers get instructions, rehearsal tracks, sheet music, and tips for how to record themselves on video. The song is about sisterhood – if you’re curious about it, you can listen to the rehearsal track here.
This autumn, audio and video engineers will put the voices together to make a music video, which will be posted on YouTube. Any income from YouTube adds will be donated to the tree planting organization TreeSisters. That’s how we’re going to transform music into trees! Along the way, we’ll have some fun, challenge ourselves a bit, find new friends, and feel connected to women around the world. There is already a Facebook group for the choir members where beautiful connections are made.
Joining the choir doesn’t cost anything and it’s open to everyone who identifies as a woman. You don’t need to be a professional singer – just come as you are! That’s the beauty of choirs – blending our voices will make a unique sound, perfect as it is. If you are an experienced singer, we do have some challenges for you too, maybe you want to sing a solo part? If you want to join, you can register here.
Why the focus on trees and women?
Trees are our best friends in this age of global warming. They provide shade, oxygen, shelter, and food but also, by planting trees we buy ourselves some more time. We all know that we in the western world need to radically change how we live if we are going to evolve from a consumer species to a restorer species. And one of the most radical change we can make today is to empower women. By lifting women around the world and giving them the opportunity to fulfill their potential, we have a chance to really do this together. My hope is that singing in a choir can be a stepping stone in this process and the beginning of a greener future and sustainable planet for all of us.
Hope to see you in the choir!
Her practice deeply rooted in Swedish folk music, singer-songwriter/multi-instrumentalist/choir leader Åsa Larsson explores how music can connect us to the earth and each other. She recently launched Women’s Virtual Choir, an online choir experiment gathering women to sing our planet green. Her solo project Resmiranda, which has been described as eco-conscious folk music mixed with ambient electronica and the ancient art of kulning, will release the album “For the trees” in 2018. In 2013, her folk music trio Blås, Bälg och Tagel released “Hosvid Hasvid.” In 2014, Resmirandas released the debut EP “Mellan stiltje och storm.” Åsa’s music can be found on YouTube.
Artists and Climate Change is a blog that tracks artistic responses from all disciplines to the problem of climate change. It is both a study about what is being done, and a resource for anyone interested in the subject. Art has the power to reframe the conversation about our environmental crisis so it is inclusive, constructive, and conducive to action. Art can, and should, shape our values and behavior so we are better equipped to face the formidable challenge in front of us.