Can Music Reverse Global Warming? Here’s Hoping

May 16th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

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It seems universally acknowledged that music has a positive effect on people. From Mozart CDs for babies to the music played for the senior residents through the Musicians Care Project at Hebrew Healthcare, society embraces music, and particularly classical music, as a means for improving intelligence, social interaction, and personal development. Although the “Mozart Effect” fad of the early 90’s has been somewhat debunked, there is still overwhelming evidencethat focused participation in musical ensembles and active listening to music has positive effects on the brain.

But can music positively change the physical world? Next month, the HSO will perform a piece that might suggest it can. The work is Alternative Energy by composer and West Coast DJ Mason Bates.

Bates says about this piece:

“Alternative Energy is an ‘energy symphony’ spanning four movements and hundreds of years.  Beginning in a rustic Midwestern junkyard in the late 19thCentury, the piece travels through ever greater and more powerful forces of energy — a present-day particle collider, a futuristic Chinese nuclear plant — until it reaches a future Icelandic rainforest, where humanity’s last inhabitants seek a return to a simpler way of life.”

Bates’ takes his inspiration from the things that physically fuel our world today. He walked around a particle collider, recording “huge power surges, epic hydraulic releases, [and] alien-sounding high frequencies,” which are interspersed into the hall in a surround sound like experience for the audience, as if they are inside the particle collider.

 

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Bates also asks the performers to create and play on a drum set made out of foraged car parts. Last week, HSO Principal Percussionist Robert McEwan traveled with the HSO Tech crew to a local junk yard to seek out the pieces he would need to make the drum set.

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HSO Percussionist Robert McEwan looking for drum set pieces

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They left with a muffler, a tailgate from a truck, a gas tank, a fender and a few other miscellaneous pieces. In a few weeks this junk  will be transformed into an orchestral instrument. Not only do we think these pieces will look fantastic on The Belding stage, but with one perfectly timed mallet strike our musicians will turn this garbage into music.

Will our performance of Alternative Energy reverse global warming?  Alternative Energy will do what music does best- make us take a step back and think about ourselves and our environment. It suggests a path for the future where we rely on our existing resources, like musical instruments made from recycled junk. Will the audience be inspired to decrease their own carbon footprint, advocate for cleaner fuel sources, and teach the value of environmental conservation to future generations? Here’s hoping.

5 days until LIFE: The Nature Conservancy

April 22nd, 2013 § 1 comment § permalink

As we count down to this Saturday’s performance of LIFE: A Journey Through Time, we will highlight our final LIFE community sponsors, The Nature Conservancy. On Saturday, April 27 at 7:30 p.m., the Hartford Symphony will perform LIFE: A Journey Through Time, beginning with a panel discussion featuring Dr. Frogard Ryan, Executive Director of The Nature Conservancy in Connecticut. She, along with National Geographic Photographer Frans Lanting and Daniel C. Esty, Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection, will discuss the impact that the public and the arts can have on Nature Conservation efforts around the state.

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The mission of The Nature Conservancy is to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. For more than 50 years, the Connecticut Chapter has worked with its partners to protect and conserve Connecticut’s wondrous forests, rivers and shoreline. In 2012 alone, The Nature Conservancy in Connecticut planted American Elm trees resistant to Dutch elm disease in three communities to help restore elm populations, as well as the species they support;maintained the 14,000-acre preserve network while adding 212 more acres; opened 63 miles of river through dam removal; secured $50,000 in grant funding to help protect Brazil’s Atlantic Forest; focused our work in Long Island Sound to protect habitats and restore water quality; secured $200,000 in federal grant funding for coastal resilience to advance nature-friendly solutions, such as tidal marsh migration; assisted nine Connecticut communities with a climate preparedness planning process; and taken a lead in climate disaster-risk preparedness. This work and more continue every day, through our supporters’ generosity, so that we and future generations can enjoy our one-of-a-kind Connecticut life.

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How Can I Help?

Donations to The Nature Conservancy can be mailed to 55 Church Street, Fl 3, New Haven, CT 06510. Phone donations can be made to Laura Brownstein at 203-568-6278 and Laura Weinberg at 203-568-6281. Online donations can be made to nature.org/connecticut (choose Connecticut in the designation field). General volunteers inquiries can be made to Laura Brownstein  at 203-568-6278 or Martha Rice at 203-568-6294; At Devil’s Den Preserve: Cynthia Fowx at  203-226-4991, ext. 116; and At Sunny Valley Preserve: Laura Shail at 860-355-3716.

You can contact The Nature Conservancy in Connecticut at:
55 Church Street, Fl 3
New Haven, CT 06510
203.568.6270 phone
203.568.6271 fax
nature.org/connecticut
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46 days until LIFE: The Connecticut River Watershed Council

March 12th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

As we count down to the April 27 performance of LIFE: A Journey Through Time, we will highlight our LIFE community sponsors, continuing today with The Connecticut River Watershed Council:

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The Connecticut River Watershed Council (CRWC) is the primary citizen’s advocate for the entire Connecticut River and its four-state watershed. Since 1952, our members have helped to protect water—the river, its tributaries, lakes, fish – and the land, plants, and creatures connected to that water.  CRWC’s day-to-day work stretches from the Quebec border to the tides of Long Island Sound and helps preserve an amazing natural heritage for future generations. Our efforts include habitat restoration, river cleanups, outreach and education, and advocacy. Join us today to make a difference in the health of the river and your community.

Aerial of Oxbow and Oxbow Marina on Connecticut Rivernear Holyoke Ridge and Mount Tom, Northampton, MA

Aerial of Oxbow and Oxbow Marina on Connecticut Rivernear Holyoke Ridge and Mount Tom, Northampton, MA

How to show your support:

Join the Connecticut River WateCT Watershed_S2S 2010 boy with 2 bags - John Stack aka SpiritDog Photography - originalrshed Council for the 17th annual Source to Sea Cleanup. On October 4thand 5th, volunteers will help remove debris from the Connecticut River, local tributaries and their shores.  Sign up by yourself or organize a group – congregations, schools, scouting chapters and businesses enjoy working together on this annual event. Last year more than 2,000 volunteers helped to remove 99+ tons of trash from the river. For more information on this event contact Jacqueline Talbot at (860) 704-0057.

To become a member of CRWC, pledge your support or learn about corporate sponsorship opportunities, please contact Dana Gillette at (413) 772-2020, ext. 202 or dgillette@ctriver.org. You can also join or donate online at www.ctriver.org.

Sunset over Connecticut River from Charter Oak Bridge, Hartford, CT

Sunset over Connecticut River from Charter Oak Bridge, Hartford, CT

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