…but you know, I bet it’s a lot. There’s no shortage of bar bands, rock shows, buskers, chamber recitals, open mics, polka parties, raves, symphonies, hoedowns, mehfils, drum circles, bhajan sessions, and sing-a-longs happening every day. It sort of seems like making music is something we humans can’t stop doing, even in extremis.
“We’re out of light and water and bread
So we’ll live on song and hope instead.”
— Peggy Seeger: Springhill Mine Disaster —
I’m a musician; I’ve been making my life and my living that way for decades, ever since I had a living to make. I sing and play, compose and direct; it’s what I know best, love best, and do best. I teach music, extending into the future the songs of centuries past. I even teach how to teach music, helping young musicians discover sound’s power to transform individuals in profound and positive ways.
I needed to bring together my life in music and my concern for the planet that’s made all our human music possible.
The Climate Message is a way to get musicians everywhere (and I do mean everywhere) involved in the same way.
I’m talking about you, Irish fiddlers. And you, Indian sitarists. And you, punk rockers. And you, lieder singers. And you, country bands, and street drummers, and everybody else you can think of in every genre you can imagine, and some you can’t. Make a difference — make an end run around the destructive and deliberate professional ignorance of our dysfunctional media…just by saying a few careful words every time you face an audience.
At The Climate Message, we (my webmaster, a few consultants, and I) have set up a simple way for individual performers and ensembles to join together in making a commitment to speak out to our audiences on climate, every time it’s possible (if you’re a hired bass player in a theater orchestra, it’s probably best just to keep your mouth shut on the bandstand — but nothing should stop you talking to your bandmates backstage in the dressing room).
Fill in a simple form: your name and/or the name of your organization; where you’re based; what kind of music (or other performance form) you do. Your names will join those of performers in multiple genres across North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia (we’re going to include a rolling “scroll of honor” in the next few weeks).
When you make a Climate Service Announcement, let us know how it went…and we’ll post your story. Let us know where and when, and we’ll put a pin in an interactive world map (well, as soon as we get the map app fully integrated, anyway). If you make an announcement that you particularly like and want to share, send us a transcript, or a sound file, or a video — and we’ll post it.
The more people join in spreading the word, the more likely it’ll be over the coming months and years that everywhere people go to hear music, they hear a simple reminder: if you love music, educate yourself about climate change — because climate chaos means the end of music as we know it.
There are too many different kinds of music in the world for us all to be able to sing together — but there’s no reason we can’t all speak together, lending our voices to help save this beautiful world so full of light and life and song.
Sign up…and spread the word.
The Climate Message isn’t necessarily exclusive to performers, of course. It’s important for all of us to speak out on this issue; to normalize the discussion of climate change and make it both important and “noncontroversial.” But musicians, dancers, storytellers, actors and the rest of the tribe are important, because in a world dominated by a mechanized media, we are among the few who get microphones and audiences. Even if we don’t reach millions of people every night, we still have the chance to get the message across.
But only if we speak out; only if we resolve to raise our voices not just once, but every day, every time, every place, every audience.