Orchestra of Change – Classical music with a green conscience
Markus Bruggaier is a man on a mission. As a horn player with Berlin's Staatskapelle, one of Europe's great orchestras, he makes a living from catering for the refined tastes of others. In concerts every other night of the week. Like all art, it comes at a price. But particularly in music it's more than just the cost of a ticket. The makers of musical instruments require hard woods, much of which still come from sources that are at best questionable, he says.
"In Madagascar dozens of hectares of rosewood trees are logged every day. Much of it goes to China but also the US and other countries – e.g. to produce guitars. Some 10 million are made every year."
In addition, while the issue of climate change in general has started to inform a lot of the activities of artists in other areas, classical musicians in particular have remained a little too aloof from it, in Bruggaier's view. An unacceptable state of affairs, thought Bruggaier and a handful of colleagues of the Staatskapelle. In autumn of 2009 they decided to put the issue on the agenda of their orchestra and convinced most of their fellow musicians of the need to do something. The result is the Orchester des Wandels – the Orchestra of Change.
Last Sunday they played their first concert in 2011 with all proceeds pledged to go to WWF forest conservation projects in India's Himalayan Northern states of Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh. All musicians put in their free time to play the concert – including world renowned conductor Zubin Mehta. Hailing from India himself, the maestro said, he was moved to tears, when the orchestra first approached him about playing the concert.
Watch their kick-off concert last year. A truly elevating experience – literally, just watch to the end:
Read more about the Orchester des Wandels here.
DateJanuary 18, 2011
Green Call: Angella Katatumba wants to stir up the youth
Angella Katatumba is the International climate change icon in Uganda, appointed by the British Council. The idea of the song and the appointment of course is to make climate change an exciting topic to the young people.
More detailed informations are available at musicuganda.com, a pretty interesting website that claims to be Ugandas leading music and entertainment website.
DateJanuary 18, 2011
Climate change ist the greatest issue of all time
GLOBAL IDEAS talked to Sushma Joshi, a Nepali writer and filmmaker based in Kathmandu. In our interview, she says that the developing world suffers from the consequences of climate change – while industrialized countries are largely responsible. And if those countries don't change their policies, the world could look very bleak in 50 years.
Joshi's book End of the World was long-listed for the Frank O' Connor International Short Story Award in 2009. She's the author of a widely read Sunday column in Nepal's leading English-language daily "The Kathmandu Post". Her 2006 short-film "The Escape" about a teacher targeted by rebels was accepted to the Berlinale Talent Campus.
For more on Sushma Joshi have a look at her blog: The Global And The Local
DateJanuary 13, 2011
Tagsberlinale, global ideas, joshi, nepal, statement, sushma joshi, the global and the local, writer
The Consumer Electronics Show has kicked off today in Las Vegas. It's one of the biggest trade-shows in the world and a major trend-setter in the electronics world. Plus, organizers say it's the greenest trade-show in the world.
CES has a list of its environmentally-friendly features, which include green products and new alternative energy technologies. The organizers also say 68% of all the waste from last year's show was recycled, and even the wall paper, carpets and toiletpaper used in this year's convention are made from recycled materials. They also took batteries and light bulbs from landfills.
Maybe the coolest green display at CES is the Electric Vehicle TechZone, which boasts 3,500 square feet of high and low speed electric autos. Carmakers like Audio, Toyota and Ford will show off the latest green technology in the auto industry, which should be an interesting display. You can follow along at http://cesweb.org/.
DateJanuary 6, 2011
Tagsauto industry, carpets, CES, electronics, environmentally-friendly, green, las vegas, light bulbs, recycled, techzone
The Year of Forests
As we ring in 2011, the United Nations is inviting everyone to celebrate the International Year of Forests. The UN wants to raise awareness about the importance of forests on our planet and educate people about the issues facing our forests today. And, organizers hope the year-long tribute will inspire people to take action and contribute to forest preservation around the world.
According to the UN, forests cover 31% of total land area on the planet and account for 80% of our terrestrial biodiversity. They also provide a home for more than 300 million people worldwide. And, an incredible 1.6 billion people depend on forests for their livelihood–from making and trading important products to farming, and so on.
You can find a detailed list of events and celebrations taking place across the globe on the UN's website. One of the major events will be the International Forest Film Festival that takes place at UN headquarters in New York in February. The festival features a series of international films that address different themes, like 'Living Forests,' 'Issues & Solutions,' and 'This is My Forest.' You can check out some clips from the finalists here.
DateJanuary 3, 2011
Tags2011, biodiversity, film festival, forest preservation, International Year of Forestes, livelihood, UN, United Nations