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Climate change : trio

by Colin Bright (2010)

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The Australian Music Centre's catalogue does not include any recordings or sheet music of this work. This entry is for information purposes only.

It is listed in our catalogue because an event featuring a performance of this work was included in our calendar of Australian music. Details of this performance are listed below.

Work Overview

Program note:

Climate Change is a set of variations, each variation being based on a phrase of the Earth Theme. Earth Theme is based on a fragment of Gregorian Chant that I came across while surfing the Internet. It had an interesting shape which I have 'interpreted' and slightly modified. It is structured in six phrases, the 5th being a repetition of the 2nd: - Earth Theme GABA CBAG AGFED DAG CBAG GAFE

My music is often motivated by socio-political aspects, and in this case, scientific as well. The piece plays with ideas of time. While the Earth Theme stretches backwards in time from Gregorian times till the present, changes of tempo (read changes in temperature) stretch the fabric of the 'now' real-time continuum. Metric modulation is applied throughout the piece. The length of a note is either increased (dotted) or decreased (halved & dotted), thus modulating the actual tempo proportionately,(rather than by accelerando or rallentando). As well, the actual tempo varies between 30-90 bpm, acting as an amplifier. While the vertical result of metric modulation is tempo change, the horizontal result is syncopation. The other variation is harmonic. As the piece develops, it becomes in-flat-ed (sorry) with flats! And by the time the Earth Theme reappears it has been 'spiked', and is full of sharps! Consequently, there is change within the overall sense of stasis.

Climate Change is dedicated to Martin Cullen, artist and friend, who is passionate about art, life and politics (and, of course, climate change).

Climate Change - the politics!

You will not hear this in the music - it is not what music does. But it is interestingnevertheless to observe how a scientific issue became a political issue. And how easily public opinion can be manipulated, if you have the money and the power! Climate change deniers originated in right wing thinktanks connected to the Republican Party in the USA. They realised that the money they were making through the use of fossil fuels was under threat if carbon emissions were reduced. Their strategy was to find a number of scientists who disagreed with the evidence pointing to climate change, magnify it out of all proportion, and feed it through their allies in the media. Thus, climate change became a political issue, rather thana scientific issue, in the USA, Japan and Australia. The deniers, mostly not scientists,proceeded to question, manipulate and fabricate the scientific evidence. The campaign was quite successful and put doubt in the mind of the general public, causing many to become sceptics. The overwheming majority of scientists read the evidence as pointing to our carbon emissions contributing to global warming. Who is the general public to believe? Scientists supported by facts? Or non-scientists expressing mere opinion?!

Work Details

Year: 2010

Instrumentation: Violin, cello, piano.

Duration: 15 min.

Difficulty: Advanced — Rhythmically challenging

Dedication note: Martin Cullen - passionate artist

Commission note: Commissioned by Freshwater Chamber Music Festival.

First performance: by Sophie Cole, Daniel Yeadon, Clemens Leske at Freshwater Festival (Freshwater Senior Campus) on 4 Oct 2010


Performances of this work

4 Oct 2010: at Freshwater Festival (Freshwater Senior Campus). Featuring Sophie Cole, Daniel Yeadon, Clemens Leske.

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