Climate Symphony - by Disobedient Films with Jamie Perera
Most of the reporting around climate change is bleak. Climate Symphony will offer a new way to address old scripts and a chance to contribute to a broader conversation on ways forward. This is the sound of a dying planet, our planet and our transient position in it. Climate Symphony hopes to create agency, meaning and a means to express this - a sparkle of glitter amongst the scatter of kohl.
We will collaborate with data scientists, artists, journalistic institutions and the public to collate, create and verify datasets regarding climate change. The subject bases will be varied - from food access to migration figures to parts per million of carbon dioxide and so forth.
From the data collated we will extract compelling narratives and isolate individuals who are able to share their personal narratives with us. Those personal narratives will be turned into musical phrases along with wider datasets to form an unfolding and engrossing story.
The performative, visual and structural forms of the Climate Symphony will be realised through collective collaboration and organic means of enquiry fostered through a series of public workshops and presentations.
Online, the Symphony will live in a feedback loop. Audiences, characters and performers will be encouraged to share their reactions and feelings around the music and performance with the eventual aim of getting more people to attend, participate in and demand further performances. They will also be allowed to input and compare their personal data to datasets from the wider world.
This is more than Climate Change: The Musical. This is more than taking a host of datapoints and turning them into a tune. This is an exploration blending science, art and sound to create a new journalism - reporting without borders.
We have chosen sound and music because it is an inexplicably compelling, affective and engrossing vehicle. The visual elements lie in the performativity of real and virtual spaces and interfaces where the sharing of stories and comparing of facts can take place. It is in this space we hope to captivate and activate predecisional individuals towards an engagement with climate issues.
Jamie Perera is a composer who likes to use relevant sound in meaningful ways. Examples of this approach include using the sound of radio static for an Emmy nominated film about poverty in the USA, recording fists striking the human body as a drum for a C4 series on gang violence, sequencing car parts for Chevrolet and creating a soundtrack out of guns for Amnesty International. His time is generally spent playing around with music and sound in the hope that a “happy accident” occurs. Jamie has been released worldwide as Lo Freq alongside Cinematic Orchestra, Mark Ronson and Matthew Herbert. He has recently collaborated with Lubomyr Melnyk for Rivers and Streams available on Erased Tapes records.
Disobedient is a collaboration and creative arts partnership established in 2014 by artists Leah Borromeo and Katharine Round to question and disrupt established forms of narrative, documentary and storytelling. They create meaning through a multi-disciplinary practice encompassing film, art, installation, intervention, performance and journalism. We make documentaries, but we also see documentaries differently. It’s not a form bound to moving and still image - it’s an all-encompassing, cross-platform directory and agitator of memory and experience. Their work spans from broadcast commissions to interactive and experiential films for the V&A to socially engaged installations like ‘Space, Not Spikes’ to creating compelling visual documentation for environmental movements like Greenpeace and Liberate Tate. A recent project in development is Climate Symphony. Here we take data and data sets, pull narratives out of them and - with the aid of public workshops connecting artists, scientists and everyday people - translate them to a four-part symphony telling the human story of climate change through music and sound. It’s much more than Climate Change: The Musical. It’s journalism connecting sensorial experience with cognitive knowledge.