Updated: Oct 3, 2022
European Day of Music & Musique pour l’Océan, a special music performance supported by Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation and US Consulate General in Marseille.
Music has been an integral part of the human ecosystem for many centuries and its connection with sounds of Nature has already inspired many composers. And this symbiosis has given life with the passage of time to a specific discipline, the ‘eco-musicology’, a neologism designed by R. Murray Schafer, Canadian composer and environmentalist, to investigate the bond among, music, culture and nature. The ability of music to create atmosphere and empathy is of great importance. Not by chance, in 1982, Jack Lang, French Minister of Culture launched the initiative Fête de la Musique, making it coincide with the summer solstice to symbolize a period of cultural rebirth, also based on the considerable number of young people who play a musical instrument or just listen to music. By the will of some enlightened musicians like Maurice Fleuret, that was the foundation of what was to be a European & global celebration. Nowadays, more than one hundred Countries are currently joining this event.
The Musique pour l’Océan (Music for the Ocean), held at the Monaco Open Air Cinema on the 17th June 2022, wanted to combine talented music performances with the passion for the Oceans whose survival is essential for life. The environmentally friendly concert, organized under the auspices of Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation and the US Consulate General of Marseille, was particularly impressive starting from the location, an arena overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, a few miles from the Oceanographic Museum, icon of marine biodiversity. A delegation of American skilled artists offered the public a medley of great classics of American and French music culture, like “Old Man River”, “Deep River” or “La Mer est infinie” together with unreleased contemporary pieces. Scott Macleod, Bariton, Lorena Guillén, soprano, and Anja Arko, pianist, have harmoniously performed to the last note to create inspiring vibrations.
Alejandro Rutty, composer, music arranger and professor, unveiled his newest work, ‘Because the Oceans’, “translating” into music the environmental data of the recent UN climate change report. The effect, created live, was particularly empathetic thanks to the skillful use of musical scales in a crescendo of sounds which metaphorically highlighted the risky situation that we are facing due to the increase in global temperatures. A unique graphic video by Bradley Lambert, Associate Professor of Media Production and Entrepreneurship at High Point University (South Carolina), reinforced the semantic side by giving it form through a didactic smooth narration about the evolution of terrestrial heat from last century to today. 'Agua y Vida', unrealised piece of music by Lorena Guillén, paid tribute poetically to the water source as the primary mother of life.
A meaningful chance to appreciate harmonic notes, great voices and spectacular videos about the Oceans and their amazing creatures, winking at the great literary sagas linked to the sea like Moby Dick by Herman Melville. “Tonight, we are all honouring the Beauty of the Ocean which represents more than 70% of the Planet Earth absorbing more than 25% of CO2 emissions generated by anthropic activities and is nourishing us with 80% of proteins we assimilate every day, as well as providing 50% of oxygen we breath”, pointed out Olivier Wenden, Vice-President of Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation “But this concert is also meant to debate on main challenges and issues to keep our Planet liveable”, he added.
“I am honoured to be here to attend a performance in honour of the Ocean in the footsteps of the World Ocean Day (8th June); the reality of the situation requires us to take care of Oceans every day”, highlighted H.E. Kristen K. Grauer, U.S. General Consul , “This concert is meant to praise the international commitment of global leaders in favour of this greater cause… the Principality of Monaco and the United States share the same mission, that is to save the Planet, protect the biodiversity and safeguard the Ocean”, she concluded.
Music for the Ocean offered a dreamlike and eclectic journey to say: “What a wonderful world” and to act for the preservation of the Oceans, crucial elements to maintain our Planet as a place full of life. A further opportunity to reiterate through music the need to pursue this goal through the collaboration of all stakeholders, notably decision makers, entrepreneurs or civil society representatives, but also production, transport and fishing sectors. ***
By Maurice Abbati