Landscape Music Announces “Earth Year 2020” Initiative

Landscape Music Earth Year 2020 logo
The composers of Landscape Music commemorate Earth Day’s 50th Anniversary with activities taking place during the year 2020 through Earth Day 2021. This initiative is a catalyst for new works, performances, music videos, and community events showcasing new music that reflects environmental themes at the forefront of our global consciousness.

These projects highlight work by members of Landscape Music: a stylistically diverse, international collective of composers and composer-performers whose music engages with landscape, nature, and place. Learn more at

Earth Day is commemorated annually on April 22. The first Earth Day in 1970 is credited with launching the modern environmental movement and is now recognized as the planet’s largest civic event. Learn more at Earth Day Network.

Earth Year 2020 builds on Landscape Music’s 2018 collaborative initiative, Landscape Music: Rivers & Trails, which commemorated the 50th​ Anniversaries of the National Trails System and Wild & Scenic Rivers acts. That project catalyzed 12 new works of chamber music and a nationwide series of concerts engaging 35 musicians in five different regions across the U.S.

An overview of Earth Year 2020 projects is provided below. Details and additional projects will be announced throughout the year at, and on our Facebook and Twitter pages. To be notified of major announcements, including the release of free streaming music and video, please join our mailing list.

Inquiries about Landscape Music and Earth Year 2020 may be directed to Nell Shaw Cohen, Director,

Featured Projects

U.S. Forest Service & VCAF present Earth Year Visions of the Wild Film and Arts Festival

Earth Year with Landscape Music & Citywater

Headshot of Nell Shaw Cohen

Project by Nell Shaw Cohen

Composers from Landscape Music and musicians from Citywater, Sacramento’s premier new music ensemble, present their work in a free online event with the Visions of the Wild Film and Arts Festival, a partnership of the U.S. Forest Service and Vallejo Community Arts Foundation. As part of the festival’s 38°N series, this program consists of works with a geographical impetus along the 38th parallel.

The audience will hear the World Premiere performances of two brand new works for flute and cello, commissioned by Landscape Music exclusively for Visions of the Wild. Composed by Juhi Bansal and Daniel Morel, these pieces will celebrate diverse locales from the biosphere reserves of the Azores to the apple orchards of Missouri. Additionally, Nell Shaw Cohen, Derek Keller, and Ryan Suleiman will introduce excerpts from their works that take inspiration from places in and around the Bay Area. Read the event announcement for more information about the program.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021 at 5:00pm PDT. Register for this free event at



more birds more happiness

A music video highlighting sustainable energy through the beauty of wind power. New music for harp and soundscapes by Anne Vanschothorst are paired with film & photography of wind turbines in Zeeland, Netherlands.

“Between nature and music there is a mysterious, irreplaceable and eternal mystical connection. Besides conducting a symphony of sounds, nature gives, just like music, a source of inspiration and a place to be oneself.”
Read more and watch the video!



Dead tree branch with title "Sentinels"


Michael Futreal

Project by Michael Futreal

A short film with animated photography, scored with new music evoking the secret, quiet majesty of the Earth’s “sentinels”: overlooked elements of a landscape that take on an animistic, mythic character. In Michael Futreal’s Sentinels, these watchers watch us—and urge us to consider our obligations to other living beings in this world.

Watch “Sentinels” now!



Painting by Sakurako KanemitsuPainting by Sakurako Kanemitsu (detail)

Reflections on Music and Nature

Ryan Suleiman

Project by Ryan Suleiman

In this online interview series, Ryan Suleiman speaks with composers, performers, and musical curators about the role of the natural world in their work and the role of artists in our troubled times.

Subscribe to Ryan’s YouTube channel for new episodes released weekly on Thursdays. Follow the Facebook page for updates.



Blueprints for Hope

A new work for concert band by Katherine Bergman in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, commissioned and premiered by a consortium of seven different ensembles. Activist victories are easily forgotten, but their stories can be looked upon as blueprints for the next wave of change and the next generation of activists.

Perusal score freely available; performance score and parts available for purchase. More information.


California desert

The California Desert

Christina Rusnak

Project by Christina Rusnak

Christina’s two new works for chamber ensemble, Dune and Water and Stone, are inspired by her time in Mojave National Preserve and Death Valley National Park. These works draw attention to the critical need to protect desert landscapes as the planet warms.

Her residency at the Visby International Centre for Composers (Visby, Sweden) will give rise to new work exploring connections in environmental values between Scandinavia and the Pacific Northwest of the United States. (Postponed due to COVID-19.)


Spy Pond
Site-Specific Performance at Spy Pond

Linda Chase

Project by Linda Chase

A site-specific, concert-length piece by Linda Chase at Spy Pond in Massachusetts. In a call to climate action, instrumentalists and vocalists at the pond’s shore, and in four canoes floating across the water, will create an immersive musical experience. Protestors carrying signs will be integrated into the performance, while the community will be invited to participate by creating poetry and soundmaps in response.

(Postponed due to COVID-19.)


Details and additional projects will be announced on an ongoing basis at, and on our Facebook and Twitter. To be notified of major announcements, including the release of free streaming music and video, please join our mailing list. Inquiries about Landscape Music and Earth Year 2020 may be directed to Nell Shaw Cohen, Director,