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 throughout the year 2020. 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 LandscapeMusic.org.

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 planned Earth Year 2020 projects is provided below. Details and additional projects will be announced throughout the year at LandscapeMusic.org, 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, nell@landscapemusic.org.


Featured Projects


Citywater

CONCERT:
Citywater performs Landscape Music

Sacramento’s premier new music ensemble, Citywater, performs at Visions of the Wild Film and Arts Festival presented by the U.S. Forest Service and Vallejo Community Arts Alliance.

This all-Landscape Music program will present a diversity of musical interpretations of environmental themes and cultural perspectives on nature. Full list of featured composers to be announced.

Sunday, September 13, 2020 at 4:30pm, at the Empress Theatre, Vallejo, CA.

 

Windmill

MUSIC VIDEO:
Wind Power

A music video highlighting sustainable energy through the beauty of wind power. New music for harp and soundscapes by Anne Vanschothorst will be paired with poetry by Danielle Danker and footage by Pjotr van Schothorst of wind turbines in Zeeland, Netherlands.

To be released on April 22, Earth Day.

 

 

CONSORTIUM:
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. More information.

Performances in Spring 2020; score available for purchase in August 2020.

 

 

Dead tree branch with title "Sentinels"

MUSIC VIDEO:
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.

To be released in late Spring 2020.

 

 

Gotland, Sweden

COMPOSER RESIDENCY:
Visby, Sweden, and the California Desert

Christina Rusnak

Project by Christina Rusnak

Two new works for chamber ensembles by Christina Rusnak, reflecting environmental values in dynamic, contrasting landscapes.

Christina’s self-directed residency in March 2020 at Mojave National Preserve and Death Valley National Park will inform a new work drawing attention to the critical need to protect desert landscapes as the planet warms. In May, her residency at the Visby International Centre for Composers (Visby, Sweden) will give rise to a work exploring connections in environmental values between Scandinavia and the Pacific Northwest of the United States.

 

Spy Pond
CONCERT:
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.

Performance in May 2020 in Arlington, MA.

 


Details and additional projects will be announced throughout the year at LandscapeMusic.org, 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, nell@landscapemusic.org.

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Landscape Music: Rivers & Trails Concert Video on YouTube

New Year, new YouTube channel! We are pleased to announce a new online home for videos of our concerts, interviews, and all things LandscapeMusic.org and Landscape Music Composers Network.

We’re kicking things off with a full-length concert video featuring Citywater, Sacramento’s premier chamber ensemble for new music, as part of Landscape Music: Rivers & Trails: our Fall 2018 concert series, which featured five different chamber ensembles around the country in programs of World Premieres that celebrated the 50th anniversaries of the U.S. Wild & Scenic Rivers and the National Trails System.

Citywater’s Landscape Music: Rivers & Trails program was presented by Visions of the Wild, an environmental arts festival, in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service and Vallejo Community Arts Foundation, with support from the National Park Service. The concert was given at the Empress Theatre in Vallejo, CA on September 23, 2018.

Watch the full concert below, or visit our playlist to see individual videos of World Premiere pieces by Landscape Music composers Nell Shaw Cohen, Linda Chase, Ryan Suleiman, Ben Cosgrove, Christina Rusnak, Rachel Panitch, and Libby Meyer.

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Composing the Oregon National Historic Trail

Oregon Trail map

Editor’s Note: Composer Christina Rusnak writes her fourth essay for LandscapeMusic.org.

Last October, Nell Shaw Cohen, Stephen Wood and I met to discuss the feasibility of a developing a concert series to celebrate the 50th Anniversaries of the Wild and Scenic Rivers and National Trails System. Eleven months later, concerts are premiering in Vallejo, CA (9/23); Atlanta, GA (9/29); Houghton, MI (10/4); Portland, OR (10/7); and Boston, MA (11/3), as part of Landscape Music: Rivers & Trails concert series. My music is being performed in all locations except Boston. Determining what river or trail I would write about was easy—2018 also marks the 175th anniversary of the Oregon National Historic Trail, and I live just 12 miles from the trail’s end.

The Oregon Trail, and our near-mythological familiarity of it, is fraught with controversy. Claimed by both the British and Americans, the land was actually controlled by the indigenous inhabitants who had no idea what was coming. The emigrants who traveled the 2,170 mile Oregon Trail began their journey in Independence, Missouri—skirting the northeastern edge of what is now Kansas and traveling through Nebraska, Wyoming, and Idaho into Oregon, although none of these states actually existed until decades later. The hopeful settlers traveled through “Unorganized Territory” into Oregon Territory. While most people dispersed along the way to settle within east or south of Oregon Territory, the route officially ended at Willamette Falls—the second largest waterfall (in the U.S) after Niagara. About 20% of emigrants, over 80,000, followed the trail to the end. Continue reading

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Announcing Fall 2018 Concert Series

Landscape Music Composers Network logoWild and Scenic Rivers 50th Anniversary LogoNational Trails 50th Anniversary Logo

Landscape Music: Rivers & Trails is a nationwide series of concerts in Fall 2018 commemorating the 50th​ Anniversaries of the National Trails System Act and the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.

Coordinated by the Landscape Music Composers Network, and presented in collaboration with organizations, venues, and performers across the country, this initiative highlights and celebrates the significance of our national trails and rivers through the creation and presentation of new music. Landscape Music: Rivers & Trail concerts will feature World Premieres of works for small chamber ensembles, created in direct response to the remarkable places protected under these two landmark acts.

Concerts will be presented in Vallejo, CA (9/23); Atlanta, GA (9/29); Houghton, MI (10/4); Portland, OR (10/7); and Boston, MA (11/3). These events are being coordinated by members of the Landscape Music Composers Network, and presented, performed, and promoted in partnership with: U.S. Forest ServiceVisions of the WildNational Park ServiceSierra ClubJuventas New Music Ensemble, Michigan Technological University, Cascadia Composers (NACUSA), Atlanta Contemporary EnsembleCitywater, and Sustain Music and Nature.

The Landscape Music Composers Network is a group whose music engages with landscape, nature, and place. Including artists both established and emerging, writing in diverse styles, this network is a platform for collaborative projects aiming to increase appreciation and awareness of the natural world through music.

The Landscape Music: Rivers & Trails initiative has mobilized the network’s composers to compose eleven new works in response to our Wild and Scenic Rivers and National Scenic, Historic, and Recreation Trails for World Premiere on this concert series. Five rivers (Sudbury River, Klamath River, Owyhee River, American River, and Chattooga River) and six trails (Juan Bautista de Anza Trail, New England Trail, North Country Trail, Carson Trail, Oregon Trail, and Florida Trail) will be highlighted. Two of the concerts will also feature pieces by guest composers, chosen by Juventas New Music Ensemble and Cascadia Composers through competitive Calls for Scores. Highlighting a diversity of compositional voices and inspirations from nature, each event offers a different selection of works.

To learn more about the concerts, composers, and works being featured, visit the Landscape Music: Rivers & Trails page.

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Call for Scores: Juventas New Music Ensemble Presents Landscape Music

Juventas New Music Ensemble logo
Juventas New Music Ensemble seeks chamber music and art songs inspired by American Landscapes.

DEADLINE: APRIL 3, 2018
Application Fee: $10
Learn More & Apply!

The selected works will be performed by Juventas New Music Ensemble at their Fall 2018 concert, Landscape Music: Rivers & Trails, a partnership with the Landscape Music Composers Network. The program will commemorate the 50th​ Anniversaries of the National Trails System and the Wild and Scenic Rivers acts.

One or more composers may also be invited to join the Landscape Music Composers Network: a group of composers and musicians from across the United States whose music engages with landscape, nature, and place. Membership includes a featured profile at https://landscapemusic.org/composers-network, opportunities to participate in the group’s collaborative projects, and consideration for programming on future concerts. Continue reading

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