Geo: A Rumination on Climate Change
It’s a perplexing time to live in America—maybe that’s an understatement.
An existential uncertainty lingers in every conversation. We're all handling it our own way. Personally, climate change has been the lingering fear to be addressed. The way I try to work through fear is to write about it. To express without words, but through music.
This expression came out in the form of a sonic landscape I call Geo. It is a rumination on climate change, written from the perspective of the Earth.
Track 1: Broken Photosynthesis
Nature swells. Pulsing organic sounds crescendo and distort, washing away in silence.
Track 2: Ice Where Your Parents' Love Should Be
It was important to have a tragic motherly voice in the chorus. A melancholy sound that would create a sense of yearning. Actuating a person to develop a 'dominate at all cost’ mentality. I have a habit of playing the armchair-psychologist. And in my humble opinion, the 'growth at all costs' mentality that pure capitalism tends to breed is responsible for a lot of the denial involved in climate change.
Track 3: Below the Surface
Drowning, ambivalence. As grandiose as it sounds, I wanted to capture what it might feel like if the Earth were drowning.
Track 4: Fossils
Old ideas are old fuel sources. This song needed to feel like a discovered artifact.
Track 5: Rise
Most of us assume the environment will remain stable and calm because we're biologically trained to think in short-term, human time scales. What happened yesterday will happen today...
What's for breakfast? Who should I marry? What should I do with my life?
In terms of geological scale, these questions are somewhat superficial. They barely scratch the surface of the forces at work. In order to solve the environmental problems before us, we'll need to develop (as a collective, not just individuals) a wider understanding of time. To daily think in a context other than our own wants and needs.
Track 6: A Sea Change
I remember hearing something interesting about J.R.R. Tolkien when I was younger. It always bothered him that the English language didn't really have an antonym for the word catastrophe. So he invented his own term:
eucatastrophe - a sudden and favorable resolution of events in a story; a happy ending.
Some call it a creative cop-out, a lazy fix. But I actually think it illustrates an important optimism that's easy to overlook. Some things do suddenly get better – history is filled with examples. At the end of the day:
And this result becoming true, is probably the most important problem we'll ever solve. It affects every aspect of our culture, beliefs, desires and hopes. We need a eucatastrophe and it has to come from us.