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The Space Around Us: A Musical Meditation on Climate Change and Activism

March 7, 2020 @ 1:00 pm2:00 pm

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On Saturday March 7, Tallahassee audiences will be treated to an interdisciplinary performance of chamber music, poetry and theatre at the Florida State University Museum of Fine Arts (MoFA). The concert serves as a gallery activation for the museum’s special exhibition Rising Water, which highlights artists’ responses to hurricanes and their aftermath.

The program is free at 1 pm.

The Space Around Us: A Musical Meditation on Climate Change and Activism is a collaboration between Miami-based oboist Carly Gordon and FSU doctoral candidate, clarinetist Jessica Pollack. Through a diverse selection of contemporary classical works and spoken texts, the performance will expand upon the themes and artworks of MoFA’s exhibition. Drawing inspiration from such iconic voices as Marjory Stoneman Douglas, Greta Thunberg and Robin Wall Kimmerer, the concert will be a one-of-a-kind interactive, theatrical experience, exploring the role of activism in a climate-impacted future.

Gordon and Pollack are both alumnae of the prestigious Opera in the 21st Century residency at the Banff Centre for Arts & Creativity, where they honed their practice of blending musical performance with text, narrative and movement. “As musicians, we are excited about how classical music interacts with other artistic disciplines to tell compelling and urgent stories,” said Gordon.

Works by composers Samson Matthews, Daniel Morel, Miklós Rózsa, Kaija Saariaho, Eric Salazar, Asha Srinivasan and Hilary Tann round out an eclectic and vibrant program of chamber music for oboe, clarinet and electronics. The performers will additionally recite a selection of found texts, including excerpts from scientific studies, speeches by climate activists, and even graffiti found on plywood shutters as depicted by photographer Richard Misrach in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Misrach’s photos are on display in the Rising Water exhibition.

“We chose these pieces, these texts, and this artistic exhibit because they make a more powerful and cohesive message together than they do on their own,” added Pollack. “We programmed works that would stand on their own as meaningful and interesting, but, organized together, guide the audience through the many complex emotions around navigating and internalizing an idea like climate change.”

The Rising Water exhibit deals with intense images, topics and emotions that juxtapose art and creativity with the urgent but often abstract threat of climate change. The Space Around Us invites museum guests to experience these challenging themes guided by a music-driven narrative. “We want the audience to experience an emotional journey and ultimately leave with a desire to take action,” Gordon said.

The Space Around Us takes place on Saturday, March 7 at 1:00 p.m. at the FSU Museum of Fine Arts, 530 W Call Street. Admission is free.

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Florida State University Museum of Fine Arts
530 West Call Street
Tallahassee,FL32306United States
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