Why an oratorio about the climate crisis?
(a few words from the composer…)
Faced with a planetary crisis, we’re failing to respond. If science can’t get the message across, perhaps music can.
In 2017, I read an article that said that even if we understand climate change on an intellectual level, we’re not going to truly engage with it until we feel it on an emotional level. And that made a lightbulb go on for me: music excels at building emotional connections.
Perhaps music can help dissolve the paralysis many people feel when they confront this topic.
And so, I set out to write an oratorio about climate change. A Passion for the Planet begins by celebrating the natural wonders of our planet. In the middle movements, we journey into the dark realities of climate change, including a musical depiction of the infamous “hockey stick” graphs. The eighth movement (“The Question”) is a turning point. From there, the music gradually turns towards hope, inspired by the words of David Orr, “Hope is a verb with its sleeves rolled up.” In the end, we all join together to sing a simple chorale tune.
Singing and listening to music won’t make the climate crisis go away. But perhaps, by forming an emotional connection with the topic, it can help us confront the stark realities. And when we see those realities—and truly take them in—maybe then, together, nourished by hope, we can work together to find a way forward.” – Geoffrey Hudson