Preventing water crises
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Preventing water crises

A captivating record about the rivers of Amazonia

A special album by the American composer Philip Glass and Brazilian band Uakti takes us on a journey to the riversides of the Amazonian Basin. The album entitled Aguas da Amazonia, published in 1999, invokes both the playful and the spellbinding aspect of water with a blend of classical, new age and jazz music.

Collaboration between the American composer Philip Glass and Uakti, a Brazilian band known for their special, home-made instruments began in 1993 and eventually led to the publication of the Aguas da Amazonia album.

Glass is one of the most influential figures in contemporary music. He has composed a number of operas and musicals, but he has written orchestral pieces, symphonies, concertos and solo pieces as well. He has composed music for more than a dozen films, three of which (Kundun, The Hours and Notes on a Scandal) were nominated for Oscar awards.

The Brazilian band Uakti was founded in 1978 under the leadership of Marco Antônio Guimarães. They borrowed their name from a mythological creature that lived along the banks of the Rio Negro, and whose body was full of holes that made special sounds when the wind blew through them, which bewitched the women of nearby tribes. The men, offended, hunted and killed the creature. Palm trees grew on his grave, and the music from the flutes made from those palm trees also had an enchanting effect.

The artists dedicated the pieces on the album to the Amazon and its tributaries, along with the world’s second longest river, the Amazon, while individual songs were dedicated to the Tiquiê, the Japurá, the Purus, the Negro, the Madeira, the Tapajós, the Paru and the Xingu rivers.

Further information: philipglass.com

Transitory art, enduring message

Simon Beck is a lover of snowy landscapes. He began to create his massive but ephemeral artworks on untouched fields of snow inspired by the complex but fragile shapes of snowflakes.

Evergreen song about the sea born in a cataclysm

The French chanteur and songwriter Charles Trenet wrote one of his most popular songs about the sea. The graceful, catchy tune can evoke the mood of the sea anytime, anywhere. But the world was going up in flames when the song was written.

William Basinski: Watermusic

William Basinski, the American composer known for his meditative, melancholy style is an iconic figure of experimental music. His songs, almost all of which are recorded using some obsolete technology on analogue tape resonate with the tragedy of temporality, the mystery of time, the ephemeral nature of existence.

Museo Atlántico – an underwater sculpture park

The British sculptor and scuba instructor Jason deCaires Taylor has been working for years to raise awareness of the dangers that threaten the oceans. That is why his monumental works made of highly durable materials are installed along seashores and even at the bottom of the sea.

Australian artist inspired by pristine beaches

Sidney-based artist Maria Antuanelle uses a special technique to produce breathtakingly beautiful paintings of ocean shores untouched by human hand.

Sea Walls – murals tell stories about the oceans

The public art programme of the PangeaSeed Foundation aims to focus attention on the importance of preserving the oceans. Since its launch in 2014, more than two hundred and fifty artists have joined the initiative: their murals proclaim the beauty and the vulnerability of the seas in fifteen countries, on some 350 walls.

Paintings bring us face to face with sea waste

In the 1950s, the vivid colours, loud lettering and wry humour of pop art held a mirror up for the nascent consumer culture. The American painter Karen Hackenberg follows in the footsteps of Andy Warhol as she tries to rouse the plastic-addicted consumers of the 21st century.

Sea-art: an exciting artistic collaboration with corals

The over fifteen-year-old street art formation 1UP Crew have left the streets of Berlin for the bottom of the ocean in Indonesia to bring awareness to one of the greatest problems of the oceans, the destruction of coral reefs by pollution and warming.

Climate charts transformed into graffiti art

Alisa Singer is one of the growing number of artists who wish to use their creative toolkit to make the alarming reality behind the dry numbers of climate statistics more tangible, comprehensible.

Elegy for the Arctic

The Italian composer and pianist Ludovico Einaudi performed his composition in an extraordinary location: on a floating platform in the middle of the ocean near the Wahlenbergbreen Glacier in Norway, to raise awareness of the dangers threatening the Arctic. The message of the Elegy, born from anxiety for the disappearing ice caps, is more relevant than ever.