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15 April 2019

Music For The Planet – Episode 9: Northern Lights

The last step is approaching: next week the last track of Music For The Planet will be released and the entire album will be available on all digital platforms and free downloads. In the meantime, however, I would like you to try to immerse yourself in a new sound environment. As the title suggests, Northern Lights is a sound photograph of the aurora borealis in a night snowy landscape, near a forest in an unspecified place in the Arctic. I tried to imprint the rarefied atmosphere of this moment, accompanying it softly by sound bands that represent the bands of the aurora itself. Press play and let yourself be transported to this isolated place for a few minutes. 


It all starts with a series of synthetic sounds and foley, introducing us to the ambiance described above. A light breeze brings with it the first notes of the main theme, interpreted by the piano. They resonate freely in this timeless non-place, while the rarefied atmosphere will continue until the end of the piece along with the singing of the cicadas. At 35 seconds the orchestra makes a first intervention with a short but incisive crescendo followed by an even shorter diminuendo. At 49 seconds, the hand drum’s pad notes emerge from the sound bands and begin to dialogue with the theme, filling in the gaps. In the meantime, the percussions give the body to the piece in the background, following the free cadence of the piano. At minute 01.00, the theme stops and the atmosphere of synthetic sounds increases in intensity: the piano accompanies this movement only by colouring the space with high notes. The clarinet is a shy soloist in this part. From 01.45, the piano and the orchestra follow one another in a series of crescendos, varying the chords of the theme heard so far. After this section, at 02.07 the piece opens for the very first time. The piano returns to perform the main theme, while the orchestra accompanies it softly. The Northern Lights are in front of our eyes and we, immobile, as well as the continuous bass of this piece, enjoy the various details.

Here are two amazing photos of the Northern Lights, recently shot in Finland, courtesy of Italian content creator Francesco Galati. Follow his amazing reports around the world on his Instagram profile.

Dive Into The Matter: Polar Bears

The bright dancing lights of the aurora are actually collisions between electrically charged particles from the sun that enter the earth’s atmosphere. The lights are seen above the magnetic poles of the northern and southern hemispheres.

What happens in the Arctic doesn’t stay in the Arctic. The Arctic is warming faster than any other region on Earth, and the world is already feeling the effects. The Arctic is warming at a rate of almost twice the global average. Without urgent action, the world will continue to feel the effects of a warming Arctic: rising sea levels, changes in climate and precipitation patterns, increasing severe weather events, and loss of fish stocks, birds and marine mammals. Accordingly to Polar Bears International, the rapidly changing climate combined with human impact is creating a different Arctic landscape. Changing a creature’s environment changes the way they live.

A polar bear’s life cycle is almost exclusively tied to sea ice. Sea-ice loss from climate change is the best known habitat threat to polar bears. Polar bears rely on the sea ice for hunting their seal prey and for travelling, breeding, and sometimes denning. Commercial activity in the Arctic has increased as the region becomes more accessible. This adds a variety of new threats to polar bears that will require careful management. These activities include oil and gas exploration and development, shipping, mining, and tourism. The IUCN Polar Bear Specialist Group lists the polar bear as a vulnerable species, citing sea ice loss from climate change as the single biggest threat to their survival. Scientists estimate there are currently about 23,000 polar bears worldwide. But without action on climate change, we could see dramatic declines in polar bear numbers by mid-century.

Take Action: Patagonia & 1% For The Planet

The environmental crisis has reached a critical tipping point. Without commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, defend clean water and air, and divest from dirty technologies, humankind as a whole will destroy our planet’s ability to repair itself. At Patagonia, the protection and preservation of the environment isn’t what we do after hours. It’s the reason we’re in business and every day’s work. Since 1985, Patagonia has pledged 1% of sales to the preservation and restoration of the natural environment. We’ve awarded over $89 million in cash and in-kind donations to domestic and international grassroots environmental groups making a difference in their local communities. In 2002, founder of Patagonia, Yvon Chouinard, and Craig Mathews, owner of Blue Ribbon Flies, created a non-profit corporation to encourage other businesses to do the same.

1% for the Planet is an alliance of businesses that understand the necessity of protecting the natural environment. They understand that profit and loss are directly linked to its health and are concerned with the social and environmental impacts of industry. In just over 10 years, 1% for the Planet companies have given more than $100 million back to Blue.

If you’re a business owner (or have any influence over your boss), please consider becoming a member of this socially and environmentally progressive group. By contributing 1% of total annual sales to grassroots environmental groups, members of 1% for the Planet affect real change. And members receive other benefits: The satisfaction of paving the way for more corporate responsibility in the business community and the recognition, support and patronage of conscientious consumers who value serious commitment to the environment.

Be part of the change. Contribute to the cause by buying Patagonia’s products and promoting the One Percent For The Planet initiative in your company.

Here you can find special online deals from Patagonia

and here you can investigate more on One Percent For The Planet initiatives