Tree Hugging is so 1980s. Get ready for Glacier Hugging. It’s cold and unpleasant and your tongue may end up stuck there.
I wonder what the carbon footprint of bringing an entire orchestra to a glacier looks like. But don’t ask any questions. It’s to bring “awareness” to the problem of people driving too many cars. And that entirely justifies transporting an orchestra to a glacier.
Fifty musicians trekked to Farnham Glacier in the Kootenays Saturday to perform for the glacier itself and express their grief about the melting of glaciers with the aptly titled composition Requiem for a Glacier.
The glacier reportedly thought that their violins were out of tune and the trombone was a little too much. Also it was hoping for something lighter. Maybe a little Gershwin.
“I felt it, as I was playing,” said violinist Gerda Crosthwaite, 74, of Kaslo. “It is farewell to a glacier, feeling sadness it will happen. We cannot stop it any more.”
I just opened my freezer and played the world’s smallest violin for a melting ice cube.
In addition to the choir and orchestra, another 50 people including sound technicians, mountain guides, film crew, “sherpas” to help carry instruments and technical gear, and drivers travelled the steep mountain road from Invermeer to the glaciers of the Jumbo Valley.
Victoria composer Paul Walde wrote Requiem for a Glacier to bring awareness to melting glaciers in general and particularly to the Jumbo and Farnham Glaciers.
The piece is in Latin like a traditional requiem, but the text is a translation of the B.C. government news release announcing the approval of the Jumbo Glacier Resort and its published chronology of the approval process.
Ajtony Csaba was a striking sight, conducting on the glacier wearing traditional concert-hall conductor’s garb. He is the director of the University of Victoria Symphony and the Central European Chamber Orchestra.