Saturday, March 17, 2018

Carbon neutral classical music has arrived


In a recent post I wrote 'Of course orchestras need to tour; but to my knowledge there have been no attempts within classical music to recognise this environmental impact by, for example, introducing carbon offsets'. Now Paul von Wichert - host on Winnepeg's Classic 107 - has pointed out amicably that I am wrong. Because the Italian ZEBO - Zero Emission Baroque Orchestra - seen above is setting an example by taking a responsible attitude towards classical music's environmental impact. Here is an explanation of their attitude from the orchestra's website:
Now more than ever, in a world grounded on consumerism and waste, it's important to work in an alternative way designed to respect, care and preservation of the environment that should be able to sustain ourselves for a long time.
What's the relationship between this concept and music?
This question is the driving force of our project: a professional orchestra that can work with zero emission.
Zero emission will be our identity and our strong point and we want to show that a cultural activity may be a vehicle of an ethical message.
If you consider culture as personal baggage and social heritage, connected to the relationship between individual and surrounding environment, orchestra public performance can become such a refined and incisive vehicle to expand as much as possible these ideals.
ZEBO wants to join a worldwide movement seeking to achieve a balance between human activity and ecosystem, so much in defence of the culture that is our soul and nature that is our home, food and oxygen demonstrating with its job that you can work without destroying...
All the CO2 emissions produced to create the events will be offset by ZEBO by equivalent reforestation funding...ZEBO cooperate with Climate Action Network and Myclimate for equivalent reforestation fulfillment.
These agencies provide to foreseen amount to be designated to reforestation for every production and performance. For example amount set aside for every concert that take place within 200 to 800 km from Milan or for production of CDs. [ZEBO records for Brilliant Classics].
It is a sign of our doctrinaire times that news of the abolition of all-male concerts at a London music school goes viral on social media and makes the national press, while a carbon neutral orchestra remains classical music's best-kept secret. Similarly, it is very fashionable to lambast President Trump for his cavalier attitude to the environment, but it is deeply unfashionable to question the cavalier attitude of classical music towards the environment. As my recent post asserted, dangerous thinking has been abroad in classical music for years, namely that its role as a priceless form of high art licenses unacceptable behaviour. The ZEBO orchestra is showing how cultural activities can be be vehicles for diverse ethical messages. ZEBO's more illustrious peers in the orchestral world should follow their example. Now experience the sound of zero emission baroque music in this video.



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