Hundreds of professional artists and students playing over 50 musical instruments. Western Classical Music. Indian Classical Music. Carnatic Tradition. Hindustani Tradition. Jazz Tradition. Folk music Tradition. The cause? A plea to tackle climate change. Anyone who thinks that Western musical and Indian musical traditions do not mix will completely change their mind, once they have heard Chitravina Ravikiran play with Western orchestras. Now, in his latest musical venture, he has taken that unique musical ability to help musical styles and nationalities converge for the cause of the environment. And what an ambitious venture it has been – Tomorrow, on June 5th World Environment Day, tune into his Youtube channel to hear the universal musical plea orchestrated through his efforts.
Chitravina Ravikiran, a phenomenal Indian musician initiated work on the Planet Symphony, a musical composition which will go live tomorrow to mark World Environment Day. He says, “The Planet Symphony Orchestra (PSO) upgrades Art-for-entertainment to Art-for environment in response to the agony felt by billions all over the world, including millions of students who have literally taken to the streets demanding climate justice. This effort is non-political but we aim to inspire decision makers of governments and corporate houses to prevent an environmental meltdown within ten years, after which several effects due to global warming will be irreversible.”
Work started in March – he notated the composition, invited musical collaborators and soon word spread like wildfire. Professional musicians – student musicians – everyone wanted to pick up their instrument and play – at once as an individual and joint plea for action to tackle climate change.
Chitravina Ravikiran is no stranger to working on artistic collaborations with musicians drawn from varied genres. Listen here for his version of the famous tune Fur Elise by the Indian Carnatic maestro, with an improvisatory prelude in the specially created Indian raga Veetavanam and rare touches of Melharmony, created in honor of the romantic composer, Ludwig van Beethoven.
East truly meets West in the love for music and the deeply felt need to save our planet – both music and the environment do not adhere to narrow national boundaries. Listen and join the movement!
Nirupama Vaidhyanathan is the editor of India Currents magazine.