AKQA partners with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra to perform The [Uncertain] Four Seasons

13 January 2021

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The global project recomposes Vivaldi’s ‘The Four Seasons’ using climate data for every orchestra in the world.

The [Uncertain] Four Seasons is a global project to recompose Vivaldi’s ‘The Four Seasons’ using climate data for every orchestra in the world.

Global innovation and design company AKQA and Hamburg based advertising agency Jung von Matt, in partnership with The Sydney Symphony Orchestra, composer Hugh Crosthwaite and Monash University's Climate Change Communication Research Hub have used climate data to recompose Vivaldi's 'The Four Seasons.'

"Our teams are always looking at the world differently. The [Uncertain] Four Seasons is our desperate attempt to show climate data in a new way that people will not only understand, but feel," AKQA AUNZ executive creative director Tim Devine says.

"We’ve all watched the documentaries and seen the graphs – our hope is that by reflecting the risks of climate change in music we can help people experience what a radically new aesthetic and lived experience might feel like.”

 

One of the most loved classical pieces of music, Vivaldi's 'Four Seasons' was written three centuries ago and is an endlessly inventive depiction of each season, influenced by the rhythms of the year.

To portray a future where the world has failed to act decisively on global warming, The [Uncertain] Four Seasons aims to place pressure on world leaders to act decisively at the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference.

To inspire action on climate change ahead of the conference in November 2021, The [Uncertain] Four Seasons for the year 2050 was composed to warn of future dangers, offers hope and inspires action.

Building upon the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra's 2019 performance in Hamburg, which fused Vivaldi's music with historical weather data.

"In 2019, we first looked to the past and used historical climate data to create The Four Seasons: a present-day version of Vivaldi's masterpiece," Jung Von Matt executive creative director Joachim Kortlepel says.

"Now, with the [Uncertain] Four Seasons, we're bringing it into the future, making climate change audible."

The first variation of The [Uncertain] Four Seasons will be performed by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra at the SYDFEST 2021 on January 12 and 13 at 8.30 pm AEDT.

The live performance can be viewed at www.sydneyfestival.org.au/livestream.

The [Uncertain] Four Seasons is the output of a musical design system that combines music theory with computer modelling to generate local variations of Vivaldi's original 1725 composition.

The algorithm alters the musical score to account for predicted changes in rainfall, biodiversity and extreme weather events as laid out in the IPCC's reports.

A local variation has been generated for every major orchestra in the world. Musicians are currently being invited to perform their local interpretation. 

“Vivaldi’s original composition was an innovation for its time, and his visceral translation of nature into music continues to capture the imagination of audiences today," Melbourne composer Hugh Crosthwaite says.

"In that way, it’s the perfect canvas for us to communicate an urgent message about the environment: if we do nothing now, the harmonious environment we rely on for inspiration and nourishment will be forever changed.” 

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