Composer to stage climate change protest with melting ice sculpture

A Scottish musician will stand next to an 8ft ice sculpture until it melts in a slow protest highlighting the impact of climate change.

Erland Cooper will remain beside the sculpture at the Barbican’s Sculpture Court in London on April 27 until it thaws.

He will interact with members of the public from dawn until dusk and a tape recorder will play ambient sound at low volume until its batteries run out.

Cooper described the installation as a “visual call to arms” against climate change, and it comes ahead of the release of his new album Folded Landscapes on May 5.

During the day, Cooper will invite writers, poets, artists and the public to come to the site and their texts and reactions will be posted live on his social media pages as the sculpture disappears.

Erland Cooper with the ice sculpture he will watch melt (Erland Cooper/PA)

“I hope it’s more a feeling of inward reflection, ‘How can I waste less, and value more? What tiny thing can I do?’.

“I often write with the natural world as my collaborator, whether with the soil or the elements themselves, birdsong or simply a sense of place in mind.

“The earth being credited as a co-writer, and further still as a producer of a new work, seems an entirely befitting courtesy to me.

“There is of course a poetic narrative here but it is coupled with an obligation, a sense of responsibility and ultimately an opportunity, to celebrate and cherish nature.”

A composition by Cooper was selected last year to be part of the celebrations for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

His soundtrack Music For Growing Flowers accompanied millions of flowers which were planted in the Tower of London’s moat.

His music is inspired by his native Orkney and celebrates themes of the natural world, place, people and time.

Last autumn, a couple found a copy of his forthcoming album which he had hidden in Orkney in spring 2021. He deleted all digital files and left only a treasure hunt of clues for fans and his record label alike to find the buried copy.

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