Inspire ways of thinking and feeling
optimistically about our warming world;
Give emotional expression to the science and challenges of a changing climate;
Document through music. stories and visual images, the
past, present and possible futures for us from climate change; and
Play great music that people will love, because, whatever the future, we all need moments of pleasure and joy!
What is it exactly?
Music for a Warming World is two things at the same time
- it is a celebration of Music!
Music is not just a means to communicate; it is an end in itself. This is a great musical gig with huge musical variety, fantastic musicianship and lots of audience engagement.
... in other words, people have a great time!
- It communicates the science behind climate change in a unique way - it is up-to-date, peer reviewed, and highly informative. Much of it is new to all but the most nerdish climate nerds. It covers the renewables revolution, current politics and social justice challenges. It does all without a lectures
... in other words, people learn a lot!
So, if you love live music you will love Music for a Warming World
If you love science, you with Love Music for a Warming World
If you love both, you will be in heaven
This is the current program, so you can get an idea about the show content. However, it is a continual work in progress and will undoubtedly change as we write better songs and get better ideas.
Please note that this our own work and is subject to copyright.
Some tunes have been recorded, but not yet all. Click on the song titles that are underlined and you will get redirected to the appropriate site to hear the song,
There are four parts to the show
PART 1: STORM (the science of climate change)
PART 2: LOSS (mourning inevitable losses)
PART 3: CHANGE (fighting back and bringing change)
PART 4: THRIVE (living well in challenging times)
“We are the first generation that through its neglect could destroy the relationship between humans and the planet and perhaps the last generation that can prevent this” (Lord Nicholas Stern, 2014)
A dark, rhythmic and roots based stomper exploring the emotions of the singer as he sees dark clouds on the horizon (metaphorically and literally)
By releasing large amounts of greenhouse gases, we are artificially changing the atmosphere. This mostly instrumental song brings us back to the basis of atmospheric chemistry through the use of videos clips and aural experience. Performed in a style Simon refers to as ‘world music’ with an unusually tuned 12 String guitar at its core.
2)a The Atmosphere: a brief visual encounter with the atmosphere, this remarkably thin layer of gases that keeps the planet at the right temperature for human civilisation to flourish.
3) CO2 and its Discontents
Another instrumental to accompany some powerful visual images of the accumulation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
4) A Song for a Warming Planet
instrumental, originally composed by cellist Daniel Crawford, where each note
corresponds to the average global temperature from 1880 to 2012. Hear the original version here. We added the last 4 years of data to update the piece (up to the 2016 global surface temperature, the hottest in the record.
5) Greenhouse Gases for the Masses
A partly spoken-word tune in a rap/folk style, this tune lays out the basic facts of planetary warming in a simple way; the rapid increase of carbon in the atmosphere and the temperature increases that parallel the CO2 levels.
PART 2: LOSS
To suffer loss is to mourn. But through mourning we are transformed
In thinking what is being lost in our world, this song and came up with this strange tail about a bear, a human and a time machine.
“The world we have received also belongs to those who will follow us” (Pope Francis, 159, Encyclical on Care for our Common home’)
becomes personal when we think of our children and grandchildren who will
inherit the world from us. This song was released on Simon’s 2011 Album ‘Sweet
Lover’ and was written as a love song for future generations.
8) Our Beautiful Dream (A Eulogy)
A musical and visual meditation written in anticipation of a future without the great barrier reef. It uses extraordinary slow-mo footage of coral with the generous permission of BioQuest Studios in Port Douglas, Australia
PART 3: CHANGE
9) One cheer for Coal (A Capella)
What's coal ever done for us? Oh, that's right, quite a lot really. It powered the industrial revolution,
built our wealth, supported our scientific development, made us much wealthier,
given us better health, longer lives and so on. So lets acknowledge our debt to fossil
fuel. And then say farewell!
A fun tune requiring mandatory audience participation.
Christine and I saw the giant redwoods in Yosemite National Park (California) for the first time recently. It was a powerful, almost spiritual experience, being in the presence of the largest living entities on Earth. This got me thinking about how coal comes from the bodies of dead plants from millions of years ago.
In some ways we’re digging up the spirits of the dead
11) A little Story about Dis-investing
One powerful and achievable thing to do it is take our money out of any institution that still invests in fossil fuels, and put it into a responsible institution. Here is a little story about that.
12) We need a Miracle
some good news? There are some unanticipated miracles taking place in
the world of renewable energy, miracles that no-one anticipated. This
story is supported by an upbeat acoustic funk tune!
13) Moving a Big Sky
A song in praise of wind energy, and indirectly all clean energy, from Simon’s 2014 album, Never Gonna Die
This song was inspired by Naomi Klein’s book, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate. Cheap fossil fuels have powered our economies and lifestyle, and made some groups very wealthy. But dangerous climate change means that the poorest will bear the highest costs. Those currently benefiting most will not easily give up their hold on power. We need significant change to the global governance of our atmospheric commons. And this will change everything!
The most recent addition to the set list, a hip-hop driven anthematic call for climate consciousness and engagement by all those you care about the future we are creating though dangerous climate change. We ask audience members to consider what they can do to make their voice heard. We also offer the Climate Emergency movement as one way to get engaged
PART 4: THRIVE
Music for a Warming World is not just about facing up to dangerous climate change, it is also about remembering to celebrate life and thrive as communities and individuals in challenging times.
16) Imagine the World
The future is not fixed. There are huge changes underway in technology, energy economy and civil society and there are grounds for hope. But only if we decide what sort of future we want.
This is in an acoustic stomp style, as yet unrecorded.
17) Simple Things
Living simply is not only good for the planet, but is remarkably good for the soul. This popular reggae sing-along tune is from Simon’s 2011 album, ‘Sweet Lover’.
To flourish in the face of climate change is to live well in the midst of uncertainty. This tune is off Simon’s first album (2007) Voyager, and suggests that we can find emotional anchors even in the midst of uncertainty and change. The link is to a new arrangement of this tune by the Simon Kerr Perspective.