Composer Steven Bryant of Durham, North Carolina, is worried about global warming, and he’s expressing his anxiety through a recent composition.
“It’s not a piece of music that describes the environment degrading,” he says. “It’s more of my own psychological journey of wrestling with this.”
“The Automatic Earth” is a 30-minute piece for wind ensemble and electronic sounds.
“A lot of these sounds, the electronic ones in particular, have a very ominous quality to them,” Bryant says.
At times, the music becomes loud and discordant. At the piece’s climax, bright lights shine down on the audience, “sort of putting the audience – the listener – in the spotlight and turning the attention away from the stage and onto all of us,” Bryant says. “It is a confrontational piece of music.”
Through it, Bryant hopes to make the climate crisis impossible to ignore.
“For 30 minutes, you have to think about it,” he says. “You have no choice.”
Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media.