Five Questions to Leah Barclay

WHAT ROLE DO YOU SEE YOUR ART PLAYING IN BRINGING COMMUNITIES TOGETHER OR BRINGING ABOUT SOCIAL CHANGE?

It has become increasingly clear that we rapidly need new ways to communicate the current state of our environment. Fortunately most of the world now agrees climate change is one of the most critical issues we are facing. Yet there has been limited success in inspiring people to make significant changes. The Paris Agreement achieved at COP21 was just the first step in what needs to be a global cultural shift in how people think and act. In our visually dominant society, listening to the state of the environment can reconnect us with nature. Sound can transport us to a place and time and elicit an empathetic response that can be extremely powerful in climate action. We need to inspire people to change deeply ingrained unsustainable lifestyles and make conscious choices. Positive and motivating experiences are much more productive than overwhelming and depressing climate graphs. While I am not suggesting my music has this capacity, I have no doubt music and creativity has incredible agency in social change.

My practice has evolved from writing music inspired by the environment to developing large-scale participatory projects where my compositions are a catalyst for people to engage with conservation in new ways. What began as an exploration of the value of sound in climate change has evolved into a web of projects harnessing music and acoustic ecology to raise cultural and environmental awareness. At the core of these projects is community engagement and accessibility. My compositions have become part of a multi-layered process designed to inspire others to engage in practices of listening, field recording and composition.

Read the rest over at I Care if you Listen!

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