CORVALLIS, Ore. — Oregon State University is publishing 20 four-minute concerts that weave together music and the spoken word to celebrate the creatures that fill the air with sound — frogs, wolves, songbirds, growling grizzly bears — and inspire action to save them.
Videos in the “Music to Save Earth’s Songs” series will be posted online at 6 p.m. on Mondays and Thursdays through the end of March. To watch, visit https://liberalarts.oregonstate.edu/feature-story/music-save-earth-s-songs.
The series, which is free and open to the public, is inspired by a new book from OSU Professor Emeritus Kathleen Dean Moore called “Earth’s Wild Music.”
“Words alone are not enough to express the enormity of the losses the world faces. And so we turn to music,” said Moore, distinguished professor of philosophy at OSU and co-founder of the Spring Creek Project within the College of Liberal Arts, which is facilitating the series.
Each tiny concert focuses on a single animal and features a reading from Moore’s book by a well-known writer along with a musical response. In the first video, “Braiding Sweetgrass” author Robin Wall Kimmerer reads a passage about the common murre accompanied by violinist Erika Nagamoto and cellist Titus Young, youth musicians from Corvallis and Eugene. Later in the series, “Trace” author Lauret Savoy will read about the sage grouse accompanied by Mark Weaver on the jazz tuba.
Spring Creek program manager Carly Lettero, who is leading the video project, is committed to bringing art together with science to effect change.
“Scientists tell us that over the past 50 years, roughly 60% of mammals have been erased from the face of the earth. This is unbearable news,” Lettero said. “We are using art to open people’s hearts to the biological and moral necessity of action.”
The video series is co-sponsored and co-released by Orion Magazine, the Greenbelt Land Trust in Corvallis, the McKenzie River Trust, the Center for Humans and Nature, Counterpoint Press and the Safina Center.
Performances will include:
About the OSU College of Liberal Arts: The College of Liberal Arts encompasses seven distinct schools, as well as several interdisciplinary initiatives, that focus on humanities, social sciences, and fine and performing arts. Curriculum developed by the college’s nationally and internationally-renowned faculty prepares students to approach the complex problems of the world ethically and thoughtfully, contributing to a student's academic foundation and helping to build real-world skills for a 21st century career and a purposeful life.