Emily Carr String Quartet. Photo by Jon Mark.

Music for climate justice

Earth songs presented by Christ Church Cathedral

  • Feb. 7, 2022 7:30 a.m.

Christ Church Cathedral and the Emily Carr String Quartet are thrilled to announce Earth Songs: Music for Climate Justice, the quartet’s third concert series since their partnership began in 2020.

This series of six concerts, running from February to June, will feature one of Canada’s top quartets and the cathedral’s Wolff organ played by a lineup of international artists. The series will draw attention to the need for personal action to reverse the climate crisis, and will include brief talks from climate-focused NPOs and advocates, and provide an opportunity to support. Each concert will focus on a different facet of our relationship with the natural world, aiming to educate and entertain, and inspire change.

The first half of the series, three concerts entitled “Air,” “Water” and “Land,” will see the Emily Carr String Quartet perform commissions by Canadian composers, celebrating their namesake composer’s nature-based paintings. These concerts feature music by John Luther Adams, Maurice Ravel, R. Murray Schafer, Claude Debussy, Marjan Mozetich and Johannes Brahms.

The second half of the series will highlight Christ Church Cathedral’s magnificent pipe organ in three concerts featuring the cathedral’s assistant director of music, Mark McDonald, playing Gustav Holst’s “The Planets,” Simon Johnson (Westminster Cathedral, UK) playing Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf” and a collaboration between organist Jenny Vincent and CBC science journalist Bob McDonald entitled “Earth, Wind, Fire, and Life.” The Wolff was built in 2005 by Helmuth Wolff and, consisting of four keyboards, a pedalboard and 4,000 individual pipes, it is the west coast’s finest organ.

Christ Church Cathedral’s dean, The Very Reverend M. Ansley Tucker, is pleased that the cathedral can get involved in projects that help draw attention to the imperative to safeguard, sustain and renew the life of the earth.

She says, “Human beings are finally beginning to grasp that we are not the possessors of the earth and its creatures, but rather one part of a great ecosystem upon which we rely, and which relies upon us.”

Here are the details for the first half of the series, running between now and April:

• “Air”—Friday, February 11 at 5 pm. Performers: The Emily Carr String Quartet, R. Murray Shafer, String Quartet 2 “Waves,” Claude Debussy, String Quartet in G minor Op.10.

• “Water”—Friday, March 11 at 5 pm (marking World Water Day on Tuesday, March 22).Performers: The Emily Carr String Quartet, R. Murray Shafer, String Quartet 2 “Waves,” Claude Debussy, String Quartet in G minor Op.10.

• “Land”—Friday, April 22, 5 pm (marking Earth Day). Performers: The Emily Carr String Quartet, Marjan Mozetich, Lament in the Trampled Garden (BISQ Commission 2012), Brahms String Quartet no. 2 in A minor.