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Canadian Musicians Protest Perform Paul Walde's 'Requiem for a Glacier' Atop B.C.'s Mt. Farnham

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Jul 30, 2013 05:12 PM EDT | James Inverne

Canadian Musicians Protest Perform Paul Wade's 'Requiem for a Glacier' Atop B.C.'s Mt. Farnham

We quote the composer, Paul Walde: "'Requiem for a Glacier' is a site-specific sound performance that took place on a glacier near Invermere, British Columbia the weekend of July 27-28. This piece has been commissioned by the Langham Cultural Centre and will be the basis of a new video work that will be cornerstone of an installation scheduled for October 2013 in Kaslo, B.C. In four movements, 'Requiem for a Glacier' will present the history of the glacier, the advent of electricity, climate change and the British Columbian government’s announcement of a year-round recreational development and resort community in the Jumbo Glacier area." (Photo : Pat Morrow)

When orchestra musicians want to protest about something, you just try stopping them, no matter how remote the location!

Planners behind a mooted ski resort in Canada discovered this last weekend, when 50 musicians hiked up the Farnham glacier in British Columbia to protest a certain scheme.

The glacier is situated in the East Kootenay area of British Columbia and is an area of outstanding natural beauty--Mount Farnham is British Columbia's 17th-highest peak--a beauty that protestors say will be threatened by the building of the prospective Jumbo Glacier Resort.

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The resort received official approval in May of 2013, and now has the all-clear to go ahead and build the 150-room complex, day lodge and ski lifts.

There were already, according to CBC News reports, question marks over the project's funding, though. And now the Jumbo Resort folk have had to contend with protest music in the mountains.

80 people--the 50 musicians and 30 more who accompanied them to help with equipment or simply to show support--set up the orchestra and performed a new work by the University of Victoria's Paul Walde entitled, Requiem for a Glacier.

Wade's opus included Latin texts which could have been taken for sacred liturgy by the uninitiated but were, in fact, a translation of the press release announcing the building of the resort.

The protestors claim that the environmental impact of the $450 million (Canadian dollars) project will be sizeable. Accordingly, Requiem for a Glacier was scored to start slow and speed up--to represent the accelerating rate of climatic change on the glacier, itself.

CBC notes that later this year and early in 2014, respectively, the work will be incorporated into an art installation at the Langham Cultural Centre in Kaslo and another at the Oxygen Art Centre in Nelson. Whether the building plans may have changed by that time is anyone's guess.

Will the work be seen by then as a requiem, or celebratory fanfare?

For more information about Reqiuem for a Glacier, or to donate to the project, please visit: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/requiem-for-a-glacier. A donation of just $10 (American) gets you an .mp3 of Paul Walde's piece-in-progress.

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