Climate Impacts on YOU with the RSNO

In 1997 Sir Peter Maxwell Davies was commissioned to write a piece of music to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the film Scott of the Antarctic. His commissioners, the British Antarctic Survey, took Max down south to experience the harsh landscapes first hand. The result was a work that captured the raw and fragile environment. However, in typical Max style, he also poured into the music his concerns and reflections on environments closer to his adopted home in Orkney; a place where change as a result of human intervention in Planet Earth’s climate is also being experienced. The final piece presents to us a commentary of the state of our global environment today and for each of us our place within it.

Max’dOUT is a celebration of his work through performances linked to a series of school education workshops. It will be a multi-year collaboration programme between the University of St Andrews and the RSNO that will use the Antarctic Symphony as a vehicle to engage with secondary schools in Scotland on aspects of climate change. During this collaboration, workshops will be run in targeted schools in Orkney, Tayside, Fife and Glasgow by experts in climate research from the University and by musicians from the RSNO. The latest climate research will be presented using a model developed by the Geobus programme. In addition, the RSNO will conduct a series of workshops with higher/advanced higher music students based around new compositions inspired by Max’s work. The pupils reflections on both climate and the music will finally be integrated to produce a Visual collage to be beamed live simultaneously to a public performance of the symphony (Sound and Light Show).

Two target events are proposed for the work, the Orkney International Science Festival and the new Waterfront opening in Dundee. As a legacy to the project a permanent recording of the symphony together with the visual collage will be produced.