From our evolution in the heart of Africa 200 thousand years ago to our daily lives today we are all affected by our environment, a feature that we have often reflected on through sound and music.

Even modern society, locked in its seemingly sterile urban landscapes feels the pressure and noise of surrounding global environments and environmental change.

How does the environment impact at this human scale? How does it impact on YOU?

Music Planet explores the broadest concepts of Environment and Music. The series will draw on academic research across all disciplines from arts to social science and science to present new concepts that have an impact on all society. The series will present the research messages with reflections made through the performing arts from classical through to new contemporary music. From the comfort of the well-known to explorations in improvisation with both traditional and new composition Music Planet will challenge you to think deeper about life and your planet.


Throughout the centuries, artists have used their chosen media to reflect on nature and human reaction to it. From personal experiences to depictions of catastrophic events works have been created to try and bring sense to natural environments and our place within them.  MusicPlanet takes its theme from these reflections.  It will present a series of performance events to reflect on environment in its broadest sense. Some events will focus on Environment in terms of natural elements such as climate and societies response to changes in climate others will explore societal attempts to control environments.

Each event is co-presented by artists together with groups of academics from the arts, social sciences and sciences in order to allow relevant aspects of academic research to be explored. The events are designed to be co-participatory with public audience becoming engaged with the delivery of the event. Before, during and after each event there will be on-line information for exploring further the academic research story behind the events.

Come to them with an open mind and discover the fascinating world of Planet Earth and Music Planet


Music Planet grew out of an idea that Dr Richard Bates had to perform some of the late Sir Peter Maxwell Davis’ works and link into climate research being conducted by the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences.  Sir Peter was an active campaigner on climate issues and cared passionately about the environment of his adopted homeland, Orkney.  His music often explores sounds from natural environments and provides an inspiration to us all. From early discussions with the Music Centre at St Andrews, and in particular with the enthusiasm of Michael Downes, Jill Craig and Bede Williams Music Planet was born.

The ever growing list of individuals involved in Music Planet include staff at the Music Centre, several Schools at the University of St Andrews, and some external organisations:

Michael Downes

Bede Williams

Jill Craig 


Vincent Janack

Doug Gilliespie

Ailsa Hall

Emily Doolittle 

Bernie McConnell

Earth Sciences

Richard Bates

James Rae

Andrea Burke

Rob Wilson

Sami Mikhail

Clair Cousins

Tim Raub 

Nicky Alison


Chris Jones


Charles Warren


Joanne Hambly (SCAPE)

Tom Dawson (SCAPE) 

Modern Languages

David Evans


Anne-Marie Weijmans

Duncan Robertson

Dav Mcfarlane

Social Anthropology

Stephanie Bunn

Margaret (Meg) Hyland