The Maine Science Festival, with the Bangor Symphony Orchestra, and GRAMMY Award-winning Conductor and Composer Lucas Richman announce the 2022 Maine Science Festival Headliner Event: THE WARMING SEA - AN EXPLORATION OF HOPE IN THE FACE OF THE CLIMATE CRISIS.
In January 2019, the MSF commissioned GRAMMY award winner, Lucas Richman, to write a symphonic piece about climate change in the Gulf of Maine. Kate Dickerson, Founder & Director of the Maine Science Festival, noted, “When the MSF was conceived, it was with the understanding that arts organizations would be a part of it. One of these collaborations has been a concerted effort by the Maine Science Festival, Lucas Richman, and the Bangor Symphony Orchestra to produce something together. When it became clear that the Gulf of Maine was warming faster than 99% of the oceans, and that Maine is leading the world on climate change research, the time had come for the MSF art-science collaboration to happen full force. The Warming Sea was born from this.”
A vital part of this project was facilitating interviews between Richman and those who have direct knowledge of climate change in the Gulf of Maine. In late summer and fall 2019, the MSF facilitated meetings between Lucas and long-time fisheries experts Robin Alden and Ted Ames; Sean Birkel from the Climate Change Institute at the University of Maine; Heather Hamlin from the School of Marine Sciences at the University of Maine; Deborah Bronk, Barney Balch, Nicole Price, and David Fields at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences; Paul Anderson and Carla Guenther from the Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries; Andy Pershing from the Gulf of Maine Research Institute; Cathy Ramsdell, Friends of Casco Bay; Jeremy Gabrielson from Maine Coast Heritage Trust; and Kathleen Billings from the Town of Stonington. Bigelow Laboratory President and CEO Deborah Bronk noted, “Climate change is the defining challenge of our time. It is an all-hands-on-deck moment when we need to do all we can to educate, encourage and empower people to rethink how they live. Music is part of this effort.”
Richman also met with middle school students, to talk about the project and his work. All of these interviews provided the foundation for THE WARMING SEA. Richman said, “The approach for writing the piece The Warming Sea has been an extraordinary experience for me. How do you translate science and statistics into musical notes? What created the framework for everything, and the trajectory of the piece (were) my meetings with the students. With each class, I asked, ‘What would you want to feel at the end of this piece? What would be an important message for you and your generation?’ And invariably, each class came up with the word hope.”
This is also the MSF’s first international collaboration: Ronit Prawer, Director of the Science and Innovation Network, United Kingdom Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office will be the moderator for the opening discussion of the March 19, 2022 event. Prawer stated, “The UK is delighted to partner with the Maine Science Festival to support this exceptional project. Projects like The Warming Sea harness creative and artistic talent to help us understand and internalize the impact of climate change on our world, and to approach these questions through a unique lens. The UK is working to mobilize all of society to engage with COP26, which will take place in November in Glasgow, and to take ambitious climate action. Projects like The Warming Sea are pioneers in this approach.”
THE WARMING SEA - AN EXPLORATION OF HOPE IN THE FACE OF THE CLIMATE CRISIS will be on March 19, 2022, at 7 pm at the Collins Center for the Arts. Tickets are on sale now (thewarmingsea.me) and are $25 and $10 for students. The headliner is sponsored by Versant Power. Judy Long from Versant Power, noted, “At Versant Power, science is something that we do every day. It’s something that has meaning to us every day. When we learned of the opportunity to sponsor The Warming Sea, we jumped at the chance to be involved. At Versant Power, we’re fully committed to helping Maine achieve the challenges that are necessitated by our climate emergency and we are working every day to be a trusted partner in helping Maine achieve its renewable energy goals.”