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CultureLab: A duet between music and the natural world with Erland Cooper’s playful compositions

New Scientist Podcasts

19-12-2023 • 37 mins

Composer Erland Cooper is known for playful, innovative, experimental projects. For example, he buried the only audio copy of a 2021 composition – then left treasure hunt clues for people to try to find it. Which one couple, eventually, did.

In this episode of CultureLab, Cooper talks to writer Arwa Haider about his newest album, Folded Landscapes, where he is deep in conversation with the environment and our changing climate. The movements of the piece were recorded with the Scottish Ensemble chamber orchestra, in both sub-zero temperatures and a sweltering studio. He then exposed the audio master tape to the sun on the UK’s hottest day in history, in July of last year.

Cooper describes encasing recording equipment in ice, recreating the acoustics of glacial caves in Norway’s Svalbard, and why he prefers a slower kind of activism in the name of celebrating and cherishing the natural world and encouraging change.

Read Arwa Haider’s full piece about Cooper’s work.

To read about subjects like this and much more, visit newscientist.com.


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