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Famed Italian composer and pianist Ludovico Einaudi (1955 – ) debuted a new composition in a venue unlike any other: a platform in the Arctic Ocean.
Surrounded by ice floes, with a magnificent glacier as a backdrop, his Elegy for the Arctic captures the stark, majestic beauty of this ever-winter place.
Two weeks ago the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise carried Einaudi and his piano to this natural “concert hall.” The ship’s other special cargo: messages from 8 million people around the globe calling for governments to save the Arctic from threats such as oil drilling and destructive fishing.
The timing of Einaudi’s performance is not by chance. This week, delegates at the OSPAR Commission meeting in Tenerife, Spain, will vote on a proposal that would safeguard 10% of the Arctic ocean, an area roughly the size of the UK.
And it is urgent. The Arctic ocean is the least protected sea in the world, its unclaimed waters currently have no legal safeguards. As the ice cover decreases with rising temperatures, the Arctic is losing its frozen shield, leaving it exposed to reckless exploitation, high-volume commercial fishing and risky oil drilling.
The OSPAR Commission has a mandate to protect the marine environment of the northeast Atlantic, including part of the Arctic ocean. But three countries – Norway, Denmark and Iceland, influenced by corporate interests, are trying to defeat the proposal. The Arctic high seas are north of the national waters of these countries, but as Arctic states their opinion is weighted heavily and their influence is great.
Ludovico Einaudi’s Elegy is a moving reminder that the Arctic is unique and irreplaceable.
Elvira Jiménez and Erlend Tellnes, Greenpeace Arctic Campaigners – http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/news/Blogs/makingwaves/Ludovico-Einaudi-grand-piano-Arctic-ocean-8-million-voices/blog/56808/