The National Centre for Atmospheric Science has collaborated with visual artist Alison Smith and composers at Leeds Conservatoire, to create Turn the Tide – an interactive sculpture accompanied by several new pieces of music.
Turn the Tide weaves together a broad ensemble of climate science, visual and performing arts, and local people to inspire creative action on climate change.
Turn the Tide forms part of the Leeds International Piano Competition, and features on the community-based Piano Trail, with a dedicated free and public performance on Friday 10th September at midday in Victoria Leeds, Vicar Lane, in Leeds city centre.
Alison’s installation features an upcycled upright piano and a crescendo of colourful recycled plastics and animated lights, which swell in stripes over a wave-like structure covering the piano’s lid and upper panel.
The sculpture’s lights and stripes are arranged in a way that depict the change in global temperatures over the past 180 years. The average temperature of the planet has risen by around 1°C since the industrial revolution, and the last ten years was the warmest decade ever recorded.
To visualise the changes, Professor Ed Hawkins from the National Centre for Atmospheric Science and University of Reading created a set of warming stripes, which influenced the design of Alison’s piano piece.
Student composers at Leeds Conservatoire, a multidisciplinary music and performing arts college, were commissioned to produce pieces of music that could be played on, or accompany, the sculptural piano. The bespoke arrangements take inspiration from the environment and our social responsibility to help the planet.
Alison’s piano and Leeds Conservatoire’s composers bring together the visual and performing arts; together they encourage people to think about our society and the future challenges and choices we face ahead of COP26 – the UN Climate Change Conference in November.
Turn the Tide features in a unique series of street-based installations as part of the Leeds Piano Trail, from Saturday 4th to Sunday 19th September 2021, to celebrate the 20th Leeds International Piano Competition.
The piece is the product of a collaboration between Leeds-based artist Alison Smith, Leeds International Piano Competition, Leeds Business Improvement District, Leeds Conservatoire, and the National Centre for Atmospheric Science (supported by the Natural Environment Research Council).
You are invited to attend the performance in Victoria Leeds on Friday 10th September, 12 – 1pm.