Music, Nature and Environmental Crises

The research project examines the significance of music to our general ecological awareness.

Introduction

Juha Torvinen’s project “Music, Nature and Environmental Crises: A Northern Perspective on Ecocritical Trends in Contemporary Music” studies the significance of music to our general ecological awareness. The project is funded by Academy of Finland 2017-2019 (finished).

Nature has been one of the most common topics in music throughout the history. However, this close relationship between music and nature has changed radically in recent decades as our relationship to nature is today strongly affected by consciousness of environmental crises. Different cultural products have a great significance for our general understanding of ecological problems and their consequences, because cultural products address the values, meanings and experiences these problems involve. The present project studies the ways in which music, especially contemporary northern classical music, contributes to the negotiation of environmental values.

At the same time, the project offers an musicological viewpoint to general humanistic study of ecological problems and ponders what is the responsibility of researchers of art and culture with respect to environmental concerns.