Secrets for Frankie

We thought you should know that we’ve been telling a few of our secrets to Frankie.

In the Jan/Feb 2017 issue of Frankie magazine out now, there’s an interview with the core team from The Gene Tree Project: composer Elissa Goodrich; evolutionary biologist Dr. Anna Syme; and dramaturg Nadja Kostich.

So pop the kettle on, get out the biscuits, and settle down for a good read.

In the article, you’ll find out how the evolution of the peppery moth during the Industrial Revolution in the late 18th century influenced our creative process and inspired thoughtful, complex and beautiful music.

The tale of the peppery moth is a poetic and disturbing story that came out of a world going through massive technological, social and ecological changes. Nearly three hundred years later and we’re in the midst of our own significant cultural, economic and environmental shifts due to climate change.

Let us just look at the biological impacts of climate change. Most ecological processes, including seasonal flowering, the diversity of crops, and animal evolution, are showing responses to the human made climate change.

How are the plants and animals around us adapting to the changes that we are imposing on the world?

Temperate plants are flowering earlier in spring and later in autumn. Similar timing changes have been seen in marine and freshwater fish spawning events and in the seasonal migrations of animals worldwide. (Source: Science Mag)

Some species are becoming smaller to favour a greater surface to volume ratio in the warm conditions. For example, the long-distance migrant bird the red knot (Calidris canutus), which breeds in the far north of Canada, Europe and Russia and winter holidays in Australia, is producing smaller offspring with smaller bills. In South Australia, the leaf width in soapberry (Dodonaea viscosa) has decreased. And again, scientists are observing colour changes in butterflies, dragonflies and birds. (Source: Science Mag)

When we hear these stories, our artistic and scientific impulses are sparked by the catalyst of change. The pursuit of knowledge challenges us to think about the world and how we fit in. And artists create new work by first observing, listening carefully, and then asking questions.

At The Gene Tree Project, we hope to bring our audiences to a greater awareness through our work. Through our music and our approach we want to expand your opportunity to make observations, ask questions and form decisions about how you can make a difference in this world.

What stories, images or sounds come to your mind of our world adapting to climate change?

written by Cressida Bradley with Elissa Goodrich, inspired by The Gene Tree Project team.

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