Intro and Background

About the Project
Requiem for a Glacier is an installation and sound performance work by Paul Walde that memorializes BC’s Jumbo Glacier area, an ancient feature of the landscape leftover from the last ice age, now under immediate threat from global warming and resort development. The project takes three forms: a) a site specific outdoor sound performance; b) an exhibition/ installation featuring audio/ video footage of the performance; and c) a multimedia indoor sound performance. The center piece, a four movement oratorio scored for orchestra and choir, converts information such as temperature records for the area into music notation and features a Latin translation of the BC government’s press release announcing the approval of a year-round resort community at the site that borders a nature conservancy.
Located in the Purcell Mountain Range in eastern British Columbia, Jumbo or Qat’muk, is a range of five glaciers that have been spared some of the environmental degradation of other glaciers due to their high altitude. However with continued global warming, this geographical advantage will soon be lost, and in fact, these glaciers are already in retreat. To compound matters, a 450 million dollar resort proposal has recently been given final provincial governmental approval, as Professor David Schindler of the University of Alberta warns, “ski lifts and skier traffic on the surface of Jumbo Glacier will hasten its melting, and compromise one of the important headwater sources of the Columbia River system.
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