Duration: 10 minutes
“Is it possible to enjoy both economic growth and environmental sustainability?”
Decoupling (2021) is a piece commissioned by Alondra Vega Zaldivar for the Artsong Collaborative Project which attempts to answer the question above. The question and the work’s text and concept are based on the European Environmental Bureau’s (EEB) seminal report titled “Decoupling Debunked: Evidence and arguments against green growth as a sole strategy for sustainability (Barth, Briens, Kerschner, Kraus-Polk, et al., 2019)”. The report is an in-depth argument against the notion of eco-environmental decoupling as a solution for our climate crisis.
In keeping with the theme of greener solutions for this year’s project, I chose this text because it dives deep into the human and geographical factors that prevent progress from being made in our fight against climate change. The opportunity to work with such a theme meant that I could use this composition as a vehicle to communicate the carefully researched scientific information in a musical/accessible way. In Decoupling, Soprano 1 acts as the scientific and moral voice, while Soprano 2 represents the questioning/naive voice which is in counterpoint to Soprano 1. It is my hope that music can be an effective tool to communicate scientific knowledge that can lead to a better understanding of the problems we face.
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