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Percussion Meets Environmentalism: A method of performance for environmental awareness

The well-documented climate crisis often looms over our daily lives. As an artist, I often felt frustrated by not possessing tangible means to enact change to help. This research is, therefore, a base for further investigations and performances geared toward percussion-based environmentalism. By examining four distinct pieces selected for their connection, or their possibility to connect to broad or specific environmental issues, and altering variables of performance location, instrumentation, personnel, and the addition of contextual material, this exposition demonstrates one path of many for environmental advocation in music. By focusing on decisions affecting sound creation and including context or subtext within each piece, this exposition gives the reasoning behind the decisions made in each piece’s performance based on modern musical activism and theories of promoting positive behaviors. This research also examines modern musical activism in popular music and the emerging contemporary genre of ecoacoustics. The conclusions of this exposition present the benefits of flexibility and creativity in this method and the importance of audience engagement while addressing the drawbacks of this method in the challenge of behaving sustainably as a modern artist. Lastly, this research highlights the possibility of community interaction to create small-scale environmental change that is also a creative outlet for the emotional impact climate change can have on individuals.

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