A World Without Ice

Part science, part music, part art, the collaboration is a groundbreaking, multi-sensory experience that is thought provoking and compelling. Using photographs taken at both poles of our planet by Dr. Pollack and his team, an original composition written by Dr. Rush using whose patterns and structure are derived from 120 years of climate data, and an ice-melt actuated rhythm created by ten ice domes melting onto drums created by Dr. Gould, the exhibit creates a different space in which visitors can contemplate a warming planet.

Stephen Rush and Michael Gould have collaborated for many years. Water Blue was premiered at the Duderstadt Center at U-M, in Tokyo, Japan (2003) and then at the 2003 Percussive Arts Society International Conference in Louisville, KY. They also collaborated on Birth/Cry, a piece for video/electronics/French Horn and Percussion, which was premiered in Stockholm, Sweden, then performed many times in the USA. As jazz performers Gould and Rush have performed over 500 times together, working in traditional and overtly modern traditions, including performing with sculpted instruments such as “wrenchophones”, computer-mitigated performances, and experimental sound structure.

The piece takes its inspiration from Dr. Pollack’s book on global warming, A World Without Ice. Using Pollack’s climate data, the music allows the listener to hear the large leaps in temperature, and the melting ice provides an immersive, beautiful, random companion sound. A film by multimedia artist Marion Traenkle used photographs of both poles by Pollack and his team to provide a stunning backdrop for the installation. Traenkle lives and works in Berlin, Germany. The installation informs and creates a unique opportunity for experience and discussion.