Requiem for a Glacier: Score


Requiem for a Glacier is a four movement oratorio composed by Paul Walde that is the organizing element for the site-specifc performance and video installation of the same name. The musical themes in Walde’s requiem are derived from several sources. The main theme for the first two movements, Introit and Gradual, are drawn from the letters JUMBO, which is both the name of the resort development company, as well as the non-Native name for the glacial range known as Qat’muk to the Ktunaxa First Nation. The third movement, Sequence, is based on average temperature readings from the glacial area from 1969 to 2010. Each note held for 12 beats represents one year and the pitch is determined by the tem­perature. The fourth movement, Tract, is about climate change resulting from man-made sources. This is represented by the 60 cycle hum which drones throughout the movement, symbolizing the electrical power grid. Carbon emissions, or CO2, are described by the use of the note C coupled with two upper As. These build in intensity and frequency throughout the movement, just as these emissions accumulate in our atmosphere. The libretto is a Latin translation of the government of British Columbia’s press release, announcing their approval of the Jumbo Glacier Resort in March 2012. Additional text is derived from the traditional requiem mass.

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