Ludovico Einaudi’s piano performance next to a crumbling glacier will give you chills

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In a breathtaking video posted to Youtube Greenpeace has persuaded Italian composer and pianist Ludovico Einaudi to play within 100m of a crumbling glacier as part of their campaign to save the Arctic.

The Italian pianist and composer, Ludovico Einaudi, performed one of his own compositions, Elegy for the Arctic, on a floating platform in the Arctic Ocean, against the backdrop of the Wahlenbergbreen glacier in Svalbard, Norway.

To get to the spectacular location, Einaudi caught a ride with the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise

Credit: Greenpeace
Credit: Greenpeace

In the footage, the Turin-born pianist is visibly moved as he performs the evocative, melancholy piece on a grand piano sitting atop an artificial iceberg floating in the Arctic Ocean.

The ‘iceberg stage’ was a specially designed platform created from more than 300 triangles of wood and weighing nearly two tonnes.

After turning his head to the sound of ice breaking off the glacier, Einaudi closes his eyes, and begins to play.

The footage is punctuated at several points by massive chunks of the glacier crumbling into the ocean as he plays.

“Being here has been a great experience. I could see the purity and fragility of this area with my own eyes,” Einaudi said in a statement.

“It is important that we understand the importance of the Arctic, stop the process of destruction and protect it.”

Elegy for the Arctic was specially composed by Einaudi for the Svalbard performance. Einaudi is known for scoring a variety of movies, T.V. shows and trailers. He’s also released over a dozen solo albums.

According to Greenpeace, the concert is the most northerly grand piano performance ever held.

The timing of Einaudi’s performance is not by chance. This week, government delegates gather at the OSPAR Commission meeting in Tenerife, Spain, to consider a proposal to protect 10% of the Arctic Ocean.

Credit: Greenpeace
Credit: Greenpeace

The area, in size, would be equivalent to the United Kingdom and nearly 10% of the area for which Greenpeace Spain is demanding Arctic Sanctuary status. Greenpeace is demanding that a decision be taken in light of recognition by OSPAR’s scientific committee that there is sufficient evidence of the region’s huge ecological value and that there is a serious loss of ice caused by climate change with a resulting impact on natural resources.

According to Greenpeace, three countries – Norway, Denmark and Iceland – oppose the measure. The Arctic is becoming vulnerable to exploitation for fishing and oil drilling because the extent of sea ice covering the ocean has fallen to record lows in recent years.

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