Tanya Kalmanovitch Creates Tar Sands Song Book and Engages Musicians Around Climate Action

download (5)Tanya Kalmanovitch, Associate Professor at Mannes and 2016 TEDC Faculty Grant Winner, will be examining her relationship between her artistic practice, her environmentalism, and her roots in Northern Alberta through Alberta’s Athabasca Tar Sands.Tanya’s project, the Tar Sands Song Book will use pipelines as a literal and figurative means of connecting music to oil by blending ethnography and musical practice.She will be spending time in Alberta collecting songs, sounds and stories from a diverse range of people whose lives are impacted by oil technology and its effects. This fieldwork will provide source material for a new body of musical compositions and an interdisciplinary performance project that make the impact of tar sands development visible and audible from multiple perspectives.The Tar Sands Song Book will be a collection of at least 15 new open-form works scored for soloists and small ensembles of variable instrumentation. In collaboration with director Cecilia Rubino, Assistant Professor of Theater at Eugene Lang College, Tanya will develop these musical pieces and narratives into an interdisciplinary documentary theater piece that will be presented at The New School.In addition, TEDC is working with Tanya to engage New School musicians and artists around climate change action and environmental and social justice. In May, Tanya held a mixer supported by TEDC with eleven students and faculty members to discuss how music and art can be incorporated into the work TEDC is doing on campus and how we can more deeply engage with artists. We discussed the importance of artists as participants in movements and brainstormed ways to engage on campus.