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Spinner Dolphins

Music & the Earth has played a key role in the development of a wide range of programs in San Juan, Puerto Rico and Washington, DC, aimed at supporting climate activism through music. Examples include: 

  • Created and taught Las Sesiones Isleñas (The Island Sessions), a community forum and public education initiative to explore and celebrate the power of music to foster solidarity among students and environmental activists on islands in the Caribbean and Mediterranean Seas, as well as the Pacific and Indian Oceans. 

  • Arranged and performed a series of Caribbean-inspired interpretations of popular South Asian ghazals, in partnership with leading musicians and dancers in San Juan. The ghazal is a musical form of Sufi origin, with poetic lyrics that often celebrate the delicate webs of reciprocity between humans and the natural world. Through a series of concerts, we demonstrated the relevance of this genre of music for Caribbean environmentalism. To our knowledge, we are the only musicians working with the ghazal in Puerto Rico.

  • Co-organized Conciencias Sonoras, a conference hosted by the Conservatorio de Música de Puerto Rico, in April 2018. The multidisciplinary conference brought together musicians, musicologists, environmental scientists, climate activists, and journalists from Puerto Rico and around the world, to discuss the role of music in recovering from natural disasters. (The conference was held several months after Hurricane María devastated the island.) Priya Parrotta co-developed the conference program in collaboration with the Conservatorio, focusing on building climate solidarity among students and environment & arts professionals through musical dialogue.   The conference culminated in a volume of conference proceedings, for which she wrote an introduction. 

  • Co-produced Itinerarios Sonorosa podcast and curriculum guide exploring the ways in which island-based music and soundscapes can help us to make sense of, recover from, and respond to the impacts of climate injustice. The podcast engaged with a variety of themes related to music and justice in the Caribbean. In addition to being co-producer of the series, Priya created the podcast's episode on island solidarity through music, and developed a curriculum to assist educators in demonstrating the ways in which music can provide a window into a nuanced understanding of environmental politics. 

  • Created and co-organized a series of discussions and workshops in Washington, DC, which utilized music to foster dialogue about environmental issues, particularly as they affect islands. Developed in partnership with Mayla, these events brought together artists, activists, environmental scientists, environmental policy-makers and public health professionals from the Caribbean, North America, and the Indian Ocean.

  • [In progress] A multicultural curriculum, based upon doctoral research in interdisciplinary environmental history, on music and ecological (in)justice in the global tourism industry. When completed, the curriculum will serve as a guide for secondary school teachers, university faculty, and community educators to explore the relationship between tourism and the climate crisis - and empower their students to utilize their own research capabilities and creative voices to visualize socially and environmentally just alternatives.

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