SOAS University of London

School of Law

Significantus: A Keyboard Conversation about Climate Change

Lola Perrin with Andrew Simms

Date: 26 January 2017Time: 7:30 PM

Finishes: 26 January 2017Time: 9:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: DLT

Type of Event: Talk

Significantus: A Keyboard Conversation about Climate Change

Performers: Composer-Pianist-Activist Lola Perrin & Political Economist & Environmentalist Andrew Simms

Composer-pianist Lola Perrin created this touring keyboard conversation to stimulate public discussion on how to respond positively to climate change. Significantus is Lola’s ninth piano suite and is presented in collaboration with various guest speakers. Lawyers, economists, scientists, and other thinkers are invited to respond, as Lola has in music, to the notion that "talking about a world that has risen to the challenge of climate change is an exciting opportunity" (Paul Allen, Centre for Alternative Technology).

The performance at SOAS features political economist and environmentalist Andrew Simms. Andrew is co-founder of the New Weather Institute, a co-operative think tank that brings together radical thinkers, makers, artists and activists to design rapid transition to a fair, ecological economy. Andrew will discuss how we can personally comprehend the scale and immediacy of the climate challenge, what precedents there might be for rapid transition, and the possibly unimagined benefits of action. The audience will be invited to join the conversation before the final movement of the suite, symbolically integrating the discussion into the music and affirming the composer’s belief that, to effect solutions, we must integrate climate change conversation into our every day lives.

Short film featuring rehearsal extracts 

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Preview: Significantus: A Keyboard Conversation about Climate Change


Lola Perrin: Composer, pianist, collaborator, Composer-in-Residence at Markson Pianos, has published eight piano suites and has two CDs on general release. Collaborates in performance with various artists including Hanif Kureishi, Sue Hubbard, Mihir Bose. Has been interviewed by Quentin Cooper, and, about her climate change compositions, on the BBC’s The Paul Hudson Weather Show. Performs as a solo artist, in collaboration with filmmakers, authors, artists and other pianists. She is also building a repertoire for multiple piano: performances include Southbank Centre, Kennedy Centre Washington DC and Institute de Serbie, Paris.

Andrew Simms: Political economist, environmentalist and co-founder of the New Weather Institute. Andrew is a research associate at the Centre for Global Political Economy, University of Sussex, and a fellow of the New Economics Foundation, where he was policy director for over a decade. During that time he founded the NEF’s work programme on climate change, energy and interdependence, instigated their ‘Great Transition’ project, and ran work on local economies coining the term ‘clone towns’ to describe the homogenisation of high streets by chain stores. He wrote the book ‘Tescopoly’ on Tesco’s dominance of the grocery market, ‘Ecological Debt’ on framing the transgression of planetary boundaries, and co-authored ‘The New Economics’ and ‘Green New Deal’, devising the concept of ‘ecological debt day’ to illustrate when in the year we begin living beyond our environmental means. He writes often for The Guardian and was described by New Scientist Magazine as 'a master at joined-up progressive thinking’ and his latest book ‘Cancel the Apocalypse: the New Path to Prosperity’ is a manifesto of new economic possibilities.

Significantus premiered September 2016 at Small is Beautiful Festival, and has toured to Know How Festival, Markson Pianos Concert Series London, Clare College Cambridge, Great Hall Dartington & Circular Cambridge Festival. Previous speakers are Paul Allen (Zero Carbon Britain), Dr Jean Boulton (Complexity theory activist), Rachel McCarthy (Climatologist and award winning writer), James Murray-White (Filmmaker and writer), Laura Coleman (ONCA founder), & Jane Heal (Philosopher). On 27 January 2017 Tessa Gordzkiejo (theatre producer, poet and performer) will be guest speaker at a performance of Significantus at arts@trinity, Leeds. Future dates currently include venues in Bristol, Cardiff and Conservatorium van Amsterdam.