(Live music by Eco-Music Big Band)
On October 13, sound radiated from the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office of New York as the jazz opera “Mr. Mystery” was performed by the Eco-Music Big Band.
The opera was about a legendary composer, Sun Ra, who was enlisted with the task of saving the planet from the extreme conditions caused by climate change, a diminishing ozone layer, and rising oceans. The rest of the band cries out for help as the planet dies around them. In response, Sun Ra proclaims that “Change is the music of the future!” His call for radical change in how we treat our planet booms beyond the walls of TECO as people on the street pause and listen to the message being conveyed just inside.
Sun Ra’s message was heard loud and clear by not only the audience, but many passersby. Not even the legendary composer himself could save the dying planet alone; he needed every earthling to hear him. He was simply a conveyor of the message that brought everyone to action, and started the mobilization necessary to bring about change. I think that was an excellent metaphor for what the Eco-Music Big Band was trying to do with their music. They couldn’t fight climate change alone, but by mobilizing more people, they can inspire radical change through their music.
I, for one, was inspired to do my part, as well as enlist others to do the same. Maybe the purpose for bringing Sun Ra back to life wasn’t so that he could single handedly save the planet, but to create more “Sun Ra’s” in the audience who were willing to go out and encourage others to demand action against climate change.
(Singers of the Eco-Music Big Band)