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Requiem for a Glacier is an artwork which consisted of an installation and sound performance. The main aim of the piece was to memorialize the Jumbo Glacier Area which is under threat from global warming and touristic development. The project consisted of a site-specific musical performance, an exhibition which featured audio and video captured from the performance and a multimedia indoor sound performance.  

The performance itself consisted of a four-movement oratorio scored for an orchestra and choir based on temperature records. The lyrics included Latin translation of the BC government’s press release which approved the touristic development at the glacier. The orchestra was made of local 50 volunteer musicians and was accompanied by more than 30 guides, drivers and activists.  

The inaugural exhibition of the project took place at the Langham Cultural Centre, Kaslo, British Columbia and was then presented in Ontario and Quebec. 

The artist clarifies that their work aims at exploring the interconnections between landscape, identity and technology. This is achieved through the amplification of cultural gestures. The practice, as exemplified by this project, aims at revealing the place of cultural gestures within nature and to capture natural events through cultural practices. This specific artwork aims to communicate how landscape, as a part of the Canadian cultural heritage, is threatened by human actions.  

The requiem performed by an orchestra and chorus can be understood as a sign of western culture. The element then is activated to mourn both western culture and nature as represented by the glacier. involving activists and volunteers in the performance amplifies the message. Through the exhibition and documentation of the project, this message is continued beyond the site-specific performance. 

Project Title: Requiem for a Glacier
Artist: Paul Walde and volunteers
Year: 2013(performance; exhibitions till 2016)
Place: Farnham GlacierKootenay Land District, BC (Exhibition took place in various locations)

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