The Wilderness Orchestra & Matthew Agarwala

When Music Meets Science

Driven by the observation that human activities are silencing nature, economist Matthew Agarwala and our Wilderness Orchestra composer Ewan Campbell teamed up in The Atrium to highlight the dramatic decline of the Humpback Whale population.

The powerful and captivating adaptation of Mendelssohn’s The Hebrides Overture beautifully fuses the arts and science to depict the loss of these majestic animals and encourage action to protect the natural world. By dividing the score into decades, Ewan periodically removed notes to audibly paint a picture of the dramatic decline of the whale population between 1829-1920, when extensive commercial whaling decimated numbers by over two-thirds.

The last part of the piece focuses on a more optimistic look into the future. As Agarwala highlights how we can bring the whale population back to its natural glory, Mendelssohn’s masterpiece builds to a triumphant crescendo, a final, resounding call to take action.