Entertainment·Video

Pianist Ludovico Einaudi plays iceberg concert to draw attention to Arctic Ocean protection

A renowned pianist behind movie music for the likes of Clint Eastwood, Darren Aronofsky and Xavier Dolan is making waves with his latest composition — and the unique place he performed it.
Greenpeace enlisted pianist and composer Ludovico Einaudi to play a unique concert on a floating platform in the Arctic Ocean to help call for further protection of the endangered region. (Greenpeace/YouTube)

A renowned pianist behind movie music for the likes of Clint Eastwood, Darren Aronofsky and Xavier Dolan is making waves with his latest composition — and the unique place he performed it.

An online video of Ludovico Einaudi performing his Elegy for the Arctic is racking up views after it was released by the Italian composer and Greenpeace, the international environmental action watchdog.

In the footage, the Turin-born pianist is visibly moved as he performs the evocative, melancholy piece on a grand piano sitting atop an artificial iceberg floating in the Arctic Ocean.

The iceberg stage — a platform created from more than 300 triangles of wood and weighing nearly two tonnes — drifts alongside the Wahlenbergbreen glacier in Svalbard, Norway. Einaudi and his piano travelled to the region onboard the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise.

The footage is punctuated at several points by massive chunks of the glacier crumbling into the ocean as he plays.

The Italian composer and pianist wrote Elegy for the Arctic specifically for the cause. (Greenpeace/YouTube)

This week, a group called OSPAR — which governs international co-operation for the protection of the northeastern Atlantic marine environment — is meeting in Spain to discuss defining a protected area in the Arctic Ocean.

Activists have called for more protection of the Arctic: the dramatic decrease and early retreat of sea ice due to climate change puts biodiversity at risk and is also considered a factor in the increased extreme weather events in the Northern Hemisphere, according to Greenpeace.

Einaudi performed Elegy for the Arctic on an artificial iceberg that floated alongside the Wahlenbergbreen glacier in Svalbard, Norway, last week. (Greenpeace/YouTube)

"Being here has been a great experience. I could see the purity and fragility of this area with my own eyes," Einaudi said in a statement.

"It is important that we understand the importance of the Arctic, stop the process of destruction and protect it."

An accomplished recording artist and performer, Einaudi has also composed scores for a host of film and television projects, including the TV miniseries Doctor Zhivago, Casey Affleck's I'm Still Here, Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan, Clint Eastwood's J. Edgar and Xavier Dolan's Mommy.

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