The Concept Behind M.E. VI (a requiem)
In this video, I introduce the central concept behind the album, M.E. VI (a requiem). I describe how I was first alerted to the 6th mass extinction. And I talk about how it inspired and motivated me to create an album that tackles the complex issues of climate change, and the current mass extinction event.
Full Video Transcript
Hi, I’m Rob Teplansky of Strong T. In this video, I’d like to introduce my new album, M.E. VI (a requiem).
I was motivated to create the album after reading the World Wildlife Fund’s 2016 Living Planet Report. It reported that humans were pushing life on this planet towards a 6th mass extinction event in which wildlife populations had already declined by 58% since 1970! By the 2022 report, that number had increased to 69%!
I was also struck by the lack of popular music referencing climate and extinction when it has become such an overwhelming concern. I want to add that voice. I want to inspire and motivate people who are committed to the movement, to help those with eco-anxiety by providing words and a voice so that they can express their emotions, and to provide a soundtrack for the movement.
So, what’s with the title? I’ll tell you in just a second. But before I do, I want to remind you to subscribe, follow, or like so you don’t miss a single Strong T video. And remember, the album M.E. VI (a requiem) is available December 7, 2022 to purchase as a digital download and digital stream on Bandcamp. Just go to email@example.com. You will also find it on your favorite streaming service as of December 7th.
OK, let’s take a look at that title. First, M.E. VI. It’s actually a short-hand reference to the 6th Mass Extinction. Mass Extinction, M.E. and the roman numeral for 6, VI. I also like the way that it places the emphasis on the reader, me, as I am reading the title.
The second part, a requiem, refers to the fact that I envision this album as honoring the dead, the non-human victims of the human caused extinction event.
A requiem is actually a mass for the dead. It has a very specific form as developed in the Catholic Church. In music, classical composers like Verdi and Mozart have written famous compositions that set the requiem to music. In the 20th century, Britten composed the famous War Requiem to memorialize those lost in World War II, and The Branford Marsalis Quartet, created the famous jazz album, Requiem, which is a tribute to pianist Kenny Kirkland, whose performances on the album were his last recorded work.
Some compositions follow the mass structure closely and are intended to be an actual mass, while others do so only in the spirit of honoring the dead. M.E. VI (a requiem) is not a religious album, but I did keep some of the traditional requiem structures in mind as I composed the music. But that’s a story I will save for a future video.
So there you have it – the basic idea behind M.E. VI (a requiem). I hope you found it interesting and that it adds to your experience with the album. Thanks for your support and for listening!
Until next time, peace…