Skip to content
Arriving in sunny Snape Maltings, Day One of our residency, September 2019

Maja and Sarah’s performance, the culmination of a week-long Residency here at Snape Maltings, was a highlight of our Festival of New. The audience were completely engaged from the start, as Sarah introduced the format as a meeting, a rousing wakeup call to the urgency of the climate crisis. Sarah and Maja began by each describing a place of natural beauty that is precious to them and asking the audience to write down the same, immediately transporting us to those places we love, and hitting home what is at stake. Using hard facts and sharing fears that resonated with us deeply, we were compelled to take action for a better future for our children. This was punctuated by moments of reflection as Maja’s cello and Sarah’s extraordinary inside out piano responded to each other and created an emotional soundscape for the images and themes evoked in their words.

Clementine Lovell, Producer, Residencies, Snape Maltings

Sarah began working with cellist Maja Bugge on a Snape Maltings residency in September 2019, leading to a work-in-progress showing at the Snape ‘Festival of New’ 2019. Maja and Sarah’s current project takes the form of a public meeting about the climate and environmental crisis. It connects the UK and Norway through text and sound and the completed work will be premiered in 2020.

Maja Bugge comes from Norway and is currently based in Lancaster. Her most recent projects include the Manchester jazzfestival commission “NORTHERN” (2019) and “No Exit” (2018) a solo CD recorded in Standedge canal tunnel. On the Snape Maltings website, Sarah was described as being “known for her fearless and playful experimentation often combining text and sound.”

In this project, Sarah and Maja used a lot of source material, including reading out tweets from various climate scientists (Julia Steinberger, Neil Kaye, Peter ‘Science not Dogma’ (see below) and using recorded audio of the public being interviewed and of activists, such as Jem Bendell recorded at Oxford Circus during the Extinction Rebellion protests in April 2019.

After learning from climate scientists that we have now only 11 (soon 10) years to reverse climate change, and being mothers of young children and composers/performers, we wanted to explore how our collaborative music could be used as activism. This builds on Sarah’s original ‘Musical Activist’ project. We are hoping to be rigorously factual, whilst elucidating emotional, poetic responses using sound.  Our backgrounds allow us to move fluidly between styles (electronic, jazz, pop, classical), whilst our life experience brings urgency: trying to ensure a better future for our children.

Charlotte du Cann reading her own writing from Dark Mountain Issue 14 Terra, 2018
Daverick Leggett – The Good Ancestor