Terra

Music and Lyrics by Slowstepper  
© Slowstepper 2021

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THE TERRA PROJECT

 

 

Terra is a live narrative concert and concept album from award-winning theatre company Second Body, and Slowstepper, an experimental multimedia music outfit from the UK and the Netherlands. The project is headed up by theatre and music makers Max Barton and Jethro Cooke, who founded Second Body in 2019, and whose theatre concert STYX toured to Australia, London and Edinburgh in 2019/20. During its run it received eight ★★★★★ reviews, won a Fringe World award, and was shortlisted for a Total Theatre Award. Between them Max and Jethro have made music and theatre work for several-thousand capacity venues from Austria to South Africa.   
 
Terra is a multi-pronged project about the living being we call Earth; by fusing together cutting edge climate science, Gaia theory and searing original music, Terra gives voice to an array of the creatures who make up our planetary super-organism. In the process it explores how we might learn from the natural world in order to collectively build a sustainable future, take responsibility for our part in the climate crisis, and find hope in the face of encroaching disaster.
 
In early 2020, Second Body began developing the theatre show, which had acclaimed early sharings in February, before the pandemic forced them to temporarily put the live show on ice. During lockdown, they put together the music outfit Slowstepper, and worked ceaselessly to produce a highly-polished album featuring an array of phenomenal musicians. The creatures at the heart of Terra also play various different active roles within the compositions - for instance the album features songs constructed from migratory birdsong, the mating call of the arctic fox, and one generated using the genetic code of COVID-19 itself. Further tracks entitled Terra I through VI are collages constructed from lyrical and musical material drawn from the other tracks in combination, metaphorically giving voice to the planet as a whole.
 
Max and Jethro now plan to work with
The Citizens Theatre Glasgow to develop the first full live version of the piece, which they propose to perform as part of the COP26 satellite activity. This will entail putting together a 5-piece live band, the creation of some stunning projected visuals and the development of a narrative mode in which they weave together the songs and theatricalised presentations of the climate science behind the work.

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THE PODCAST

 

 

In a format that fuses Song Exploder, Radiolab and the Adam Buxton Podcast, Jethro and Max explore the science behind the album, climate activism, break apart the songs and talk to an illustrious array of guests. So far these guests include Mercury-award nominated musician Sam Lee, science historian Dr Daisy Hildyard, giant of film composition George Fenton, theatre legends Melly Still and April de Angelis, and Kay Michael of Culture Declares Emergency.

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Terra
Bird
Slime
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Whale
Cow
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Bee
Vir
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Fox
Tar
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Tree
Myce
Terra