The ongoing climate crisis affects us all, urging us to make changes in the way we live our lives. Small changes (which also makes an important difference) such as saving energy and household recycling are quite easy to adapt on an individual level. What can be more difficult is making big changes on an individual level, especially when it comes to work related situations where most of us are part of a larger whole with many different components relying on one another.
Many musicians – myself included – travel a lot, often by plane. Fully aware of the huge environmental impact from flying, for many years, I have justified my air travels on the basis of
- a firm belief that art is a vital ingredient in a healthy development of civilisation, and that artists travelling the world communicating their ideas is a necessary aspect in this development.
- the need to make a living.
- love. I LOVE what I do. I very much appreciate all the wonderful aspects of travelling as a touring musician, such as meeting new people, seeing new places and being inspired by different cultures. And performing with my colleagues and friends in front of fantastic audiences around the world.
All three are just as important to me now as before, and will continue to be so in the future. However, as the severe consequences of human made climate change have become impossible to neglect, I feel a moral responsibility for future generations to try and change the way I travel as best as I can. Even though it might be to make such changes, business as usual simply does not feel right. One could argue that there are many others better suited to “bear the burden” of not flying besides musicians, as many musicians have a hard time making a living and are dependent on flying to perform concerts. This might be true, but still I believe that the best way to make real change is for everyone to meet on common ground, saying “I will do the best I possibly can from my situation”. With such a starting point we can start a constructive dialogue in society based on a strong sense of understanding and cooperation, working together towards a common goal. I believe such a “we are all in this together” approach is vital if we are to succeed in making the large scale green transition needed on a global level while there still is time, to build a sustainable future for our children and the generations to come.
Being a musician dependent on travelling long distances both domestically and internationally to make a living, it is close to impossible to quit flying altogether. Still, much can be accomplished by planning tours where train and bus travel make for most of the needed transportation between concerts. This has been my approach for my upcoming “Elvesang ECO tour” in April, and I have succeeded in planning a total of 12 concerts in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands without taking a single flight.
My solo project «Elvesang» seemed to be a natural point of departure in the process of making my touring more environmental friendly. Both because the album itself is by large made as a response to human kinds relationship to nature, and because my solo project is quite easy to manage both economically and logistically. In this blog I will share my experiences and thoughts as I move along, both from the upcoming and from future ECO tours.