Issue 3- 5 May 2021
Wednesday, 05 May 2021
Charles Darwin University
E-news
Charles Darwin University PhD candidate and cellist Anthony Albrecht with violinist and composer Simone Slattery   Photo: Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Charles Darwin University PhD candidate and cellist Anthony Albrecht with violinist and composer Simone Slattery Photo: Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Communicating science through the arts

Charles Darwin University PhD candidate and cellist Anthony Albrecht believes powerful messages about conservation, sustainability and social justice can be communicated through the arts.

“I feel a strong sense of responsibility to use the arts in generating stronger emotional connections to the urgent environmental problems we face,“ Mr Albrecht said.

“Assuming audiences’ attitudes and behaviour can be shaped via tested messaging and performance design strategies, I would like to see more collaboration between conservation organisations and artists in Australia and beyond.”

He has already explored this idea with violinist and composer Simone Slattery in their musical, visual and soundscape production of Where Song Began – their interpretation of the book of the same name by Australian natural history writer Tim Low.

Where Song Began: Australia’s Birds and How They Changed the World  was the first nature book to win the Australian Book Industry Awards prize for best General Non-Fiction in 2015. 

Albrecht and Slattery performed Where Song Began to an appreciative audience at the Darwin Entertainment Centre on Saturday 24th April.

It followed more than 70 performances since 2018 from New York to Weipa on Cape York Peninsula and in the Tarkine Forest, Tasmania.

”We have formed strong partnerships with BirdLife Australia and the East Asian-Australasian Flyway Partnership, with whom we are developing new work on migratory shorebirds,” Mr Albrecht said.

Mr Albrecht’s research supervisor, CDU Professor - Conservation and Sustainable Livelihoods, Stephen Garnett, said the research will test “just what it is” about artistic performance that moves people to become more involved in conservation.

“Providing an empirical evidence base to audience response to the arts can help artists both please their audiences more and inspire them to turn their emotions into action,” Professor Garnett said.