CLIPSSA supported the event “A Musical and Scientific Journey in the Animated Films of H. Miyazaki, ” held twice, on October 4 and November 26, 2022, at the Conservatory of Music and Dance of New Caledonia. Here is a look back at a show that was well received.
On stage, 30 young musicians from the conservatory gave a masterful performance of the music of Joe Hisaishi, the faithful composer of Miyazaki’s films. At the same time, in the background, excerpts from “My Neighbour Totoro”, “Kiki the Little Witch”, “Ponyo on the Cliff”, “Nausicaa” and “Princess Monoké” were played. Majestic forests, extraordinary animals, Dantesque storms… All the extracts screened had nature or the relationship between man and nature as their theme. “Miyazaki is undoubtedly the greatest director of Japanese animated films. He draws nature like no other. I chose extracts so that the scientists could use them as a basis for popularised mini-conferences on the forces of Caledonian nature” explains Estelle Bonnet-Vidal, scientific communication consultant and organiser of the event.
Thomas Abinun, the climatologist at Météo-France, took part in the exercise and gave a mini-conference on storms and climate change. “This concert conference was a great opportunity to combine art and science and to reach a large and diverse audience. In its mission to raise awareness and share knowledge on climate change, Météo-France was happy to be associated with this event to briefly present the CLIPSSA project while reminding the public that if we continue on the current trajectory of our greenhouse gas emissions, the global sea level could rise by one metre by the end of the century, which constitutes a real threat for our island regions where many towns and villages are already very vulnerable to marine submersion,” he confided. Other scientists from the IRD, the University of New Caledonia and the Pasteur Institute spoke about biodiversity, infectious diseases and wind.
“We did not expect to attract so many people. The most pleasant thing was to see families with young children and groups of teenagers. This is an audience that is rarely seen at scientific conferences for the general public” adds Estelle Bonnet-Vidal.
As for the music, “the students loved the project from the start, and they worked all year with their flute, piano, violin, cello and clarinet teachers. We had very few rehearsals, but the harmony was there, and the audience was delighted” comments Rémy Quinne, piano teacher and musical director of the project. Nearly 700 Caledonians came to see the two performances and particularly appreciated the original blend of cinema, classical music and science.
Caroline Edant, Biodiversity-Climate Officer at Agence Française de Développement (AFD), said: “AFD supported this original and ambitious creation through the CLIPSSA project, and we are very proud to have done so with our partners from IRD and Météo-France. This event raised awareness of the issues of biodiversity and climate change through a sense of wonder. I want to salute the boldness and commitment of all the participants, from the scientists to the musicians, as well as the organisers and other sponsors”.