Change of Atmosphere: The ClimateMusic Project

The ClimateMusic Project will perform “Climate,” by composer Erik Ian Walker, a 30-minute piece guided by 500 years of climate data.

Event Details


swissnex San Francisco
Pier 17, Suite 800, San Francisco, California 94111 United States


October 27, 2017 from 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm America/Los Angeles (UTC-08:00)



As an analogy for climate, music is familiar, accessible, and—for most people—much easier to relate to than data. The ClimateMusic Project was created to harness this universal language to tell the urgent story of climate change to broad and diverse audiences in a way that resonates and inspires.

The ClimateMusic Project creates and performs original music through close collaboration between leading climate scientists and artists. The resulting compositions offer a unique way of communicating the impact of human activities on our climate.  

The ClimateMusic Project will perform “Climate,” by composer Erik Ian Walker. The full 30-minute piece spans 500 years (1800-2300AD) of the climate’s past and present, as well as two possible future scenarios. The data sets are from simulations from the Community Earth System Model (CESM), an open model that has been used extensively in national and international assessments of climate change. Performers include Swiss violinist Michèle Walther, who studied at the Basel Conservatory.

These live performances include synchronized visuals and post-concert public forums, where audiences are invited to engage with scientists, composers, and musicians. The program includes a discussion with Dr. William Collins of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, scientific advisor to the ClimateMusic Project. 

This event is part of the Bay Area Science Festival and a celebration for the Alpine Bid to host the 2019 World Conference of Science Journalists.

You can find the Press Release of the ClimateMusic Project here


7:30pm: doors
8:00pm: introduction
8:15pm: performance
8:45pm: discussion
9:15pm: networking
10pm: doors close


Production Team: Stephan Crawford, Fran Schulberg, Dr. Sara Chun, Laurie Goldman
Science Advisors: Dr. William Collins, Dr. Andrew Jones, Dr. Alison Marklein, Dr. Rose Abramoff
Composer: Erik Ian Walker
Musicians: Erik Ian Walker, Michèle Walther, Thomas Dimuzio, Scott Brazieal, Bill Noertker
Animations/Video: Darin Limvere, David Tanaka, FXPAL, Kineviz


William Collins

Dr. William CollinsWilliam Collins is an internationally recognized expert in climate modeling and climate change science. He serves as the Director for the Climate and Ecosystem Sciences Division (CESD) in the Earth and Environmental Sciences Area (EESA) at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL, Berkeley Lab). In addition Dr. Collins is a senior scientist at LBNL, a Professor in Residence in the Department of Earth and Planetary Science at the University of California(UC), Berkeley, and the Director of the Climate Readiness Institute (CRI), a multi-campus initiative to prepare the Bay Area for climate change.

Olivier Dessibourg

Olivier DessibourgOlivier Dessibourg is an award-winning science journalist and editor. Until December 2016, he headed for 12 years the the Science section at the swiss daily Le Temps, covering all fields from hard sciences to health and environment. A physicist, mathematician and science teacher by training, he is the president of the Swiss Association of Science Journalism SASJ, and the swiss delegate to the World Federation of Science Journalists. As a freelancer, his articles appears in Le Temps, NewScientist (UK), Le Monde and La Recherche (France). He co-leads the Swiss-French-Italian bid to host the World Conference of Science Journalists 2019 in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Arnaud Marsollier

Arnaud MarsollierTrained as a science communicator, Arnaud Marsollier has spent the last 20 years in science outreach and communications. He started his career developing programs for education within youth science associations in Paris covering astrophysics and space. He has worked for the French Association for Astronomy, the National Air and Space Museum and collaborated with the French Space Agency. Ten years ago, he joined CERN, the European Laboratory for Particle Physics. In 2014, he was appointed Head of Media Relations. He holds a Master’s degree in science communications.

Daniel Saraga

Daniel SaragaDaniel Saraga is Head of Science Communication at the Swiss National Science Foundation, and editor-in-chief of “Horizons.” A science journalist, he was previously in charge of the European science magazine, “Technologist”. Daniel Saraga studied physics at EPFL and obtained his PhD from University College London. He also worked as a researcher at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute and founded the Café Scientifique Basel.

Michèle Walther

Michele WaltherViolinist Michèle Walther is a performer, composer, arranger, and educator in the Bay Area. She studied music/violin in Switzerland at the Conservatory Basel, where she graduated in 1992 with an MA in violin performance and pedagogy. She worked as a violin and ensemble teacher at the Music-Academy Basel for 13 years, in which she also performed as a member of the Basel Sinfonietta, a professional symphony orchestra. Among others, Michèle performs with Resonance Jazz, Steve McQuarry, Tangonero, Dan Cantrell, and solo with live looping.