Spotlight TEDx Talk: A wild music festival dedicated to science

Dabas koncertzāle's 2011 event, dedicated to Fucus vesiculosus, a Baltic Sea seaweed

Dabas koncertzāle’s 2011 event, dedicated to Fucus vesiculosus, a Baltic Sea seaweed

We have your next concert destination: a nerdy, artsy, tribute to science and nature in the wilds of Latvia. Every year, a group of scientists, musicians and artists — including TEDxRiga speaker Silvija Nora Kalnins — get together to host Dabas koncertzāle, a concert dedicated to a single element of the Latvian natural world.

The group spends months planning the event, Kalnins explains at TEDxRiga, creating science lessons, original music, and artwork dedicated to the element of choice, whether that’s a toad, stratified sand ridges, Baltic Sea seaweed, or a small bird called the common chiffchaff.

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An image from the 2015 Dabas koncertzāle concert dedicated to the Lathyrus pratensis, the Meadow vetchling (Photo: Dabas koncertzāle)

An image from the 2015 Dabas koncertzāle concert dedicated to the Lathyrus pratensis, the Meadow vetchling (Photo: Dabas koncertzāle)

An image from the 2015 Dabas koncertzāle concert dedicated to the Lathyrus pratensis, the Meadow vetchling (Photo: Dabas koncertzāle)

An image from the 2007 concert, celebrating Phylloscopus collybita – the common chiffchaff  (Photo: Dabas koncertzāle)

An image from the 2007 Dabas koncertzāle concert, celebrating Phylloscopus collybita – the common chiffchaff (Photo: Dabas koncertzāle)

An image from the 2014 Dabas koncertzāle concert celebrating the extinct fish Asterolepis ornata (Photo: Dabas koncertzāle)

An image from the 2014 Dabas koncertzāle concert celebrating the extinct fish Asterolepis ornata (Photo: Dabas koncertzāle)

A photo from the 2013 Dabas koncertzāle concert celebrating Ōss / Ungurkalns Hill in Latvia (Photo: Dabas koncertzāle)

A photo from the 2013 Dabas koncertzāle concert celebrating Ōss / Ungurkalns Hill in Latvia (Photo: Dabas koncertzāle)

“[Dabas koncertzāle] is about [scientists] who become storytellers, about musicians who read scientific articles for 10 months before the concert in order to create the music … so that they can really tell the audience about what this particular element of nature is about,” Kalnins says. “It’s about the educators and artists and each one of us who organizes the concert trying to develop new ways for the audiences to learn. And it’s about our guests, our audiences, who really get inspired.”

For more on this unique combo of art and science, watch Kalnins’s whole talk below:

Why we like this talk:
The speaker — an environmental studies specialist — gives an inside view of a fascinating initiative to communicate science through art. The speaker uses stunning visuals, concrete examples and clear explanations to present her idea — that a great way to teach science and nature appreciation is through the combination of science, music, art and the outdoors.

3 Comments

  1. I’d love to go to that! Where do I find out how to experience that?? What a fantastic idea that is and remarkable experience that would be. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Jonny Dzung

    It’s made me realized something. A very interesting, facinating, fantastic training way

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