Your own way in.

“We expect extinction to unfold offstage, in the mists of prehistory, not right in front of our faces, on a specific calendar day. And yet here it was: March 19, 2018.”

How are you facing the era of crisis?

Let me ask it better: 

How the hell are you supposed to face the era of crisis?

A story resurfacing in algorithmic eddies I found sobering this beautiful morning: “The last two northern white rhinos on earth”

Extinction. It’s a word we live with too much to feel, I think. But it’s interesting how people reacted to Sudan, this last male white rhino waiting for his end. How they reacted to him when meeting him or just reading of him. It’s clear this stuff DOES get to us;, we DO feel connection – when naturally meeting nature.

And it can be a way in. As personal experiences always are.

Of course, in case you want to sober up from some more personal-feeling grief about the White Rhino, the UN Report: Nature’s Dangerous Decline ‘Unprecedented’; Species Extinction Rates ‘Accelerating’” is now two years old – so times Sudan by potentially… er,

..one million species.

>checks notes<

A million.

“UN Report: Nature’s Dangerous Decline ‘Unprecedented’; Species Extinction Rates ‘Accelerating’”

“Nature is declining globally at rates unprecedented in human history – and the rate of species extinctions is accelerating, with grave impacts on people around the world now likely” says this report, pulling together study data from global govs, NGOs and indigenous groups.

“We are eroding the very foundations of our economies, livelihoods, food security, health and quality of life worldwide.”

What are you supposed to do with this world breaking thought? You. What are you supposed to do with this? Me.

With my Battery Tour head on I’d say: What is your own passion telling you?

On the #GGMusicRoadshow we talking about “plugging in your passion, because passion is where change starts.”

It’s the emotional truth of you; the way you really want to first connect with the world around you.

I think it’s the only place to start doing the impossible seeming.

 

Plugging in passion.

This morning made five swims in my local stretch of sea in fewer days. It was like a lake; glassy, calm, etherial. Lastnight a shoal of minnows flashed around me in the shallows. A few UK summer days and climate and Covid alike seem way off. But.

I bumped into a gym buddy on the prom lastnight, in the beautiful evening young people’s paradise of #Southbourne beach on a hot evening. We’re both missing our regular circuits class after 18months away from normal sports centre life. He introduced me to his wife I’d never met.

Sam and John’s daughter is passionate about environmental stuff. Even works for a start-up energy co of some kind. Sam said: “I don’t know anything of course. You don’t think about this stuff normally, do you?”

“You don’t” I agreed.

Then she said: “This will sound silly… but I love cosmetics. Have a real interest in how they are made and what ingredients we’re putting onto ourselves, and in to ourselves with nutrition. Have you heard of #thebodyburden?”

And then she spoke so passionately we all just listened.

Ethical cosmetics, as sustainably packaged and sold as possible, all linked to a rethinking culture about beauty and health and its place in nature.

But she didn’t know anything.

Don’t you believe you can’t do anything. Your life belongs to this world and its dying or blooming.

Have rhinos ended up in cosmetics? Was the last male White Rhino on Earth a dinosaur joining history, or are we about to be, you might ask.

Does this question make you feel passionate?

Where there is passion, there is energy. Where there is energy there is change.

“One million is not just a number — it contains countless living creatures: individual frogs, bats, turtles, tigers, bees, eels, puffins, owls. Each one as real as you or me, each with its own life story and family ties and collection of habits.”

“Together, these animals make up a vast, incredible archive: a collection of evolutionary stories so rich and complex that our highly evolved brains can hardly begin to hold them.”

Cannot recommend this article by @shamblanderson enough.

Solarpunk: Better than a new utopia?

 

Timo Peach shares a special episode of his playful research cast that may be unlocking a subject the whole creative curriculum has been working towards.

 

A music artist may be supposed to make music but sometimes a side track can reshape a whole output. When Momo:tempo’s project The Shape of Things To Hum began to take its own shape it lead to a spot of light human planet exploration by Timo Peach that became the foundation for a new personal worldview. And now, after 30 episodes, Unsee The Future is back with an introduction to an idea the whole series may have been waiting for.

“I’ve been sitting on the subject of Solarpunk for two years,” he says. “I wanted to get it right. I could sense it was an idea that my instincts had been leading me to this whole time without realising, and I wanted to feel ready to put it out there officially and go on the subsequent journey.

“Then, this spring, I just suddenly felt to get it finished and released. Not sure why. But it opens the way for me to go meet a lot of solarpunk creatives and begin spreading the word.”

 

 

Listen to or read the brand new episode of Unsee The Future EP31: Solarpunk >

 

A viable alternative vision of tomorrow?

So what is Solarpunk? Or a solarpunk? As Timo found, it’s an evocative word that comparatively few people have heard of, which surprised him. But it represents a different way of imagining the global future.

“The name seems to have the same effect on most people as it did me – just a wow, I immediately sort of get it. But… tell me more” he says. “It’s an idea that has grown into a naturally decentralised creative movement. Expressed in fiction, concept art, music, architecture – lots of articulations around the world, but all based on the positive instinct to reconfigure tech we already have today with a rebalanced view of the natural world and its systems. “The political wing of permaculture” as early steward of the scene Jay Springett said to me.”

Following in the wake of popular cosplay and fiction style steampunk, which precipitated a lot of other _punks, Solarpunk is the only one to represent a political intention. As EP31 of Unsee explains.

“I quoted a few people in the episode I am now just beginning to speak to,” says Mr Peach. “Jay Springett is a founder of solarpunks.net and a fascinating bloke, as I found out after chatting with him after he’d already listened to the Unsee episode. He’s so quoteable! I’d urge anyone to explore his output – his founding talk on the subject is a must read immediately after you”ve introduced yourself to Solarpunk via my episode!”

Solarpunk fuses many aspects of sustainable technology and thinking with a fundamental-seeming need for new narratives for the future. And this is a conclusion Unsee The Future lead its writer to believe also.

“My whole practical mission now is to help people think like an artist and change the world,” Timo explains, “and this came out of my research with the podcast, beginning with trying to make sense of a frame work for problem solving like the Global Goals. What’s driving our global bad habits is an arcane economic story – a way of seeing the world with values attached that aren’t serving us healthily at all. But a story that itself has eroded collective belief in any other way of seeing things.

“Solarpunk may be the first realistic alternative to the inevitable seeming destructive human futures. And better than a new utopia because it’s not about trying to get people to conform and fall in – almost the opposite.”

It’s an idea so inspiring the bloke from Momo he is planning a new Unsee The Future interview series: UTF: Hopey-Chatty Bits.

“I’ve been sitting on that for a while too,” he says sheepishly, “but at the start of the summer I’m going to begin a regular show meeting solarpunk artists and other thinkers using art practices and solarpunk narratives to demonstrate new stories of us. And I just know their testimonies will help inspire the more hopeful human tomorrow.”

 

Read an introduction to the Solarpunk episode over on Momo’s social impact storytelling site Momo:zo >

The Global Goals Music Roadshow

Music artist and voice of Unsee The Future Timo Peach co-hosts “the people’s show for changing the world” with fellow music artist AY Young, US Young Leader to the UN and creator of the remarkable Battery Tour.

 

How you do become a changemaker? Isn’t it a role for motivated superstar activists? It’s the question driving the new weekly online show from writer, performer, producer and environmental champion AY Young, and which tempted in the bloke from Momo to help. The Global Goals Music Roadshow meets ordinary people finding their voices about the human future, sharing their stories of projects and initiatives well under way or of their questions for how to even begin – in a lively format that reflects two natural entertainers that have clearly found each other.

“I was introduced to AY by a mutual friend, who herself kind of found me, through my consultancy work with Momo:zo” says Mr Peach himself. “Eller Everett of digital social impact team Both Of Us is such a knowledgable enthusiast for planet and permaculture and she simply said to me: “I only know of one other person who talks like you do about music and environment – I will introduce you.

“That was fateful” he adds soberly.

 

 

With four and a half thousand miles and twenty years between them, to say nothing of core music styles, the two artists found a kindred approach to both planet and performing.

“AY is a natural music maker. Rather like me, he can just make music all life long and inhabit it. He’s also creatively broad in it, with a beautiful versatile voice and ear” Momo enthuses. “But really, he’s an entertainer – I feel like we can trust each other on stage and take cues. And we’ve only met through screens.

“He wants to make the GG Show Saturday Night Live: The Environmental Musical. How the hell could I not be all in?”

“He’s also simply bringing star quality with authenticity about his mission. This combination is, I suspect, rare in both showbiz and music, and it infects everyone he meets, including me. He’s brilliant with people.”

 

Outlets for change.

That mission is one that Timo is happy to get behind. To help ordinary people plug their passions into changemaking, right where they are – and help viewers get energised about the possibilities of global transformation. Just when we so rapidly need it.

As guests share how they are becoming outlets for change, including some remarkable classrooms with AY’s Outlet Teachers, we also learn about AY’s upcoming sustainability projects following his impressive and singular Battery Tour, demonstrating how to run music shows on 100% solar and battery power.

“Yeah, he toured hundreds of shows, all over the US and some other nations, powered by solar and battery tech, and helped to raise money to leave some of that tech in less advantaged communities. It brought him to the attention of the UN and now he is the only Young Leader from the US representing the organisation” Timo explains.

The show refers to the United Nation’s 2030 Agenda and the Global Goals for Sustainable Development (17 SDGs) as a framework for supporting changemakers’ thinking in lots of different sectors, and as such covers a world of interconnected issues.

“Yes,” Timo concludes, “we explore lots of different topics to connect with in this planetary time of crisis, to help you feel like you can take part in building a better future no matter what things may look like on usual channels. Being around AY and just getting stuck in to developing this format, learning out loud together, has helped this hypocritical old utopian hitch up his socks more regularly. And being invited into all the development he’s done of this project, hearing the moving stories from people’s different experiences every week… it’s changed the way I think about my own work and approach.

“Plus, the between the two of us, the show is gently nuts” he adds flatly.

 

Every Thursday 13:00CET / 19:00BST
on AYYOUNG.COM supporting the Battery Tour

AY is developing his Global Goals album, 17, with the help of some big name artists and grassroots changemakers alike – 17 songs to represent 17 goals to give ordinary all of us voice about the shape of the human planet future.

“Support the tour, do one thing. Together, WE are the battery powering change.”

The Global Goals Music Roadshow is the beginnings of a media platform for sharing stories of people and organisations all trying out initiatives across the spectrum of the SDGs challenges, and it promotes the Battery Tour project AY and the team are developing. This includes:

1. ALBUM: collaborating with the biggest artists in the world to do a 17 song album. 1 song for each Sustainable Development Goal. Produced sustainably and powered by renewable energy.

2. TOUR: 17 dates around the USA in 2022 all powered 100% by renewable energy.

3. WORKSHOP & INDUSTRY GUIDEBOOK WITH THE UNITED NATIONS: Hosting a virtual workshop that will result in a guidebook that provides a roadmap for the entertainment industry on how to tour and record an album sustainably as well as to encourage an uptick in artists using their platform for good and instill in them the willingness to act and engage more frequently on social causes.

Become an outlet for change and follow #BatteryTour on Twitter, Insta, and Facebook >

 

 

 

A decade of The Golden Age

Celebrating a significant birthday at the start of October, in all the complexity of getting here and of the times I find myself in here, for a moment I am boringly mostly just grateful.

It’s not been boring for me, but might be for a post about it left at a thank you list. But little seems great at the moment generally, to put it midly, and for me personally there was a time I could see nothing great at all.

Which, via the long way round, was a period that lead to the inception of my work as Momo and to the coming out of its musical sound – a musical sound first released with a home-made debut LP, The Golden Age of Exploration. And it’s a record that still means a lot to me.

In this little behind the scenes, I share just a bit about where I’d come from in arriving at this album. It was a very long way round – over twenty years to drag myself just over the line of something that actually worked and seemed to embody a genuine artistic world. Talk about arriving late, despite trying quite hard the whole way; some people are born cool, some people have cool thrust upon them and some of them will never attain cool but by virtue of sheer blind beligerance make something that sounds at least a bit intentional. This record was a massive sketchbook work-out essentially, unsure what I was intending until I’d feverishly worked it through, but it unlocked me into a new world of music making with confidence and identity. It will always be a big symbol for me.

As I share in this vlog, of the many Momo secret hits from The Golden Age that I’ll never tire of playing out live, perhaps one symbolises the journey in my memory the best – Asylum Seeker.

These are some thoughts more about the personal walk through the development of this piece and the record around it, rather than an exploration of refugeeism. That’s a separate story to consider with art in which my place is to listen, not sing. But for a single example of the place of art in making connection to borderless citizenry, as geographic as emotional, you should follow The Walk of Little Amal from the Turkish-Syrian border to Manchester in a wave of creativity and testimony through seventy towns and cities. It is ambitious, to say the least, giving voice and visualisation to the human statistics of empty politics. That brokenness and lostness can help the most entitled of us, maybe well used to being heard and seen, glimpse empathy for those forced to make their whole lives testimony to dislocation is the whole point of my own little electro-pop song about looking for home.

 

 

A MIXTAPE FOR TIMO.

My gratitude at reaching the half century in the town I grew up in is actually in how I’ve arrived back here. Not just in one piece physically and emotionally, despite the darkest of sunny summers in generations this year, but having had the lifeblood transfusion of getting to finish a few things all at about the same time. I’ve been working some long hours and slightly obsessive To Do sheets over the last couple of months especially, but projects like Talking Distance and my Science Caketalk, as well as a couple of really interesting projects I’ve been working through consulting with Zo, have given me a nice sense of closure right before a big round number nameday. As I’ve said like a stuck record over the years, finishing things feels essential for learning and moving on. Especially because earning a little celebration at the close of them helps give you a little payback of joy and rest. Damn lucky when that works out.

An extra part of this I should say is a gift from some of my creative family. A reflection back to me of their creativity and how we can encourage each other in our play, our making, trying and exploring – a mixtape, that can really only be described as a variety show of gentle madness and brilliance on a lovingly presented C90 cassette. Arrived in the post on the afternoon of my fiftieth, from Andy Robinson, Simon Brett and a whole gang of people for some reason wanting to sing silly songs at me, or share poetry, or performance, or mixes or just well wishes and tune choices. These couple of sentences do not do this justice, and frankly I never will be able to. It’s floored me in its generosity and encouragement. But if the decade that The Golden Age unlocked could lead me to such family and produce such creativity between us then I should celebrate it. If your work leads you to find people who can hold each other up in the lostness and madness, you’ve been following something good, I suspect.

If you’d like to hear it for yourself, message me and I’ll send you the private link. It’s very entertaining.

Meanwhile, as a final part of my own little bit of celebration and closure before looking forward, I’ve created a loving kit bash of Asylum Seeker – the Decade Defiance Mix, which you can download for free right here, below.

So I am indeed grateful. But there’s nothing boring about it. All these decades in, whether I even get to glimpse the promised land or not, loved ones have encouraged me to feel like I’m only just warming up for the road still ahead.

x.

 

 

Why science is a bit like art: An Unsee The Future Science Caketalk

Momo brings a special presentation to the online science festival on Sunday October 04 2020, comparing two human disciplines that are in the business of changing worlds.

 

The bloke from Momo:tempo, Timo Peach, is a music maker and creative with a big interest in how the human planet fits together – and how fellow artists are also trying to make sense of it. But in his edited lecture for Science Cake, he explores three hypotheses aligning the experience of exploring the world through art with that of science. Around introductions to his own reasoning, developed through his research cast Unsee The Future,  he tests his thinking by talking to two people along the way with some insights into those experiences.

Denise Poote is an artist and lecturer who’s work instinctively looks for movement, exploring spaces as “traces of activity”. Across marks, sculpture, digital and performance,  her developmental process follows a strong sense of data and evidence gathering to express something dynamic with contraints. Interrogating parameters and describing her pieces more like “outputs as snapshots of ongoing process” she says the frameworks of analysis her work creates can only ever be temporary against the “fluid practiced space of shared experience.”

Brian Kraemer-Banks is a science educator, creative and activist and Pearson’s FE Lecturer of the year 2019. Teaching biology and anthropology across 25 years, his innovation and passion in the classroom have always been based he says on one clear aim: “To unleash a love of learning in every learner so they will go forward into the world and be successful, fulfilled, and considerate members of society.” And he says he has learned: “Science and the humanities are not different disciplines – all knowledge is about searching for understanding of life’s mysteries before the clock runs out.”

“It’s a fun format, to make a little online lecture show, and I’ve drawn much comfort from the sense of progress and practical problem solving that science represents since childhood,” says Timo. “It’s linked tightly to my love of science fiction, of course. But if art thinking has become central to my view of how to transform a world in crisis, how does it compare with science thinking, which practically built the modern world? Are they in fact very similar disciplines in some practical ways, and both all the healthier and richer for being mixed?”

WATCH THE COMPLETE SCIENCE CAKETALK HERE:

A DIT TO BLUEDOT

Founder Lee Rawlings wanted Science Cake to be a way to cope with missing another festival he and Momo and a host of creative friends have fallen in love with, Bluedot Festival.

“It’s just so beautiful” he says, “that natural mixture of music, art and science lectures! We miss it terribly as a gang, so I thought I’d create a way to celebrate and explore a similar principle online. And I’m wowed at the mix of people who’ve said yes to me just asking them to join in.”

Covering a creative mix of space weather, marine ecology, model making and music, Science Cake 2020 also includes a special retrospective of a particular film project Momo contributed to.

“Andy Robinson’s Seasons Of War is an absolutely beautiful scifi short and some years on he and I were interviewed by creative director Simon Brett about the process of making it. A real creative treat to learn how to do something so good on a budget of pistachio shells” says Mr Peach.

 

 

Unsee The Future: Why science is a bit like art is streaming at 19:00 Sunday October 04.

Seasons of war: making a successful Doctor Who short film is streaming at 14:00 Sunday October 04.

 

Programme for Sunday’s Science Cake from – 11.30pm

Coming soon a day of talks, chat, fun and science. Online on the Science Cake Facebook page
On the hour every hour experience something slightly different. Just like the many layers of a very tasty cake. A science Cake.
11.30 We go live – Lee says hello!
12 Noon – Stuart Maudling (Marine Biologist) – Trash talk and turtles
1pm – Brian Banks (Award winning Teacher) – Some handprints to discarded gloves – How a smart ass ape has bitten off more than he can chew!
2pm – Seasons of War panel – Making a successful Doctor Who short film
3pm – Siddhant Deshmukh and Ayesha Tandon(Met)- Space weather
4pm – Making a Warrior as easy as ABC – Cosplaydocucomedyinterview With Martin De Denning
5pm – Space Exe – Model rockets and XRTC radio telescope
6pm – Music Hour from Finn Talisker and others
7pm -Timo of Momo:tempo – Unsee the Future: Why science is a bit like art.
8pm – Lee Rawlings an Trevor Bruce/ Videogames we loved to play -interactive
9pm – Dartmoor Skies – Live Mars hunt
10pm DJ Simon Brett – Music mix (link)
11pm Jez Winship from the Lost Chord – Science Cake Neutrino Batter Mix