AKQA: The [Uncertain] Four Seasons

Photograph of mountain with orange filter

AKQA: The [Uncertain] Four Seasons

Reinterpreting Vivaldi’s composition to highlight the risks of climate change

Antonio Vivaldi’s composition of The Four Seasons is an iconic interpretation of humanity’s relationship with nature in the pre-industrial era. However, the latest climate models from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) project that the world brought to life in Vivaldi’s music will have been dramatically altered by climate change by 2050 unless we take action on global warming.

Together, AKQA, Jung von Matt, composer Hugh Crosthwaite, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and the Monash Climate Change Communications Research Hub used the latest climate modelling data to create a new musical design system. The result? Local variations of Vivaldi’s original composition for the year 2050 with the score altered to account for predicted changes in rainfall, biodiversity, and extreme weather if there are no concerted efforts to restrict greenhouse gas emissions.

By transposing knowledge into feeling, the compositions evoke a sense of what a climate-changed planet will mean for humanity.

The [Uncertain] Four Seasons launched with a performance by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra at the 2021 Sydney Festival, and local variations have been released for every orchestra in the world in the lead up to the 2021 UN Climate Change Conference.