Yolanda Kondonassis : Five Minutes for Earth Review
Yolanda Kondonassis has released her new album, Five Minutes for Earth. The project celebrates our planet and illuminates our challenge to preserve it. The composers featured were tasked with creating works or soundscapes of five minutes or less in length that express a powerful experience inspired by Earth in one of its many conditions or atmospheres. Earth at Heart is a non-profit organization with the mission of increasing earth conservation awareness through the portal of the arts. Climate change, air quality, water pollution, man-made disasters, and diminishing resources are all inconvenient topics that have become increasingly politicized. Kondonassis says, “As a musician, I see the profound impact of the arts all around me on a daily basis. That is why I founded Earth at Heart ®. When we see an idea or an event expressed in the language of music, dance, visual art, or poetry, those sensory experiences often open the mind and heart to interaction and reaction in ways that mere facts may not. With every passing moment, we lose ground in the battle to protect our environment from the dire consequences of waste, neglect, and abuse. Action is the goal, but a visceral call to engagement can be the catalyst. There is not a minute to lose in our battle to protect the future of our planet, and an open heart and inspired commitment can make all the difference.”
“Hear The Dust Blow” is inspired by the devastating dust storms in Oklahoma and Northern Texas in 1939. Composer Michael Daugherty adds whistles, harmonic, soundboard percussive hits, gong effects, and fluxes to give the idiomatic composition overall effects and colors. Kondonassis’ performance is stunning as she brings out the beauty of the melody while adding the effects seamlessly and flowing naturally. Her touch on the harp is truly something special, articulate, warm, multi-dimensional, and emotive. The song form depicts an alternation between a melancholy Dust Bowl and a celebration of a better life to come in California’s “promised land” during one of the largest migrations in American history.
“Time Lapse” is a Patrick Harlin composition with inspiration from time-lapse photography and being able to see the dramatic and damaging changes happening to the Earth today. The composition has a steady arpeggio pattern with a melody intertwined in its activity. Kondonassis’ clear articulations and accents keep both parts easy to follow and understand. The harmony and colors are beautiful, as it is very effortless to imagine this composition flowing with a video of something that changes over time.
Five Minutes for Earth is a community of composers and a world-class harpist celebrating our planet and illuminating our challenges in the future. The power of music will unite, and these creative and wonderfully performed compositions are the catalyst to take a moment and think about the Earth and its changes. There is something here for everyone.
Five Minutes for Earth
April 1, 2022