Ballad of a Changing World is a film commissioned by Cheltenham Music Festival and Arctic Arts in 2021. It is a collaboration between Maja and pianist Sarah Nicolls, performing on her unique inside-out piano, issue a digital yet immersive wake-up call on the urgency of the climate crisis. Ballad for a changing world combines emotionally-charged music with learning about kittiwakes – birds which are on the move due to climate change – and Maja and Sarah’s attempts to make a show in lockdown. This is a show about adaptation. We learn through conversations with scientists in Newcastle-on-Tyne, UK and Tromso, Norway and by viewing the birds, the music and the sometimes hilarious attempts to live-by-zoom.explores how music can be used to addresses the climate change and environmental crises .
Maja began working with Sarah Nicolls in 2019 on a Snape Maltings residency and it lead to a work-in-progress showing as part of Snape Maltings “Festival of New” in September 2019.
With their shared classical background, a fearless search for new sounds and a desire to create music that , they are now finding themselves in a fruitful musical exploration.
“Maja and Sarah’s performance, was a highlight of our Festival of New. The audience were completely engaged from the start. Maja’s cello and Sarah’s extraordinary “inside out” piano responded to each other and created an emotional soundscape for the themes evoked in their words.”
Clementine Lovell, producers residencies at Snape Maltings
Sarah Nicolls is a pioneering pianist and composer living in Brighton. She has performed all over the world, now concentrating her music-making on her own compositions, generated on her unique-in-the-world ‘Inside-Out Piano’, a vertical grand piano on which Sarah can play the strings as well as keys. Sarah has given many world premieres with the London Sinfonietta including Larry Groves’ Piano Concerto and Richard Barrett’s Mesopotamia and her work is regularly broadcast on BBC Radio 3.
Trailer Ballad of a changing world: