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"Listen to the Pulse of the Planet!" was the call for a concert on 24 January 2013 in the Yehudi Menuhin Space in the European Parliament under the patronage of Vice President Isabelle Durant. Some 45 musicians from the European institutions and the children's choir of the European School Brussels II performed the Goldberg Variations of Johann Sebastian Bach.

The founder of the concept, Naomi Takagi, sees it as the start of a global initiative and says: "The universality, the unifying power and the healing nature of Music are acknowledged throughout the world. Music is the supreme global language, which transcends all political, cultural, religious, and ethnic orientations and touches the depths of human existence. Not only does Music inspire, support, change and improve the well-being of all who participate. It also fosters understanding, creates bonds between people, mobilizing them in large numbers even across borders, and has supported humanitarian initiatives for peace and peaceful resolutions where other means fall short.



During this time of global crisis, we recognize the importance of universal solidarity and propose to resort to Music to mobilize and engage the humankind of all ages and nationalities."

Jean Ferrard, Honorary Professor at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Brussels commented on the significance of Johann Sebastian Bach and his immense oeuvre, which inspired people irrespective of whether they were sharing his religious beliefs. Bach left a deep mark well beyond his contemporaries and speaks to us today through the structure and sound of his securingly structured and balanced music.

Nobody escaped the charm of the concert, which was enabled by the generosity and solidarity of many helping hands. Most importantly it relied on the musicians who, though not top professionals, took it upon themselves to face the difficult task of performing in front of a large public as a sign of their commitment to the cause. Several groups of string and wind instruments, as well as vocals alternated with the piano played by several musicians. They reflected the diversity of age, nationality, maturity and perspective the concert was intending to highlight - yet having all bound together by Bach's beautiful Goldberg variations.


The children's choir sang the final aria with Annabel Hannan from the European Parliament at the piano.

In conclusion, European Parliament Vice-President Isabelle Durant thanked Naomi Takagi, the musicians and all supporters for the beautiful moment spent together listening to the music.

She invited the audience to take the appeal of the organisers to heart: to strengthen existing and to create new initiatives so as to stand together for protecting our beautiful, yet fragile Earth.

A reception offered by the ECC group of the European Parliament allowed the sensation of calm, solidarity and resolve to do something to linger on as the audience and musicians mingled in animated discussion.

Mundus maris supports the initiative, among others, by encouraging people in different parts of the globe to join and contribute their own way of listening to the pulse of the planet.

Let's pause to get into synch again with ourselves, with each other and and with our beautiful Blue Planet.

The call has also been heard by graphic artists, who developed several posters to draw attention to the event. Here is one by Paolo Bottoni.

Others are already lining up to contribute.

Read on for more contributions.



ALDEBARAN supports the initiative

The call sent out before the concert "Listen to the Pulse of the Planet" in the European Parliament is already being heard. The ALDEBARAN team, marine research and communication, in Hamburg has produced part of their underwater footage with the Goldberg Variations as sound track. There are five pieces of about 14 minutes each:

Click here for the first one (1/5).

Click here for the second one (2/5).

Click here for the third one (3/5).

Click here for the fourth one (4/5).

Click here for the fifth one (5/5).

View the videos about marine and coastal life, see some in already seriously degraded state, but others still showing at least a good part of their former glory. When you watch attentively and listen to Bach's music, you will get a sense, why protecting the oceans and restoring them to former states of health and productivity is a must.

In the face of overfishing, the global marine litter crisis and climate change this will truly require a surge of cooperation and solidarity across the globe.


The Never-Ending Sounds

By Nuria Estrella Santos

To my Dad.

During this time of the year, I do not have many guests who stay in the cottages. I have twelve of them but for this week, only three are occupied. People come from all over to escape the city and to stay at one of my cottages because of wilderness surroundings and the beautiful view of the river.  So many people visit that I can barely remember the conversations that I have with my guests.


I am not a curious person, but I am impressed on how easy it is for people to talk so candidly about their lives, so I like to ask questions. People’s lives are often similar and I am rarely interested in them, but I consider listening to be a part of my job.

A few days ago came the girl of the never-ending sounds, and since she left, this place feels different and maybe I do too.

She was not very different from the other visitors, but there was something about her that intrigued me.

When she first arrived, she asked to stay at the cottage closest to the river.  As we walked the path down to the cottage and past a number of trees, the girl of the never-ending sounds walked silently. Once we arrived she was not like any other guest and did not make the usual tour of the room. Instead, she closed her eyes and stood in silence for a moment and after few minutes she told me the cottage was perfect; later I could understand why ...

Every morning, she would wake up at sunrise and go for a very long walk. In the evening, she would show up around dinnertime and enjoyed eating with the other guests.

On her last day, she arrived after all the other guests had left and was eating alone when I walked up to her to say hello. As we started talking, I expected her to be like the other guests and to ask me about my life in this remote place, of which I usually repeat my dialogues. But instead, she talked of things that were not in my script and I got interested in what she was saying and decided to sit down and have a chat. I asked her what had brought her to this remote place; she took a moment to answer, as if she had been keeping a secret. Then she told me she was looking for the never-ending sounds.

I lived in a place of never-ending sounds, but I had never felt it that way, maybe when things have a name then they start to make sense.

For her, the never-ending sounds were related to nature and when she discovered them she never wanted to get away from them. As she was speaking, I noticed that gleam in the eyes of people who are passionate about something. I have always been amazed by this kind of person, and how their passions completely transform their lives.

A never ending sound: the ocean waves, the everlasting game between the moon and the sea, the orchestra of jungle animals where every second, a new player is born, a forest where leaves never stop falling, a river’s infinite race into the sea, the wind dancing with the branches, the rain into the ocean and the anthem of the fish swimming in the sea.

Ola LPita


I then asked her why she recorded the sounds. She then explained to me that one day she was amazed and surprised by the intensity of music and sounds. For instance, the image of her late father was almost indifferent to her mood; in contrast, listening to Opera would always have a very deep and emotional impact on her. In her memory she associated Opera with her dad and her childhood. Listening to Opera was kind of bittersweet, but it would in an instant transport her back when she was growing up. Every morning her father played Opera, most people wake up to an alarm clock, but she listened to Caruso, Pavarotti and Callas instead.

For most people, taking pictures is a way to capture a moment in time.  But for her, pictures were meaningless. She told me that sounds and music are tied into our emotions and memory in the brain. We relate to them, because we have them within ourselves; our heartbeat is a rhythm. The music and sounds in our lives are like the master key that opens the files from our memory.

"We always take pictures of landscapes and beautiful places, but landscapes also speak to us" she said. She played with the idea that each landscape speaks a different language.  Instead of a photo album, she kept an acoustic album. During her trips, instead of a camera she carried a tape recorder and a microphone so that she would not only capture just a brief moment but thousands of memories, images and sensations in the form of vibrations that travel hundreds of meters per second through air.

Original Language: Spanish

English Translation: David Adam Kess and Nuria Estrella Santos

Click here to listen to Never-Ending Sounds:

Sea and Sea lions. San Cristobal, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador. Recorded by Pablo Mejia Saccomori

Birds at Sunrise. Quito, Ecuador. Recorded by Nuria Estrella Santos.