Limpet Space Race – Press release – Orchestra of St John's | Taking classical music out into the community

Limpet Space Race – Press release

Oxford orchestra, band and climate change documentary project collaborate on unique music performance

Oxford’s Ashmolean Proms on May 15th will premiere a unique collaborative piece, commissioned from Oxford experimental pop duo, Limpet Space Race, by The Orchestra of St John’s. The piece, ‘Earth Flow’, responds to Himalayas to Ocean, an documentary research project recounting stories of climate change along the Gandaki river in Nepal. 

Orchestra of St John’s associate conductor Cayenna Ponchione speaks about the collaboration: ‘We’re very pleased to be commissioning this work from Limpet Space Race. The combination of their experimental, electronic approach, field recordings from the Himalayas to Ocean expedition and a live string orchestra is creating a truly unique and beautiful piece to experience’.

Limpet Space Race are Nicholas O’Brien (Jakes) and Nicholas O’Brien (Nikò)  and Hannah Jacobs, a  duo mishmashing pop, jazz, prog and diy electronics. They are normally at work in the pop music scene, gigging, promoting and running Upcyced Sounds recording studio and label. 

The piece focuses on themes of erosion, landslides and change. In many places across Nepal, landslides are becoming more common to increased glacial melt and intense rains. This is predicted to worsen as the climate changes further. It will combine string orchestra with live sampling, electronics and expedition field recordings, performed through a series of surround-sound speakers via a programme built by Limpet Space Race. 

The field recordings include sounds of wind, water, landslide and river that were recorded in 5:1 surround by LSR’s Nicholas O’Brien, in partnership with DPA and Bubblebee Industries. The piece will also be accompanied by photographs and research from the Himalayas To Ocean expedition.

“We hope the collaboration will emotionally engage people and encourage them to think about the connections between their lifestyles and the changing climate patterns affecting other communities. It is particularly timely given the recent declaration of ‘Climate Emergency’ from Oxford City Council, and the project gives some real-life context and stories to this crisis”.  Alice Chautard, co-founder of Himalayas To Ocean.

The piece is part ‘In Our Hands’, an Ashmolean Proms programme taking a musical journey through earth, water and the responsibility towards preserving the natural world for generations to come. The concert is at the Ashmolean Museum on May 15th from 7.30pm. Tickets at

Himalayas To Ocean photos. Caption: A photo of Nilgiri North, 7,061m in the Nepalese Himalayas. The Himalayas are undergoing dramatic changes and are estimated to be warming considerably faster than the global average. As temperatures heat up in the coming decades, over a third of the ice in the region could disappear by the end of the century.


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