Monday 29 March | Sarah Keen

For her #100DaysOfGreenNevis project, bassoonist Sarah Keen is creating daily improvisations inspired by endangered species.

It’s day 57 – we’ve well and truly passed the halfway mark and are continually feeling very inspired by our 30+ musicians, staff and trustees doing something good for the environment! It’s never too late to join them and do your little bit for the planet too! Over the next 43 days we’ll be hearing from them all again to see how they’re getting on.

Today, we’ve checked in with bassoonist Sarah Keen and her wonderful improvisations. You can read her first post here. She’s using this challenge to raise money for the Red Squirrel Survival Trust, so if you are able to do consider supporting her.

Time is going very fast in this green campaign! Here are three of my favourite improvisations so far.

Day 20 was the Hazel dormouse. I’ve been trying do a mix of globally endangered species and UK species. I tried to make the bassoon sound light and delicate to imitate a dormouse, as they are very tiny and adorable. 

On day 33 I chose the Bonobo, a species of Great Ape. I loved the picture for this one and so I wanted to express the playfulness and affection between mother and baby. I decide what animal to do on the day, and try to do a good mix of amphibians, birds, mammals etc. to keep things interesting!

Day 54 was the Angel shark. I think this is my favourite one so far! I’ve been shocked by how much of all these species decline is caused by humans. The Angel shark, for instance, is very vulnerable to getting caught in fishing gear as they live on the seabed. 

There are many organisations doing excellent work in conservation, including the Red Squirrel Survival Trust which I am using this challenge to fundraise for. This is a UK based charity working to protect red squirrels, which are native to the UK and in danger of extinction if they are not supported. If you would like to donate you can do so here.

From 1 February 2021, Nevis is running #100DaysOfGreenNevis, where our musicians, staff and trustees will each take on a task for 100 days linked to Sustainability. We’d love you to join us, either by following the campaign online to get ideas of what you can do, or to show us you own actions for us to share. If you would like to know more, do get in touch at georgina@nevisensemble.org 

Nevis Ensemble’s #GreenNevis campaign in 2019 won the Environmental Sustainability award at the 2020 Scottish Awards for New Music, and was shortlisted for Best Campaign by Julie’s Bicycle.