An American rock band dedicated to create awareness about environment and climate through their music and lyrics is on a “green mission” to Kashmir performing two live concerts in the valley,including one at the famous resort of Gulmarg.
Solar Punch,the New York based band whose motto is “We are the solution”,began its tour in Jammu and Kashmir yesterday and performed their first ever concert in valley at a local college auditorium here.
The songs Solar Punch sung were all about environment. They sang about water,about energy,about the ways to utilise the clean power,which has minimum carbon emission. In between the songs,they made a presentation about the solar energy.
Their message was simple and environmental – that people themselves are the solution and can undo the damage done to the climate.
Alan Bigelow,vocalist and guitarist of the band,said the most complex and important challenge in the world is “our climate”.
“Climate change is interwoven,there are many aspects to it. The temperature of earth is going up and it is correlated with the carbon content in the atmosphere. So we designed a solar energy system for our equipment which has zero carbon emission,” Bigelow,a PhD in Physics and a co-founder of Solar Punch band,said.
The music equipment carried by the Solar Punch members are all powered by the sun light through a system designed by Bigelow himself,and carried atop a van where ever the group goes.
Bigelow said the band was interested in Kashmir because of the abundance of the hydroelectricity and water resources in the state which needs to be preserved.
“When we are in Kashmir we are actually inside the Himalayas and here we have abundant water resources and these resources have to be saved,” Bigelow said.
“The message to the Kashmiri youth is the same that is to the American youth or the youth of other countries and that is to get involved. If we need to have a better future,we need to act now,” he said.
The four member band on the visit to Kashmir also includes Bass Guitarist Andrew Mattina,drummer Joe Mitch and guitarist James Dean Conklin.
In 2009,the band performed ‘India Climate Solutions Road Tour’ across several cities of the country to push ahead their message to safeguard the environment.
“The message is each one of us has a solution,” said Conklin,who is also the vocalist for the band. “When we learn about the solutions,we then write songs about them.”
“We are here in Kashmir to learn about the environment here,to learn about its environmental issues and to learn about the solutions to these problems,” Conklin said.
One of Solar Punch’s album titled ‘Surya’ is about the collection of their 2009 visit to India and includes songs like ‘Water Drops’,’Running Clean’,’Let The Sun Shine On Us’ and ‘Plastic’.
“Lot of environmental problem is because of ignorance. People need to learn about simple things,” Conklin said.
Today the band is scheduled to perform in Gulmarg,a famous tourist resort surrounded by high Himalayan peaks.
“We want people to think about other forms of energy,” said Bigelow,his guitar slung across his shoulder.