Smashing Pumpkins violinist Ysanne teams up with non-profits, brands on ambitious ‘Coldwater Project’


By Hilary Gridley

Whale populations are dwindling. Without action, their songs may soon find a place not in biology but in mythology, right beside the singing mermaid. Fortunately, composer and violinist Ysanne is teaming up with Sea Shepherd to ensure the whale song continues to soundtrack the sea.

Best known for her work with The Smashing Pumpkins, Ysanne has been hard at work on her audio-visual experience, “The Coldwater Project,” an ambitious undertaking featuring 13 songs, each presented with a film and partnering with a non-profit and a brand.

“My partnerships with each of the non-profits are an extension of this artwork,” Ysanne tells Music for Good. “They’re integral to the music and films, as each of my partners embodies a trait that I admire and that inspired me to write each song.”

This May she will join LUSH Cosmetics and launch the first chapter, “The Mermaid Song,” to benefit Sea Shepherd.

“I first met (Sea Shepherd founder) Captain Paul Watson in 2009, a man of great vision, ethics, and valor,” Ysanne explains. “As he told me about his life’s mission to protect whales, dolphins, and the oceans, I was inspired to support the work of Sea Shepherd.“

Ysanne composed “The Mermaid Song,” featuring the 44-piece City of Prague Philharmonic, which the gifted violinist conducted herself. Two films have been made for the song – a 10-minute live action piece and a lyrics video that will be available exclusively in the digital-bundling package available May 13, with all proceeds donated to Sea Shepherd. Additionally, a shorter six-minute edit will be streaming free online.

What’s more, LUSH Cosmetics created an exclusive mermaid-shaped bath bomb bursting with wild seaweed, sea salt and essential oils. “LUSH Cosmetics are an embodiment of activism in a brand,” says Ysanne. “The people behind the bath bomb are the most committed and radical eco-warriors, and their products are as green as they are ethically sourced. It’s hard to describe the passion and focus they bring to their activism, and it has been truly inspiring for me to work alongside such people of vision.”

All proceeds from the sale of “The Mermaid Song” and the bath bomb will support Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, an international marine wildlife conservation non-profit organization founded by in 1977 by Captain Watson (a co-founder of Greenpeace). The organization’s mission is to end the destruction of habitat and slaughter of wildlife in the world’s oceans through direct-action tactics.

While future partnership information remains a secret, we can expect collaborations involving famed My Bloody Valentine video director Angus Cameron, and Sigur Ros collaborator Philip Clemo.

Stay up to date with The Coldwater Project here, and get involved with Sea Shepherd here.

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