By Hilary Gridley
This past April, composer and Smashing Pumpkins violinist Ysanne announced a musical partnership to support healthy oceans. Now, as the world watches while Japanese fishermen threaten the lives and well being of hundreds of dolphins, Ysanne has returned to the front lines of ocean activism with a new song, “Waltzing Matilda-ish.”
Ysanne kicked off her 13-song audio-visual experience, The Coldwater Project, with “The Mermaid Song,” featuring the 44-piece City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. The song’s digital package included two short films and inspired an exclusive mermaid-shaped bath bomb from LUSH Cosmetics. Sales from these and related products have already raised an impressive $24,000 for the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, an international non-profit that works to protect the world’s oceans and marine life.
The announcement comes at an important time for Sea Shepherd and all ocean activists. This past weekend, the organization shone a frightening light on the annual hunting of dolphins at Taiji Cove in Japan. The hunt, which sparked international outrage after the release of the 2009 documentary, The Cove, involves fishermen rounding up hundreds of dolphins to sell into captivity or simply slaughter.
To support Sea Shepherd’s work in fighting this and other attacks on sea life, Ysanne has joined forces with them once again to release another song. “Waltzing Matilda-ish” tells the story of a sailor and a mermaid and is available for download on AmazingTunes.com. Amazing Tunes has waived the download fee for the song, which means that 100 percent of the sales proceeds will be donated to Sea Shepherd.
“I’m so grateful for the tireless work Sea Shepherd does to protect marine wildlife, and particularly at this time their work protecting dolphins and whales off the coast of Japan,” Ysanne tells Music for Good. “As the world’s eyes turn to watch the annual dolphin hunt in this region, Sea Shepherd are there to protect these highly social, gentle and intelligent mammals, and to direct our gaze to the immoral and cruel practices of these hunters.”
She adds, “I love Japan… I lived in Tokyo for a while. I’m currently working with a Japanese Butoh dance company, and I adore all Japanese traditions and culture. But the annual dolphin hunt in Taiji was only established in 1969, so any defense of it as ‘Japanese tradition’ is simply nonsense.”
Ysanne is joined by many other musicians, actors, and activists in her condemnation of the Taiji hunt, including William Shatner, Yoko Ono, Richard Branson, Ricky Gervais, and US Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy.
In addition to purchasing the song, ocean lovers should visit The Dodo‘s roundup of ways to take action and put an end to Taiji’s dolphin hunts.