Our newest Affiliated Artist is Bryan Miles, a singer/songwriter and earth scientist who shares his music under the moniker "Rockwatcher". Read the Q&A below to get to know the newest artist in the Alliance family!
"I realize the uncommon duality of my personality as a professional scientist and creative musician and I try to share my unique perspective. My hope is that I can help a person make connections, through knowledge gently delivered, to their home, the earth."
- Bryan Miles
Climate Science Alliance (Alliance): When did your story with music begin?
Bryan Miles (Bryan): I have been singing for as long as I can remember, and took up the guitar when I was 8, but really started playing consistently around 14 years old.
Alliance: How has your career as an environmental geologist influenced the kind of music you create?
Bryan: I love being outdoors connecting with nature. My parents held outdoor activities in high regard and I spent my youth exploring wild places. This had a big influence on my decision in becoming a geologist. The Earth has evolved in a balanced state that sustains life. I’d like for us not to disturb that balance. There is beauty in keeping our surroundings natural, and I want to communicate that principle through music. My song “Cape Town (Day Zero)” is a story about a woman who enjoys modern-day convenience but can’t find clean water to drink.
Alliance: How has climate change impacted your life?
Bryan: It is happening at an un-natural rate which adds a bit of anxiety and stress for me. The atmosphere, or climate, is the basis for life on earth. Changes in chemistry and temperature of our atmosphere is and will continue to affect life on earth as we enjoy it. This knowledge has changed my consumption habits and my appreciation for the basic human need of clean air and clean water. Plus, it totally sucks that the Great Barrier Reef is dying and glaciers are melting into the ocean. We are in this together and we can do better.
Years ago, while I was working at UC Santa Barbara’s James Kennett Paleoclimatology Research Lab I saw firsthand that there are natural oscillations in climate (from warm to cold) and realized what we are experiencing now is so unnatural. A great illustration of this change (without entering the lab) can be seen in the film ‘Chasing Ice’ by Geologist and Photographer James Balog – an impressive display of physical evidence of the earth getting warmer.
Alliance: Why do you think it's important to use art alongside science?
Bryan: Some of the greatest artists have been scientists and vice versa - separating the two is a fairly recent notion. The basis for art and science is to creative discovery. Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo and Galileo Galilei come to mind. Using art can be a great way to communicate scientific concepts in a way that is more approachable.
Alliance: What advice would you give to a Climate Kid?
Bryan: My advice is to get outside as much as possible! Get your friends together and go skateboarding & surfing, ride your bike to school, take a walk in the woods or on the beach, check out the birds and animals that are your neighbors! Whatever you enjoy inside, try to creatively find ways to enjoy that outside! Building that connection with nature will help you and your friends want to protect the home that we all share. Be curious and explore and you will discover a world that you didn’t even know existed!