Brisbane musician Sallie Campbell started a project last year to raise funds for the Orangutan Land Trust and highlight the plight of the orangutans being made homeless by the destruction of their habitats with the development of palm oil plantations. She enlisted gifted musician friends including Kate Miller-Heidke on vocals and producer Daniel Denholm (Powederfinger and Australian Chamber Orchestra) to release the Nightingale Floor single alongside two short films.
The aim of the project is to help raise awareness of the impact that unsustainable palm oil is having on the orangutan population of the world. Campbell believes the most important thing we can do to help save the orangutans is to insist that the palm oil used in 50% of supermarket items is produced in a sustainable way instead of at the expense of orangutans and their forests.
“Nightingale Floors were cleverly built in ancient Japanese castles to creak and sing when walked upon to warn of intruders. Similarly, we need be the ‘new nightingales’ who signal danger to our fragile ecology,” explains Campbell. “The situation is urgent, the last wild orangutans on the earth live in Malaysia and Indonesia and their habitat is being threatened by the development of Palm Oil Plantations. Unsustainable Palm Oil is in 50% of supermarket items and if people knew the food and products they were consuming everyday were wiping out forests and all the beautiful creatures there, they wouldn’t buy them.”
“As consumers we can do so much. We must demand proper labelling on palm oil products and tell companies that use unsustainable palm oil that we won’t buy them until they change to a sustainable source… there is even a free application being developed for smart phones, a palm oil scanner which will be such a powerful tool”
Nightingale Floor is being dedicated to the original ‘people of the forest’ and released as a three minute single and a twenty-minute string orchestra opus written for an 11-piece string section. The orchestra opus will feature three soloists and exotic folk instruments which include Nyckelharpa, Baritone Bowed Psaltry, Hammered Dulcimer and 5 string Violin.
The film clip was written and directed by David Barker (MiniSumo) and stars Sarah Snook (Prediestination, Sisters of War). It encourages people to believe in the idea of natural wonders.
“We want to create a sense of hope while at the same time creating an emotive artistic statement that people will want to purchase”,” explains Barker.
People can visit www.nightingalefloor.com.au to educate themselves on palm oil and donate and download either the full piece, the short film or the instrumental clip. All funds raised will go to the Orangutan Land Trust.
Nightingale Floor Music credits –
Sallie Campbell: Composer, Mandolin, Five-String Violin, Nyckelharpa, Hammered Dulcimer, Baritone Bowed Psaltry.
John Rodgers: Violin and banjo.
Rob Davidson: Double bass.
Keir Nuttal: Electric guitar.
Vocals: Kate Miller-Heidke.
Music producer: Daniel Denholm (Australian Chamber Orchestra, Powderfinger).
Engineer: Chris Kneehause.
Recorded at: Judith Wright Centre Brisbane