Grégoire Pont (detail) View full image

Our Precious Planet

Celebrating Nature

Grégoire Pont’s exquisite live animations celebrate the beauty and wonder of Nature, accompanying a full symphony orchestra in music by modern composers, inspiring young audiences to engage in protecting the environment.

  • Grégoire Pont uses a unique technique for drawing animations to the music in real time, combining innovative technology with age-old draughtsman’s skills
  • His illustrations come to life alongside powerful music of our time in a choreography of sound and colour
  • First performance at Barbican Centre on 28 January 2023 with BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Dalia Stasevska
  • Designed for 7–11 year olds, focusing on the beauty of nature and a positive message about protecting its future
  • Music includes:
    Olivier Messiaen – Extract from Les offrandes oubliées
    Einojuhani Rautavaara – ‘Swans migrating’ from Cantus Arcticus: Concerto For Birds and Orchestra
    Kaija Saariaho – ‘Terrestre l’oiseau dansant’ from L’Aile du songe
    Dani Howard – Argentum
    Anna Meredith – Nautilus
    John Adams – ‘Panic’ from Doctor Atomic Symphony
    Benjamin Britten – ‘Storm’ from Four Sea Interludes
    Alberto Ginastera – ‘Danza del trigo’ from Estancia
  • Performance lasts approximately 70 minutes without interval
  • Can be streamed live to enable hybrid performances
  • Commissioned by Barbican Centre and Gürzenich Orchestra Cologne
  • Follows Grégoire Pont’s successful Cinesthetics series, visualising classical music through live animations

‘Our Precious Planet is a poem about the Earth. For me, the Earth is a delicate flower lost in a meadow of stars. My live animations show the wonders of creation – from chaos to beauty – as well as the dangerous ride of human progress that leads back to chaos. It is an opportunity for children to take a thrilling ride through the natural world they know and love while experiencing a live orchestra possibly for the first time. And in the end the message is one of hope. There is always a chance for mankind to do better for Our Precious Planet.’

Grégoire Pont

‘Grégoire Pont's animations are not simply ornamental. Deeply imbedded in the music, the wizardry artist knows exactly when to emphasise a drum or cymbal blow with an image, as if the instruments were creating the music in real-time! The Fire comes to life in a coat of flames that itself turns into a character in its own right, the wretched Arithmetic figure spits out numbers, the Frog Pond blows bubbles turning themselves into musical notes or insects that suddenly invade the entire auditorium. . . and the audience loves it! The animated pictures never overpower the shimmering palette of Ravel's masterpiece; on the contrary they enrich it’