Against the backdrop of the massive Wahlenbergbreen glacier, an acclaimed Italian composer played a historic solo on a baby grand piano to draw attention to the beauty of the Arctic region and the need to protect it.

Ludovico Einaudi played his original composition, "Elegy for the Arctic," last week on a floating platform, near Svalbard, Norway.

During the roughly three-minute performance, Einaudi is seen playing a black piano as he passes the glacier. At several points throughout the video, Einaudi is seen performing as parts of the glacier break off and crumble into the water.

Piano performance


Einaudi told CTV News Channel that the logistics and planning that went into the project were complex. In order to get to the glacier, he had to travel for six hour by boat. The video itself is comprised of three different parts: one shot with a cameraperson on the platform, a second shot with the cameraperson on the boat, and a third shot from above with a drone.

Further complicating the shoot was the fact that about every 20 minutes a piece of the glacier would crumble into the water, creating large waves, Einaudi said.

"This was the only worrying moment, because if it was a huge piece of ice, the waves would be too big and my platform would collapse," he said.

But Einaudi says he's pleased with the end result.

"Of course the planet and our environment is the place where we all live, and I care about where I live," he said. "I'm really happy that we did this adventure together. It was incredible.”

The performance was orchestrated by Greenpeace and Einaudi ahead of an OSPAR Commission meeting this week in Tenerife, Spain. The OSPAR is an organization made up of delegates from 15 different European governments, whose aim it is to protect the marine environment of the North-East Atlantic.

In a blog post, Greenpeace called on delegates at the meeting to approve a proposal to safeguard 10 per cent of the Arctic Ocean.

"As the ice cover decreases with rising temperatures, this unique area is losing its frozen shield, leaving it exposed to reckless exploitation, destructive fishing trawlers and risky oil drilling," Greenpeace said.

"We must show (the delegates) that what they have is unique, that the Arctic is worth protecting and not to be risked for short term profit."