Serviceplan collaborate with the UN to make Iceberg Songs

Our friends at Seviceplan collaborated with the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to give a voice to the melting icebergs. When icebergs melt they make heartbreaking sounds. These are recorded in the Antarctic Weddell Sea by scientists from the Alfred-Wegener-Institute. With these sounds musicians give the icebergs´ suffering their own interpretation. Internationally renowned musicians, producers and bands — as for example Danish musician Trentemøller — contribute with their own compositions to the “Iceberg Songs”. The results, the impressive “Iceberg Songs”, can be heard on a special website We caught up with Alexander Nagel the Creative Director behind the project.

Tell us the idea in 140 characters or less?

We turned the sounds of melting icebergs into music, making people listen to this global issue and forcing politicians to take action.

Where did the insight of the concept come from?

Climate change is a known problem. But we wanted to raise awareness in a much more direct way: not even with the media coverage that the artists gained, but with the simple and emotional language of music that everyone can listen to and understand.

What is the process for recording the sound of an iceberg?

At PALAOA, the worldwide unique underwater acoustic observatory, scientists recorded the sounds with underwater microphones. We selected and cleaned these sounds and provided them to the musicians.

What have been the biggest challenges throughout the project?

We started around 2 years ago with a simple idea based on the fact that icebergs produce sounds while melting. After that, it wasn’t that simple anymore: Convincing musicians to compose was easy. Convincing the management of them: Not really… Putting it all together on a cutting edge website with the latest WebGL technology with a small budget: challenging. But thanks to a passionate team throughout the years we finally made it by the deadline: the Climate Conference in Paris 2015.

What have you learnt throughout the project?

We must respect nature if we want to continue living on this wonderful planet.

It’s not true that people don’t care about the environment. But when it comes to climate change, people just need to be touched in a soulful way rather than putting the pressure of fear on them. Then they are actually able to relate to the issue emotionally and their behaviour is more likely to change.

What was it like having the United Nations as a client?

It is a good feeling to have such a powerful and truthful organisation as a client. There was a very strong understanding from the beginning about the power of music. And it was great that the client loves music as much as we do.

Have you seen any other interesting examples of artists and musicians have collaborated with companies on environmental projects?

Well, we all know the live earth concerts hosted by Al Gore. They raise money by performing for an audience. We wanted to go even one step further and let the artist directly perform with nature itself.

What else is making you think ‘F**k that’s good!’ at the moment?

I really like the Under Armour campaign. Starting last summer with “Rule yourself” and now “It’s what you do in the dark that puts you in the light.“ It is this truthful insight that makes the point for a highly emotional impact that every sportsmen can follow. Not only does this seem to be the right message for sports, but it also might be true for the advertising business competing on a global level.

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.