Music

Pianist’s New Album Fuses Music With Environmental Activism

Hélène Grimaud's new album, ''Water,'' showcases not only the themes of the music, but also her conservation efforts.
Hélène Grimaud's new album, ''Water,'' showcases not only the themes of the music, but also her conservation efforts.
Credit Bernadette Tuazon / Associated Press

Last winter, pianist Hélène Grimaud had a rather unconventional recital.

In collaboration with artist Douglas Gordon, she performed at New York City’s Park Avenue Armory, while it was flooded with water.

That recital led to her latest album, “Water,” which was just released on the Deutsche Grammophon label. The album title references not just the repertoire, all under the theme of water, but also Grimaud’s conservation efforts.  She opened a wolf conservation center in New York, and in an interview with Lois Reitzes on “City Lights,” she said that this album cannot be seen without the environmental impact on water.

“You have to look at water as a source of life and the most precious resource that we have,” Grimaud said. “I hope that [this project] … helps create greater awareness on the threats that are menacing water as a resource … When you look at the statistics of people who don’t have access to clean water, it’s horrifying.”