The Skies Cried and the Earth Burned

This is a powerful, evocative short video on Climate Change structured around an original song, professionally recorded, with a great, soulful vocal performance by Erin McCawley of Minneapolis (Harrison Street band) and virtuoso slide guitar by Tom Feldmann of Minnesota, plus other vocal and guitar. It starts with an appropriate nod to that keynote song of the people’s America, “This Land Is Your Land” & Woody Guthrie. It ends with an optimistic-action note and “climate strike” photo featuring young folks.
This video strikingly crystalizes the issue, inspires people to action, and captures a key part of the zeitgeist on this. NBC News President Reuven Frank said impact TV news stories should, “weave footage into stories that spoke to the gut as well as the brain.” That’s what this video does—on the greatest issue facing humanity, and adding The Power of Music!
Climate Music Project: “Music is familiar, accessible, and easier to relate to than articles or lectures about the climate crisis. We must harness this universal language to tell the urgent story of climate change to broad and diverse audiences in a way that resonates, educates, and motivates.” That’s our video!
Martin Luther King, Jr.: “Much of the power of our Freedom movement has come from that music:” Blues, Jazz, Soul, R&B. That’s The Power of Music, and it’s what our video & song can help do for the Climate Change movement!
On The Power of Music, see the website for my internationally acclaimed book and in-process documentary, “The Original Guitar Hero and The Power of Music:”
Raves about video from regular folks & experts:
“Just...WOW! ...powerful footage, powerful words.”
“Powerful and beautiful... and right on point.”
AND: ”Terrific video!” —Dr. Thomas Patterson, Ben Bradlee Professor of Government & the Press, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard.

Dr. Max Boykoff, Director, Environmental Studies Program, University of Colorado, and climate communications specialist:
“I watched the video. I find it wonderful.” And: “Dr. Alger's great contribution will hopefully help compel global citizens to learn how they can take action to combat the causes and consequences of climate change. This is an inspirational call to find common ground and take collective action. Creative work like this will help to effectively reach different audiences in different contexts to help push policymakers."

NOTE on lyrics: In the 3rd verse, 2 lines say: "Now the guitar, does NOT gently weep. It just WAILS, climate crisis deep." That's a cultural reference to George Harrison's great Beatles song, "While My Guitar Gently Weeps."

Rob Daves, former Director of the Minnesota Poll (with whom I’ve worked on polling subjects): “Wonderful production – the visuals are stunning! Thanks for sending this.”

  • Dr. Dean Alger/ DrDmusic Productions
  • Dean E. Alger
  • Dean E. Alger
  • Ti Cersley
  • Ti Cersley
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short
  • Runtime:
    3 minutes 14 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    October 15, 2021
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Dr. Dean Alger/ DrDmusic Productions

This short video is a striking example and demonstration of the evocative and motivating combination of the power of still and motion picture visuals with The Power of Music for expression on the ultimate critical issue of Climate Change. Dr. Dean Alger’s/ “Dr. D’s” professional and personal background are excellent bases for accomplishing this:

He was a Fellow in the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Policy in Harvard’s famous Kennedy School of Government, where he co-wrote the award-winning book from an election, media and voters study, CROSSTALK.... A Ph.D. in political science, his dissertation was on environmental policy & administration.

Alger has done extensive on-air political analysis for public and commercial TV and radio.
Bill Moyers called his fourth book, MEGAMEDIA, “The most important book about democracy this year” when published. And, drawing on the book, he had Dean in the acclaimed Moyers PBS documentary, Free Speech For Sale. Another book, The Media and Politics, 2nd ed., was praised by figures like a Vice President of The Brookings Institution; the book includes analysis of political ads and political films. He was Associate Director of Media & Communications for one of the greatest U.S. senate election upsets in Minnesota history.
His acclaimed knowledge of how media communicate and how viewers-listeners receive and respond to messages and images in media gives him unique understanding of how to most effectively and engagingly present this issue on video.

On the music side: Dr. D is a guitarist, singer and songwriter. He has also written protest/satire songs like “The Bankers’ Greed Blues”—praised by Pete Seeger and Bill Moyers (see His sixth book, THE ORIGINAL GUITAR HERO and THE POWER OF MUSIC – The Legendary Lonnie Johnson, Music and Civil Rights, received rave reviews in blues, jazz, folk and rock music magazines from around the U.S., Canada and Europe, and endorsements from top music writers. That book is the foundation for the in-process full-length documentary also noted on this site. “The Power of Music” is a key broader theme, including how The Guitar has been used for expression on big societal issues, from Civil Rights to the environment-Climate Change. That book and documentary project are highly praised by legendary British documentary filmmaker on music, Tony Palmer, great record producer and former V.P. of Columbia-Epic Records, Lawrence Cohn, and others.

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