Agua Libre includes Angela Valenzuela ’17, left, and Augustin Martz ’17, right.Agua Libre includes Angela Valenzuela ’17, left, and Augustin Martz ’17, right.Angela Valenzuela ’17 and Augustin Martz ’17 comprise the musical group “Agua Libre,” meaning “Free Water.” This fall, they have taken their studies to Paris, where they are combining their main interests of global environmental politics and music.

Valenzuela and Martz aim to connect people with different backgrounds through the art of music, which they describe as a healing tool. The seeds of their project were sown in Lima, Peru, during the 20th United Nations Conference of the Parties. After playing “Hombre de Papel” for a group of people during lunch, they were invited to the Youth Intergenerational Day to play for the delegates inside the negotiation space. The response from the people who attended was so exhilarating, they said, that they became determined to experience that feeling again.

“Angela and Augustin decided they wanted to devote the term to writing songs and preparing for the Paris climate summit through connecting with other artists and activists in Paris, all while further developing their speaking skills in French,” said Doreen Stabinsky, COA professor of global environmental politics and advisor to the duo during their Paris residency. “They’ve put together a marvelous residency, providing a really great example of how to use the flexibility of the COA curriculum to create a fantastic and unique learning experience.” 

“Angela and Augustin are incredibly creative and talented students and both very committed to doing something about climate change.” - Professor Doreen Stabinsky.

Agua Libre’s residency consists of three aspects of work: learning more about the workings of this winter’s upcoming crucial U.N. climate negotiations in Paris; composing new songs; and strengthening the social justice movement. 

The pair’s new songs will translate problematic aspects of climate change and politics into mediums that reflect a sustainable future. The title of their newest piece is “El Ultimo Glacial” (The Last Glacier). Their goal is to write songs that enhance unity and awareness of climate change. They want to encourage people to be engaged in this social movement. The pair believe that because music is a healing tool, it can transform real frustrations into potential solutions and paths to empowerment.

Agua Libre combines global environmental politics and music.Agua Libre combines global environmental politics and music.Agua Libre aims to strengthen climate and social justice movements. As part of this goal, they plan to collaborate with other musicians, organizations, and activists. Currently, Agua Libre is entered in a competition, called Global Challenges Youth Music Contest, whose aim is “to use the power of music to promote the understanding of the importance of global challenges … for every global citizen and to engage young people in activities that contribute to global and local public good in the context of goals and programs of United Nations system.” One of their prizes of the competition is to participate in the 2015 Global Youth Music Contest TV show. 

Agua Libre’s work is leading  up to the 21st United Nations Conference of the Parties, happening in Paris this December. For more updates regarding Agua Libre, visit their webpage.