Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Recap : the Disco Biscuits & Albert M. Greenfield Elementary

From this HeadCount blog post:

Back on March 21st, HeadCount and the Disco Biscuits staged "Bisco Power Mission," a benefit concert to raise money toward the purchase of solar panels for a school. (I blogged about that, here.)Now, less than a year later, the Albert M. Greenfield Elementary school has become the first public school in Philadelphia to install solar panels on its roof - and it's all because of Bisco Power Mission.

I was a member of the HeadCount Bisco Power Mission team. When the band visited the school back in November, they snapped some photos.

photo: on the roof

I saw that my name is on the plaque, hanging in the school lobby:)

photo: The monitor displays the amount of electricity being generated at any time by the solar panels on the roof of the school. The plaque names the organizations and individuals who made the solar panels possible. - Ashley Beliveau

Was psyched to see this today in the Rock the Earth e-newsletter:

What Rocks Your Earth: Aron Magner(Disco Biscuits)

Aron Magner is the keyboardist and a founding member in the Philadelphia-based, trance fusion band The Disco Biscuits, as well as with Conspirator, Tractorbeam and Electron. Since forming at the University of Pennsylvania in 1995, the Biscuits have created their own form of electronic music, blending sounds from trance, free-form jazz, Old School Jungle and Dubstep into a sound all their own.

Growing up in the Philadelphia area, both the arts and Philadelphia’s music community have been important to Aron. He has long been a supporter of music and arts education programs through his endeavors with non-profits such as HeadCount, USTORM, and Grounded in Music, and he looks forward to helping Philadelphia Young Playwrights continue the work that his mother, Adele Magner, began more than 20 years ago.

In 2010, the band partnered with Philadelphia's Albert M. Greenfield Elementary School on the volunteer initiative Bisco Power Mission. Culminating in a benefit show at New York City's LEED Certified Brooklyn Bowl, the project raised over $15,000 to install a solar power system at the Greenfield School, making the school the first in the city of Philadelphia to be powered by solar. Aron currently splits his time between the tour bus and being at home with his wife in South Philadelphia.

What environmental issue(s) do you consider to be the most critical at this time?

Probably renewable energy solutions and ways to minimize further drastic climate changes are the most pertinent issues our generation faces. As a society, we seem to prioritize the most critical issues according to how long it is going to take before that specific issue bites us in the ass. Clearly we need to rethink our dependency on oil and get used to various alternatives. We also need to understand more our impact on the environment and change our daily individual behavior.

What has inspired you to combine environmental activism with your art?

Doing sustainable things for the environment while simultaneously raising new understanding and awareness, particularly with youth, was a fairly easy topic for all band members to agree on. It's a no brainer. We each have our individual causes and various charities and non-profits that we are involved with, but this issue was an easy cause to get behind. Being in the public eye, we have more of an ability to open up our audience to something they may not have previously been aware of. I don't think we necessarily have an obligation to do anything with that, but why waste it?

Where is your favorite place in nature to go to find solace or inspiration?

I make sure to spend some time around Forbidden Drive along the Wissahickon right outside of Philadelphia at least every fall. My mother used to literally clap and applaud the trees that had the best foliage. The trails along Forbidden Drive have some amazing colors in autumn, and I always get a chuckle remembering her endearing love for her favorite season. While snowboarding, I enjoy going out of bounds by myself into the trees and stop mid-run to soak in my surroundings. I also enjoy long sunsets, sunrises and long walks on the beach :-)

photo: Aron Magner

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