At the 4th Informing Cities Forum in Rotterdam, creating circular…
My wonderful colleagues have been working on a series, Transition Radio, and it’s time for me to join the party.
I’ve decided to highlight songs that remind me of nature. Transitioning towards sustainability is all about finding a way to make our society and ourselves connect to the nature we live in. To transition is really to return nature to our hearts.
These are the songs that make me most connect to the world around me.
Sigur Ros are a band from Iceland, and sing in a made-up language. This may sound niche and strange, but they’ve become immensely popular because of their inspiring and moving sound. In England in 2006, the track was used to advertise the David Attenborough series “Planet Earth”. The series and the song that characterised it brought the earth to the people of Britain, and gave us all a connection to the wonder of nature. It’s no surprise that 10 years later, when I think of nature, this is the one song that will bring me images of the world around us.
Air are a french band, and in 1998 from the album “Moon Safari” they released this song. “Kelly Watch The Stars” is a song I found when I was 15, but until I went camping for the first time at 16 I’d never really seen stars. Living in London, you can see stars occasionally but never in the big, expansive, jaw dropping way that you can when outside of cities. In Brighton, you can often go to the beach and see the stars but the light pollution and the weather means it’s a rare occurrence. The whole of “Moon Safari” is an expansive, spaced out electronic album that can transport you to the electronic reflection of space that Air have created.
British band The Horror’s 2011 album “Skying” led with the track “Still Life”. The track always makes me remember that there is more outside of what I am currently experiencing. The lyrics will you to take time and to give time the space to do work. The city experience and the negativity it brings to both the environment and the psyche of those who live in it is built on the idea that time is limited. By focusing on the idea that our time is limited, but time itself is endless, the necessity for just existing as nature does, and accepting that humans are just a part of nature, we can put our experiences into perspective.
Listen to Tame Impala’s Solitude is Bliss or Friendly Fires’ Kiss of Life when sitting on the grass with friends at the height of summer, just enjoying the feel of sun on your face and grass in your hands. Summer only seems to last about two weeks in Britain, so there isnt much time to waste. I spent most of this summer working inside a grey office with the windows shut, staring at a computer screen. I would always take my lunch breaks outside though, sitting in a park next to a small patch of wildflowers that had been planted to encourage bees. I definitely listened to both of these a fair few times.
And finally, I end on a classic with no explanation needed. Louis Armstrong’s Wonderful World.
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