“Everything so far has been about exploitation and so little about proliferation of nature. The economics reveal quite clearly that if we invest in sustainable agriculture and nature sensitive practices, sustainable forestry etc., we can create new habitats for nature and feed ourselves needing less land. We would have higher quality of food and quality of life for all, particularly the species who’s lives depend on how we treat the land.” Sam Lee
E128 – Sam Lee on FOLK, PILGRIMAGE AND THE NIGHTINGALE
THE WONDERMENT OF OUR NATURE
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About this interview:
How can we walk the paths of tradition to become true collaborators with nature?
“Everything so far has been about exploitation and so little about proliferation of nature. The economics reveal quite clearly that if we invest in sustainable agriculture and nature sensitive practices, sustainable forestry etc., we can create new habitats for nature and feed ourselves needing less land. We would have higher quality of food and quality of life for all, particularly the species who’s lives depend on how we treat the land.”
In this episode Amisha talks with Sam Lee, Mercury Prize-nominated and BBC Folk Award-winning singer, conservationist and curator. Sam is a folk music collector and specialist with a passion for wilderness studies and nature connection sharing and interpreting ancient oral music from Britain and Ireland. Sam works holistically in challenging the very nature of our heritage music in the 21st Century and he will soon release his 1st book about the songs of ‘The Nightingale’.
Amisha and Sam explore oral folk traditions as initiations into a way of life in harmony with nature. Sam describes folk songs as the stories that hold the wisdom of our ancestors, the old stories that connect us to renovation, adoration and the essence of the land.
Together they talk about the unfolding of Sam’s calling into folk and nature’s song; a journey of intention, deep listening and experiencing nature from a sensory place with an activists heart. Sam shares his profound encounter with the beautiful song of the Nightingale, which led him to create an immersive and sensory pilgrimage where we can experience the concerts of this endangered bird species. It is an enchanting way to experience the birds in their habitat whilst bringing us into tune with nature’s beauty through folk song, fireside stories and community. In his new book, Sam gathers the stories of ‘The Nightingale’ giving insights into the bird’s significance in different cultures.
We learn that nature is the cord principle of life and that the pandemic offers the opportunity for us to become its true collaborators by honouring our interbeingness and the wisdom traditions of song; by investing our money into its conservation, sustainable forestry and sustainable agriculture preventing vast habitat loss and population crash of species.
“The receiving of a song from an elder is part of the same being human, that being out in nature, and that listening, and that learning, and that teaching that one receives from being outside in the green.” Sam Lee
Sam Lee is a Mercury Prize-nominated and BBC Folk Award-winning singer, conservationist and curator. Trained in Fine Arts, but with a lifelong passion for wilderness studies and nature connection, Sam is a folk music specialist dedicated to collecting, sharing and interpreting ancient oral music from Britain and Ireland.
He has combined these interests through his ‘Singing with Nightingales’ annual springtime concert series. His singing has been heard in films and TV shows, from Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur: Legend of the Sword to Peaky Blinders. Sam was musical director for the RSPB’s 2019 Top 20 birdsong single, ‘Let Nature Sing’ and his 2020 album Old Wow garnered five-star reviews. He has lectured at Goldsmiths, SOAS and Oxford University and was the first folk singer to teach at the Royal College of Music.
Sam has spent the last 13 years working with some of the most exciting British and international folk artists and industry professionals re-galvanising the London and UK folk scene through his live events challenging the ecosystem in which the music is fostered, the way it sounds and how it is presented.
Director of the Nest Collective and The Song Collectors Collective and an award-winning musician himself, Sam has been instrumental as one of the new wave of young activists shaping the landscape of folk world and roots music in the UK. With two critically acclaimed albums, his debut receiving a Mercury Music Prize nomination, Sam works holistically in challenging the very nature of our heritage music in the 21st Century.
To connect or work with Sam, visit samleesong.co.uk
To connect or work with Amisha, visit amisha.co.uk
Links from this episode:
Sam Lee book . ‘The Nightingale – notes on a songbird’
Charlotte Pulver // The Future Is Beautiful . E124 ‘Frontline Immune Support, Water and Pilgrimage’
Jemma Foster // The Future Is Beautiful . E64 ‘Alchemy, Plant Consciousness and Vibrational Medicine’
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