From here in our Glasgow office at the epicentre of the 12-day proceedings beamed globally across continents and watched with curious eyes, we thought we would share with you a playlist that reflects our feelings, wishes, and hopes for a sustainably led future. As the dust from thousands of new and returning visitors settles, we are able to reflect on the shared experience that music allows us to unite in, and how we as participants can find solace and power, in listening.
Feel free to join in sharing your playlists too, we had a lot of earnest fun with this one…
Chris Gemmell (Development Assistant)
“I think the power that music, and more widely the arts sector, has to influence thought and inspire change is often underestimated. By making active changes to be more sustainable in what we do and the vision we promote we’ll hopefully inspire and contribute to the changes necessary across society.”
Environments, Floating Points
When coming up with music for this playlist I thought of this track first because of its title. I’m not sure why it’s called Environments, but the conflict between the serene drawn-out melody line and the industrial drum track seem like two very contrasting environments and could easily be interpreted as the divide between rural and urban, balanced and distorted, or natural and manufactured.
Plantasia, Mort Garson
As both a houseplant enthusiast and self-professed synth nerd this whole album from 1976 is the perfect combination, summed up by its subtitle ‘warm earth music for plants… and the people who love them’. I find the idea of electronic synthesised music having this natural, organic property really interesting, and perhaps reflects a healthier approach to how we in the current technology-driven world should interact with our surroundings.
Joanne McIntosh (Development Lead)
‘We can lead the way with grace and harmony.’
Sumer is icumen in
An Old English traditional song, composer anon. it demonstrates that we’ve always sang and celebrated the seasons.
La Mer, Charles Trenet
The sea is inspiring and terrifying. It takes us to new places, it feeds us, so much of it is still unknown to us. If we continue to mistreat the sea, it will end our civilisation as we know it. This song is all about the romance of the sea and the cliffs and the birds and lovely contours.
William Norris (Interim Chief Executive)
“My hope for the future is that our countryside and landscape is preserved for future generations (of people and wildlife) to enjoy and to take pleasure in.”
An Acre of Land, PJ Harvey
For a few years I lived abroad, in Canada. To my surprise what I found I missed most about home wasn’t bacon or tea but the countryside. During my time out there a couple of fantastic British films set in the countryside came out – Dark River and The Levelling. Both are wonderful, atmospheric (if bleak) films, and made me long for an autumnal walk in the country back home, damp in the air and leaves underfoot. My first track, by PJ Harvey, is from the Soundtrack to Dark River.
Four Sea Interludes – Dawn, Benjamin Britten
The second ties to a very specific place, Aldeburgh in Suffolk. Somewhere where my family have been holidaying for decades. Of course, Aldeburgh is closely associated with Benjamin Britten, and his Sea Interludes always make me think of Aldeburgh Beach, Orford Ness and the strange and bleak area that is. It’s a magical and special place and landscape.
Stuart Burns (Producer)
“This sector is filled with creative problem solvers. We know what we need to do thanks to the shiny Scottish Classical Music Green Guide, my hope is that we start to see this being put into action.”
(Nothing but) Flowers, Talking Heads
An aggressively optimistic stance on rewilding from Talking Heads.
Who knows where the time goes? Fairport Convention
Where did all the time go? No time like the present to put those sustainability plans into action.
Catherine Ferrell (General Manager)
“My message for the sector: just do it”
Where the light is, John Mayer Live in Los Angeles
Ironically positive sounding, yet Mayer sings of a sad reality
We Shall Overcome, Joan Baez
An old civil rights protest song, instils hope, faith, defiance, determination
Feels Like Summer, Childish Gambino
Sounds like a soundtrack to summer days but the environmentally focussed lyrics tell a different story
All we got, Chance the Rapper ft Kanye West
The lyrics “music is all we got” feel appropriate, both in the sense that this planet is all we’ve got, and that music is often a powerful means of invoking emotion, action, and inspiring change #pretentious #sorrynotsorry #pleasedon’tincludethesehashtags #sorryiincludedthesehashtags
Monica Gowans (Marketing Assistant)
“Our sector is shifting like all the rest, here and there are gentle nudges and those not-so-subtle reminders that our movements have impact and repercussions beyond our own sphere. Making and performing is a privilege and I have hope that by not only adding to the conversation, but following through on our commitments, we can facilitate tangible change.”
Degree of Change, KMRU
Nairobian sound artist Joseph Kamaru makes me feel nostalgic for a landscape I am unfamiliar with but feel akin to. The drawls of echoing sound, repetitive and chamberic feels organic yet nuanced at the same time. I am reminded of the experiences that are shared across continents, and the 3-4°C that might separate us.
Seabird, Maria Somerville
The sea, the sea, what else to say. The serene image of swooping birds inevitably aids a much-privileged convalescence from the ‘climate fatigue’ that can so often surround high intensity meetings as the Cop-26. The whole weeks process has been a mix of enlightenment, sheer will and blah blah blah… Seabird shelters a hope that all is not lost… and on our lucky shores always there is the sea to recover, recharge, then return to the fight.
Bonus listening: Isn’t it a Pity, Nina Simone