April – May 2018, at various secret locations in Cambridgeshire, Essex, Sussex & Kent
Singing With Nightingales, established by Mercury Music nominee and singer Sam Lee, has grown into an experience like no other. Intimate audiences are led into the springtime woods for a feast of fire, food, music and stories of the land. Later, as darkness falls, guests are led into the habitat of the nation’s most revered and iconic singer: the fast-disappearing Nightingale. Guest musicians are then invited to collaborate with the male bird’s courtship song in this unbelievable and trance-inducing duet.
Produced by The Nest Collective, this unique and intoxicating night-time outdoor experience brings guests ear-tinglingly close to these majestic and endangered birds, offering a unique opportunity for deep listening with the natural world through this exotic and romantic display. Singing with Nightingales connects wonderful music, community, nature and mystery, and celebrates this very African bird that summers in England – one of our many musical migrants.
Each night is presented by a carefully chosen host, knowledgeable on the ways of the woods, alongside an ornithological expert, and a world-renowned guest musician from the folk, classical, world music and jazz arenas. An intimate evening is spent around the fire, delving into rare songs and stories, and sharing a filling supper, the small group then walks silently into the darkness, entering the nightingale’s habitat…
In 2014, mercury-nominated folk singer, song collector and nature lover, Sam Lee, began celebrating this endangered bird through a BBC Radio 4 documentary. It won huge admiration, became ‘Pick of the Year’, and prompted a live reconnection of Sam’s fund of folk songs with this much-admired but little-heard songster. As the project grew, international artists were invited to play, and in 2016, BBC Radio 3 broadcasted the experience nightly as it developed into an annual sell out excursion. In 2017 the event expanded beyond the original camp in Sussex, to include three new sites in Cambridgeshire, Kent and Essex, to which it returns in 2018.
“A meditative trek into the mud and moonlight and a communion with nature, Lee’s performances are also designed to extol mindful presence and the power of deep listening”
– The Guardian
“It enabled me to step outside the stress and completely immerse myself into the calm of the woods. Just standing totally still, breathing in the night air, and letting that glorious song wash over me allowed me to stop and think. I handed in my notice the next week” – Jill L B (SWN 2016 attendee)
Singing With Nightingales in the field
Various locations in Cambridgeshire, Essex, Sussex & Kent
Mercury Prize nominated folk singer, song collector and promoter (of BBC award winning Nest Collective).View Artist