The Culturework team is thrilled to present a playlist to accompany this issue’s theme: Nature: With us, Against us, Within us. The word itself connects to such a range of experiences, including gratitude, fear, courage, wonder, and a thirst for positive change. Our editor Marina Murayama Nir has included a few spotlights on creators Treya Lam, Ko Takasugi-Czernowin, Eshay Olene, and Thanya Iyer. Scroll down to view the entire playlist and listen on Youtube or Spotify.
Sapphire Skies, by Treya Lam
Treya Lam’s debut album, Good News is about life, love, growth, and nature. The song we are featuring from her album is “Sapphire Skies”. The song was inspired by the Climate Change March in 2014. Treya’s crooning voice, supported with ethereal string and choir sections, delivers a message of hope as we take action to create the change we want to see in the world.
“Oh what a sight to see
the daffodils right through
the winter’s chill, and not
the ice / Occupy the
streets and let them hear
your voice / for there are
others who are waking up
Take a listen to all of Good News, rich in nature imagery.
Treya Lam is a classically trained singer, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter whose cinematic songs and ethereal vocals are built on Nina Simone-inspired piano, meditative guitar and lush chamber arrangements.
Website: Treya Makes Music
Nature Bent, by Ko Takasugi-Czernowin
Here we have a more dystopian and science fiction take on nature, by Oberlin-based Ko Takasugi-Czernowin. Blending some hints of Mingus and Schoenberg and moving forward in mechanical, perpetual motion, Nature Bent is a reverse-creationism piece in which Takasugi-Czernowin essentially asks, what happens as we pull systems apart, and erase them to start anew?
Ko Takasugi-Czernowin is from Newton, Massachusetts and is currently studying experimental music at Oberlin Conservatory. He also plays in Xango/Suave.
Image Credit – Ko Takasugi-Czernowin
Naturally, by Eshay Olene
Naturally expresses gratitude for how mankind and the world was created, from a Christian perspective. Eshay Olene is a multi-instrumentalist in Philadelphia whose focus is in worship music.
Water, by Thanya Iyer
Photo Credit- Frédérique Bérubé
Many of our featured Nature songs have explored human nature and existence, or have questioned why or how the world is or came to be. Thanya Iyer’s “Water,” is an ephemeral sound collage, a part of their mixtape, Do You dream? The shimmering, improvisatory gestures evoke a dreamscape that is about feelings of grief that come from realizing the futility of relationships.
Watch the Video For “Water”- https://youtu.be/QYaoTlJOQb4
Thanya Iyer is an experimental jazz, folk pop project from Montreal, Quebec.
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- Ibeyi – River
- Althea and Donna — Up Town Top Rankin’
- Natalia Lafourcade –Hasta la raíz
- Cat Power –Sea of Love
- New York Dolls –Trash
- Treya Lam – Sapphire Skies
- Gender Work – special snowflake
- Mirah – Community
- Mamerico – snowdrop
- Kilamanzego – Laughter in the Sun Showers
- Parisalexa – Dandelion
- Kadhja Bonet – Honeycomb
- Dolly Parton – Wildflowers
- Juana Molina – El Oso De La Guarda
- Rilo Kiley – Silver Lining
- Fleet Foxes – White Winter Hymnal
- Gorillaz – On Melancholy Hill
- Little Dragon – Feather
- Simon & Garfunkel – I Am A Rock
- Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Mosquito
- TV on the Radio – Winter
- Man Chao –La primavera
- Thanya Iyer – Water
- Anohni – 4 Degrees
- Idioteque – Radiohead
- Anohni – Why Did You Separate Me from the Earth
- Elaine Rasnake – Wildfire
- The Knife – Full of Fire
- Xango/Suave – Culito de Rana