Award-winning inventive singer, folksong collector, conservationist and founder/director of The Nest Collective Sam Lee sings a special show of folksongs inspired by nature and for the Oxford Real Farming Conference.
Singing songs from his repertoire of ancient traditional British folk songs, this concert will dig deep into the numerous stunning songs that connected our forbearers to the land. For 15 years Sam has collected songs from across the UK and Ireland mostly recording the last songs of our indigenous tradition bearers notably from the Irish & Scots Traveller and English Gypsy communities. This oral tradition tells the legacy of our relationship to the natural world and how folk songs have served as devotional means to revere and adore our land and species living on it. Behind every song is a story of how that song carries an ancient wisdom or even a foreknowing of how the land and changes in society have effected the natural order and what that bird or landscape meant to our ancestors.
Sam plays a unique role in the British music scene. As well as being a folksong collector and singer, he is founder/director of The Nest Collective, an organisation who’ve helped shake up the music scene and injected life back into the folk, trad. and world acoustic scenes. With his critically acclaimed new album, Old Wow, he takes the listener on a truly compelling and emotional journey that takes his work to yet another level. His first release, ‘Ground Of Its Own’ in 2012, was short-listed for a Mercury Music Prize. Sam’s 2015 album The Fade In Time broke further ground with ‘Lovely Molly’ winning a BBC Radio 2 Folk Award for Best Traditional Track. He also won Artist of the Year at the 2016 Songlines Magazine Awards. Sam wrote and performed the lead song for Guy Ritchie’s Hollywood film King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.
Sam is a committed environmental campaigner whose work includes the annual sell-out ‘Singing With Nightingales’ helping to highlight the threat to these and other endangered species. In 2019, Sam was musical director for the RSPB campaign ‘Let Nature Sing’, which resulted in 3 minutes of bird song entering the Top 20 UK music charts. Sam is a founding member of Music Declares Emergency and is closely involved with Extinction Rebellion. His debut book The Nightingale: Notes on a Songbird issue to be released in February 2021 on Cornerstone/Penguin Random House.