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Folk artist teams up with Pod

Published Tuesday, 01 October 2019

The Pod has created a unique partnership with award-winning folk artist Sam Lee that will set people on a trail of discovery through Coventry’s ‘paths less trodden’.

The Pod has created a unique partnership with award-winning folk artist Sam Lee that will set people on a trail of discovery through Coventry’s ‘paths less trodden’.

As a partner in the brand-new CHANGE festival, The Pod has co-curated ‘Folk Song Nature Walk with Sam Lee’.

The event on October 19 will see Sam Lee lead a three-mile, wild walk through woods, fields and paths less trodden, between Warwick Arts Centre and The Pod's bountiful Food Union allotment site. Along the way, his glorious songs will tell forgotten stories about the wonder of the natural world that envelopes us, even in the heart of Coventry. 

The Pod is Coventry City Council’s referral based mental health resource and creative hub.

CHANGE Festival is a new arts festival inviting audiences to imagine better. Better food. Better homes. Better communities. Better lives for ourselves, our friends and generations to come.

Taking place at Warwick Arts Centre between Friday 18th and Sunday 20th October, the festival will gather performers, speakers and audiences from the West Midlands and beyond to imagine, play and explore. Whether you’re into theatre, comedy, spoken word, family shows or talks, we’ll have both familiar faces and new performances enjoy.

Cllr Mal Mutton, Cabinet Member for Adult Services, said: “The Pod have a fantastic track record for innovation and creativity and this collaboration looks like a fantastic opportunity to discover parts of Coventry we sometimes miss.”

Becky Burchell, Founder and Director of CHANGE Festival, said: “CHANGE Festival is a celebration of ways of living that are good for us and good for the environment. The Pod are champions of a holistic approach to life, promoting community, unity, growing and sharing food together and swapping skills.

“When we imagine how we can create a better future, we would do well to learn from the Pod and their wonderful community! We are delighted that Sam Lee will be joining CHANGE Festival and the Pod to shine a light on Coventry's hidden natural treasures and share his beautiful songs and knowledge with us.”

Sam Lee talks about the event in partnership with The Pod in the CHANGE festival programme – here’s a taster:

1. You're leading a Folk Song Nature Walk through Coventry on Saturday 19th October as part of CHANGE Festival. Tell us what we can expect!  
This is a wonderful, wild walk through Coventry from Warwick University to the Pod Allotments. Along the way, I will be singing ancient folk songs and sharing nature knowledge to help connect us back with the land and place. I always say with Nature “never expect anything” whatever is presented is presented! But in my general experience nature always provides and this is the magic of walks like this: who knows what we might notice and respond to? The walk has a diverse number shrubs and at this fruitful time of year I will share some herbal and foraging wisdom, alongside songs that connect in with some of the flora we will meet. We will also be walking past a lake, so that will introduce a whole other repertoire of songs about our ancient connection to water. The highlight will be the Pod Allotments finale, where we will gather round the fire with songs and stories in an amazing place were Coventry's Food Union community gathers to grow and connect with each other throughout the year.

2. Why is it important to connect Coventry residents with forgotten folk songs and the wild parts of their city?
We are always in need of ways to deepen our connection to the land, whether in rural places or in the heart of Coventry. No matter where we come from, our ancestor's songs are instilled within our DNA and they have the power to reaffirm and invoke a sense of the presence and ancientness in the places we gather, joining us with the land beneath us.

3. You are an artist renowned for both your music and your nature connections. How can music help people connect with nature in new ways?
In new ways AND old ways! Music has always connected us with nature and now we are rediscovering that. Music helps people to go inwards… deeper... further and touch that part or our soul that knows what is meant to be heard and remembered. Folk songs are especially good at doing that, they are intimate and simple and sometimes all that we need to just feel a little more rooted and connected to nature.

4. CHANGE Festival is a brand new festival that will inspire Coventry and Warwickshire audiences to 'imagine a better future'. Why do you think this festival and its messages are so important right now?
When you start to go further into the science, the forecasts about the change in our environment and impacts of climate change are terrifying. It is vital that we start a united concerted effort to know our land - really start to understand it - and reclaim our respect and determination to protect it. “You don’t know what you got till it’s gone” as Joni said so well. So we need more festivals and events like CHANGE Festival, where communities can come together to celebrate nature and the ways we can live differently so we can look after it better. 

For more information about the festival visit: www.changefestival.org 

Find out more about Sam Lee at  https://samleesong.co.uk . 

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