SOUND of NATURE
Music and talks to inspire
SOUND of NATURE was co-founded in 2019 by Scarlett Benson and Jonathan Darbourne with a simple vision:
to encourage people, young and old, to engage more actively with the issues of climate change through the combined media of music and talks.
We plan to deliver this vision across a series of evening programmes, each of which will focus on a specific aspect of climate change. Our first programme on 3rd October 2019, presented in collaboration with the Temple Music Foundation, will focus on the persistent issue of deforestation in the UK and around the world, and will feature high-profile speakers alongside a programme of arboreally-inspired choral music performed by Nature’s Voice, an exceptional ensemble formed of some the UK’s finest consort singers. The event will offer members of the audience the opportunity to: discuss ‘canopies over canapés’; question leaders in the field of environmental change; connect with other generations and interest groups; and perhaps even engage for the first time with live classical music. The next three themes will be: oceans, industrial development and global warming, and animals.
Most people are highly conscious of the need for systemic change when it comes to the environment but too few move beyond ‘pub’ rhetoric to action. Our aim is to create an innovative and entertaining event that academically informs this rhetoric before converting it into genuinely impactful actions. We feel this will have a broad appeal for lovers of choral music; professionals involved in environmental issues; a younger politically-minded demographic; and the communities attached to our venues. We are confident that we will bring a substantial amount of audience support through the networks of our respective fields of work.
Meet The Team
Scarlett works at SYSTEMIQ and programme manages the Food and Land Use Coalition which seeks to catalyse and accelerate the transformation of food and land use systems as a pre-requisite for delivering the Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Agreement and Aichi Biodiversity targets.
Prior to SYSTEMIQ, Scarlett worked at a London-based sustainability consultancy, working with corporate clients to manage climate change risks and to future proof their business models in the context of the transition to a low-carbon economy.
Scarlett has an interdisciplinary academic background, studying Genetics, Anthropology and Biological Conservation at Oxford University and Environmental Technology with Ecological Management at Imperial College.
Scarlett is driven by her desire to find systemic solutions to global problems such as climate change and strongly believes that this requires an interdisciplinary approach and increased intercultural dialogue.
Jonathan founded the group Nature’s Voice in 2018 to champion music composed on texts and themes connected to nature.
Jonathan studied Music and sang as a choral scholar at Magdalen College, Oxford, and went on to further vocal study and consort direction at the Schola Cantorum in Basel, Switzerland. Now living in London, Jonathan sings with leading European ensembles such as the Dunedin Consort, Concerto Copenhagen, Ex Cathedra Consort, and The Binchois Consort.
As a soloist, he has given solo recitals of 16th and 17th century music, most recently in the Festival d’Orgue de Masevaux in France, and was acclaimed for his performance of The Waiter in Oliver’s The Waiter’s Revenge (‘countertenor Jonathan Darbourne outstanding’ – The Independent on Sunday).
Working also as a composer and arranger of choral music, Jonathan’s pieces have been broadcast on BBC radio and performed widely in London venues such as the Cadogan Hall, St John’s, Smith Square, and the Hayward Gallery.
If you'd like to get in touch, please email Jonathan at
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