Nature: With Us, Against Us, Within Us Official Playlist

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
to join.”

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

Website: Soundcloud

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

thanya iyer imagePhoto 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”-
Thanya Iyer is an experimental jazz, folk pop project from Montreal, Quebec.




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  1. Ibeyi – River
  2. Althea and Donna — Up Town Top Rankin’
  3. Natalia Lafourcade –Hasta la raíz
  4. Cat Power –Sea of Love
  5. New York Dolls –Trash
  6. Treya Lam – Sapphire Skies
  7. Gender Work – special snowflake
  8. Mirah – Community
  9. Mamerico – snowdrop
  10. Kilamanzego – Laughter in the Sun Showers
  11. Parisalexa – Dandelion
  12. Kadhja Bonet – Honeycomb
  13. Dolly Parton – Wildflowers
  14. Juana Molina – El Oso De La Guarda
  15. Rilo Kiley – Silver Lining
  16. Fleet Foxes – White Winter Hymnal
  17. Gorillaz – On Melancholy Hill
  18. Little Dragon – Feather
  19. Simon & Garfunkel – I Am A Rock
  20. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Mosquito
  21. TV on the Radio – Winter
  22. Man Chao –La primavera
  23. Thanya Iyer – Water
  24. Anohni – 4 Degrees
  25. Idioteque – Radiohead
  26. Anohni – Why Did You Separate Me from the Earth
  27. Elaine Rasnake – Wildfire
  28. The Knife – Full of Fire
  29. Xango/Suave –  Culito de Rana