Folk music artist Sam Lee and composer Llywelyn ap Myrddin have revealed their ‘Nose Song’, which you can hear below, for the Body of Songs project, a groundbreaking music and science experiment that brings together some of Britain’s most talented musicians to create a remarkable collection of songs, inspired by our inner workings – the mysterious organs of the body.
For his part Sam Lee was given the task of investigating the nose with help from pathologist Dr Laura Casey of University College London Hospital, perfume expert Nick Gilbert, Ear Nose and Throat surgeon Professor Simon Gane from University College London Hospital,and Dr Darren Logan from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Cambridge. The track is sensitive and intricate with plucked strings, piano and Lee’s distinctive voice as we find another artist truly personifying their chosen organ.
“The nose is by far the least understood of all the organs and one of the great of the human science mysteries, This song explores this “archaic nerve” that penetrates our psyche and unconsciousness in magical transportive ways. This original organ has elevated itself to such a lofty position of biological deportment as to become almost unnecessary, yet so rooted in all our judgements socially, sexually, animalistically and atavistically it could be reckoned as the seat of the highest intuition and most advanced of all faculties”
The collection of songs are due for release in Autumn 2015. The artist selection was curated by Gemma Cairney (BBC Radio 1), Llywelyn Ap Myrrdin (composer) and Beth Clayton. Other songs revealed so far include Bat For Lashes (Skin), Goldie (Brain), Ghostpoet (Liver), Mara Carlyle & Max De Wardener (Kidneys), Dave Okumu (Heart), Afrikan Boy (Blood), Scrufizzer (Larynx).
Through incredible access to specialist clinicians and scientists, making observations in the operating theatre, meeting with alternative health experts and patients at varying stages of illness and ogling body parts in special museum collections – each artist has developed a knowledge and feel for their chosen organ. This is then transformed into an original composition to reflect both their experiences and personal relationship to these hidden parts of the body.
The artists’ scientific journeys have been guided with help from inspirational clinician, Professor Hugh Montgomery and Dr Alistair Connell.
Body Of Songs is supported by the Wellcome Trust and Arts Council England. With special thanks to University College London Hospital and the NHS.
Tune into BBC Radio 3’s Late Junction on 25th September 2015 to hear live versions and interviews with the artists and Body of Songs team.