Though the environment and music may seem like two distinctly separate topics, there is a connection between the two many do not think about. However, some musicians from Scotland and Britain have become environmentally conscious of the impact of their career and lifestyle, and they found a way to bring their thoughts to the table through what they know best.
Jo Mango set out to explore how traveling, live performances, environment, and music are all affected by her songwriting practices. The result is the EP Wrack Lines (referring to the line of debris left on the beach by high tide), which came out in 2016. At first, it sounds like simple acoustic folk songs; however, the message behind this EP expands far beyond music.
These six songs that feature five different artists are part of the research project “Fields of Green: Addressing Climate Change Through Music Festival Communities,” which seeks to find ways in which audiences, organizers, and musicians can encourage and promote environmentally sustainable behavior surrounding music festivals.
Each artist tracked their movements as they traveled to their various festival gigs, creating a visual representation that later inspired their music for this EP. The songs were written and recorded whenever and wherever the artists crossed each other’s paths in between tour and studio schedules, and this practice captures the spirit that is behind their music.
Jo Mango & Friends perform with a gentle hushed voice and mellow instrumentals that draw your attention while it soothes your ears. Just like tidal waves on a shore, there is a flow to this music that gradually pulls you closer. Once you’re close enough, however, you can finally see — and hear — the vast amount of waste that is left behind us as we trail across the water.
This EP is setting the groundwork for an important future for music festivals, as all sale profits go to the charity Creative Carbon Scotland to support building culture into the heart of a sustainable Scotland, and the message is beautifully clear in the songs. Promoting an environmentally-friendly music scene lies at the heart of all these artists, their music, and the effects of their travels on the world around them, and that change starts here.