We’re thrilled to announce the launch of Leafcutter John’s Lockdown Patchwork in partnership with Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival. The recording forms part of our latest exhibition Natural Encounters, which explores how artists approach, interpret or respond to nature.

Following a call for submissions of outdoor sounds recorded during lockdown, Leafcutter John has recorded a crowd-sourced musical artwork which explores the important role nature and access to green spaces has played during this uniquely challenging year. John has woven interviews into this evocative piece, including the words of poet Ian McMillan, beat boxer Jason Singh and nature writer Zakiya McKenzie. Together these offer a sometimes haunting, sometimes mournful, yet always eloquent, electronic soundtrack – one that reflects personal experiences of nature as a means of escape from a COVID-19 reality.

Learn more about Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival.

Introduction and Q&A With Leafcutter John

To celebrate the release of Lockdown Patchwork, BBC Radio 6 presenter Stuart Maconie joined Leafcutter John to discuss the making of Lockdown Patchwork, and to explore the environmental concerns of his music.

Performance premiere

John’s hour-long performance includes a hand-drawn map showing where each recording was made, who recorded it and where it appears in the artwork. The recording is presented alongside the audio file which is available to stream and download.

Audio download

The audio recording of Lockdown Patchwork is available to stream and download from Soundcloud.

Getting out into nature has been very important to me during the pandemic, so I’m really chuffed that this commission has enabled me to create a piece of music exploring the sounds and use of green spaces during such unsettling times. It’s the context and personal reflection that makes each piece magical. From the turn of wind turbines to a New Forest walk or birdsong, it is hard to pick a favourite.”

– Leafcutter John

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