What does it mean to sing with the earth?

Camlin, D. A. (2024) What does it mean to sing with the earth? Music Education Research ISSN 1461-3808 (print) 1469-9893 (online) (In Press)

Abstract

A small group (n=11) of singers from the same community of musical practice in the UK participated in focus group workshops to reflect on their experiences of group singing in nature. The study found that group singing in nature was considered to be a (non-religious) spiritual practice which enhances participants’ experience of both communitas and their connection to the natural world. Participants made an important distinction between singing with the earth - communing with the natural world in a more spiritual way - and singing for the earth, a more political activity in response to local and global environmental issues. From a Posthuman perspective, diffraction – as both the physical and metaphorical process of exploring ‘differences that matter’ (Barad 2007, 46) - is identified as an important concept for understanding how different routes to wellbeing can be mutually constitutive and intra-active. De-centring human experience by amplifying the co-constitutive role of other agencies like the natural world highlights the ontological and epistemological complexity of such experience.

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