The Glee Instinct
Richard Mabey reflects on how and why we like to sing together.
The first of five essays inspired by the musical content of the first Earth Music Bristol festival.
Richard Mabey reflects on the compulsion of so many organisms, from humans to cicadas, not just to sing, but to sing together, ensemble, to "join in" - rowdily, competitively, harmoniously.
Largely a personal story: the revelation of early music at school and the romance of singing with girls, listening to roots flamenco in the Extremaduran outback and cranes duetting at the nest in Norfolk (and to David Rothenberg jamming with marsh warblers).
Does this choral impulse spring from archetypal group dancing? Is it encoded in us as social glue, a precursor of language?
Richard Mabey is the foremost nature writer in Britain today: among his books are Food for Free, Nature Cure, Flora Britannica, and Whistling in the Dark
Producer: Tim Dee.
Nature writer Richard Mabey reflects on how and why we like to sing together.