From an episode of Uncommon Sense∙Presented by Amy Mullins
Uncommon Sense: Musician Nick Mulvey On Exploring The Planetary Through The Personal
British musician and environmentalist Nick Mulvey joins host Amy Mullins for an in-depth exploration on the making of his latest album, New Mythology. Mulvey explains how he's "always trying to explore the planetary through the personal" with his music. From his early years as a founding member of Portico Quartet to his solo career, Nick shares the many spiritual, cultural, musical, and environmental influences on his new work, including ancient Celtic cultures, American buddhist Joanna Macy, and the revered late Vietnamese buddhist monk Thích Nhất Hạnh.
In an age of environmental destruction and extraction, Nick recounts the words from Thích Nhất Hạnh that moved and inspired him creatively. When asked, what is the most important thing for humanity right now? Hạnh responded, "That we feel the Earth's cry."
Mulvey shares his song-writing process and some of the fascinating stories behind the tracks on his album including, Shores of Mona, Mona, Causes, The Gift, Star Nation, and Begin Again. This interview features the music as discussed throughout.
Mulvey talks about how the rhythms in African drumming have influenced his music and its emotionality; "There's essentially an uplift, it's energised... not necessarily upbeat or always fast... but there's a certain kind of propulsion. There's an uplift as we give voice to our pain, as we give voice to our sorrow. I'm looking for this sweet spot between those kind of different energies pulling in different directions, that's really where life is... When we love, we also grieve because everything's impermanent and life is so rich and beautiful. And I think all of that kind of sentiment can be present, almost encoded into the chords."