Environmental Sound Foundation is an Alternative Pop & Post-Soul duo consisting of Anglo-Welsh composer-synth player Neil Marchand Irish-Turkish singer-poet & composer Dilara. They met at Goldsmiths University.
Photos by Paul F Cook; Richard Sanderson; Mike Roberts
Environmental Sound Foundation’s name reflects the facts that:
they use actual recordings of the sounds of their immediate environment in their music and, where it is possible to derive a pitch from an environmental sound, they use it to create harmony as well as for ambience
their lyrics also include a good deal of commentary about their environment from a socio-political and observational perspective
the environment in which they live and work is a key source of inspiration for their diverse genre-defying music
Their previous live dates have included Cafe of Good Hope, Lewisham (1st November 2018); Linear Obsessional @ Arts Cafe, Manor Park, Hither Green (13th January); Vanishing Point @ The Ivy House, Nunhead (7th February); Skronktronic @ Riverside Studio, Finsbury Park (13th February); Vanishing Point @ The Ivy House, Nunhead (4th April & 6th June) & The Werkhaus, Shoreditch (20th June).
Environmental Sound Foundation are two postgraduate music students who have forged a unique spectrum of musical influences from avant garde classical and sound art to soulful pop and electronic music with elements of jazz, drum’n’bass, hip hop, afrobeat and alternative pop all in the mix too. To get tickets to see them live check out Vanishing Point.
Dilara met Neil at rehearsals for a concert Goldsmiths in 2011 when she had just started a performer’s degree on the piano and he was doing a PhD in composition.
Even though she was 18 and he was, ahem, quite a bit older than 18, they bonded over a mutual love of Stevie Wonder, Messiaen, Herbie Hancock and a load of other stuff. That stuff included a shared interest in recording environmental noise and using it to create pitches and harmonies with mind-spinning otherworldly textures.
They did collaborate briefly in 2014 but it took until 2018 for them to realise what Dilara really wanted was to be the vocalist for Neil’s Environmental Sound Foundation project.
Since then they have played a series of gigs around London and recorded an EP. Dilara’s lyrics and tendency to switch between soulful vocals and rapid-fire poetry take centre stage as she sets out her ideas often in streams of consciousness while Neil indulges his love of modal, jazz and dissonant harmony and translucent textures.