Environmental Sound Foundation is an Alternative Pop & Post-Soul duo consisting of Anglo-Welsh composer-synth player Neil March and Irish-Turkish singer-poet & composer Dilara.  They met at Goldsmiths University.

ESF & Dilara VPS B&Wesf @ linear obsession

Photos by Paul F Cook & Richard Sanderson

Listen to Environmental Sound Foundation here.

Watch a video of ESF playing live at Vanishing Point @ The Ivy House, Peckham here.

Catch ESF live – 6th June, Vanishing Point @ The Ivy House. Tickets here.

And 20th June, Demerara Records Showcase @ Cafe 1001 (opposite Rough Trade East)

You can also stream tracks by ESF on Soundcloud here.

Environmental Sound Foundation’s new EP, their first since Dilara joined ESF, is scheduled for release in March 2019 with an album to follow. The track Tibet from the Disunited Nations EP was featured by Tom Robinson on the BBC 6 Music Mixtape Show in 2018. The track The Grass is Greener appears on the Demerara Records compilation album Vanishing Point (Vol. 1) and has been played on Exile FM, Conquest RadioRadio Dacorum and other stations.

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) and Vanishing Point @ The Ivy House, Nunhead (4th April). 

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 & Vanishing Point Solo.

This is what it says on the ESF BBC Introducing page:

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.