Environmental Sound Foundation is an Alt Soul duo consisting of Anglo-Welsh composer-synth player Neil March and Irish-Turkish singer-poet & composer Dilara.  They met at Goldsmiths University. Check videos of live performances of Fake News & Marching Minds.

ESF & Dilara VPS B&Wesf @ linear obsessionESF & Jon B&W

Photos by Paul F Cook; Richard Sanderson; Mike Roberts

Listen to Environmental Sound Foundation here.

Check out Environmental Sound Foundation’s BBC Artist Page

Read the lyrics to Fake News & Marching Minds

You can also stream tracks by ESF on Soundcloud here.

Environmental Sound Foundation’s last EP, their first since Dilara joined ESF, was released in May 2019. The track Fake News has been played by BBC Radio 6 Music, Amazing RadioExile FM 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 2019); Vanishing Point @ The Ivy House, Nunhead (7th February 2019); Skronktronic @ Riverside Studio, Finsbury Park (13th February 2019); Vanishing Point @ The Ivy House, Nunhead (4th April & 6th June 2019) & The Werkhaus, Shoreditch (20th June 2019); Fresh on the Net Live Festival [2 sets on different stages], Jacksons Lane Theatre, Highgate (21st July 2019) and Vanishing Point @ The Ivy House (6th September 2019).

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.

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.