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The Nightingale’s Song with Sam Lee

Encounters with the beauty and magic of all that surrounds us—like the sprouting of seeds, the grace of rain, the concert of birdsong—invite us back into conscious connection with the living world.

In this week’s episode of the Emergence Magazine Listening Hour, which explores the timeless connections between ecology, culture, and spirituality, we are joined by acclaimed British folk singer Sam Lee, who, each spring, duets with a small but masterful musician—the beloved nightingale—in the fields and forests of Southern England.

He reflects on the ancient musical kinship between humans and nightingales—melodies shared and silences exchanged—and the parallels between folk music and birdsong, which both embody deep connection to place. As nightingale populations decline, he hopes that music might offer the bird a path back towards the center of our cultural consciousness.

Emmanuel Vaughan-Lee is an Emmy and Peabody award-nominated filmmaker, composer and a Naqshbandi Sufi teacher. He is the founder, podcast host and executive editor of Emergence Magazine, a Webby winning and National Magazine Award nominated publication exploring the threads connecting ecology, culture and spirituality.