Tune into Nature Music Prize

A competition for musicians and singer/songwriters aged 16-29 whose work fosters a stronger relationship with nature through contemporary popular music.

The Tune into Nature Music Prize searches for a new piece of contemporary music that is inspired by nature and helps to highlight the need for a new relationship with the natural environment. Supported by Tileyard London, Timber Festival and Yorkshire Sculpture Park, the prize also provides support for young creative practitioners. The judging panel includes musicians Martyn Ware, Sam Lee, Supriya Nagarajan and poet Zena Edwards.

The Prize began in 2020 and was developed and conceived by Miles Richardson, Professor of Human Factors and Nature Connectedness at the University of Derby. The Group has found that the connection between young people and nature dips during teenage years and takes more than a decade to recover. Research also shows that references to nature in contemporary music have decreased consistently since the 1950s. This matters as a close connection with nature helps both the wellbeing of people and our planet, as people who are tuned into nature are more likely to care for it.

Miles said: “Nature means less and less in our lives and is disappearing as a reference in our music. We need, now more than ever, a new and more connected relationship with nature and music is a great way to celebrate nature and its essential role in our lives.”

The winning entry receives a £500 grant to support their work and a free professional remix produced by award-winning songwriter and producer Martyn Ware, Principal of Tileyard Education. They will also be invited to perform at Timber Festival in the National Forest. In addition, three further selected entrants will each benefit from a £250 grant.

Prize Winners 2021

Listen to the winning songs from the Tune into Nature Music Prize 2021 and then join our music experiment by letting us know your reaction.

The Judges

Helen Pheby

YSP Head of Curatorial Programme

Sam Lee

Mercury Prize nominated musician and nature conservationist

Supriya Nagarajan

Classically-trained Carnatic vocal musician, founder of Manasamitra artist-led cross-cultural arts organisation

Martyn Ware

Musician, Composer, Arranger, Record Producer and Music Programmer, Founder member of The Human League and Heaven 17

Dr Simon Lesley

Course Director BA (Hons) Popular Music, South & City College, Birmingham

Zena Edwards

Writer, poet/spoken word artist and climate justice activist

Professor Miles Richardson

Miles is a Professor of Human Factors and Nature Connectedness, a chartered ergonomist, chartered psychologist and Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors. He founded the Nature Connections Research Group at the University of Derby which has pioneered the first everyday interventions to bring about sustained increases in connection with nature and wellbeing.

Damon Jackson-Waldock

Damon Jackson-Waldock is Programme Director at The Art House with over 10 years’ experience of delivering contemporary arts projects, exhibitions, open-air commissions and public programming.

How to enter 

Applications for 2021 are closed. Check back here for the 2022 competition details.

The competition is open to anyone aged 16-29 and resident in the UK. The track should contain lyrics and be no longer than six minutes. Spoken word entries are also welcome.

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