I grew up in a small town in England, and when I was a teenager there wasn’t much to do. When I got my first MP3 player, a brute of a machine with a full-size 2.5” hard drive inside, I would load it up with my favourite tracks and listen to them while walking around my neighbourhood. It was my way of getting out of the house, getting some fresh air and exercise and fully appreciating the music that I loved. A walking meditation to reflect and inspire.
Then somehow, life got in the way, and I stopped.
In 2020, through lockdowns and restrictions, going for walks around your neighbourhood went mainstream. Now living in central Berlin and with no fixed working hours, I joined the tide of people exploring their own surroundings more closely. The daily walk became a ritual, some routine to look forward to. My favourite route was to set off north through Mauerpark just before sunset, and catch the pink-orange skies over Volkspark Humboldhain from Schwedter Steg.
With time to think and reflect without a constant stream of internet-connected distractions, I took notice of some parts of me that were causing pain and hurt. 2019 was an emotional year for me, and for a long time 2020 seemed like a foggy hangover, with anxiety and flickering ungrounded angst cropping up in unexpected forms.
While I was walking I was able to see these things at a distance, from a 3rd party perspective. I began to consciously observe my emotions, my triggers and corresponding behaviours. I didn’t always like what I saw, but awareness is the first step to healing and reconciliation.
Bit by bit, the angst and anxiety began to soften around the edges. I had given them a name, and naming your fears makes them little smaller.
In my 33rd year I became a little stronger and a little wiser.
I’m still working, and I’m still walking
This record consists of 3 of the many tracks I made during 2020, featuring field recordings from some of my many walks in and around Berlin during that time