Body of Songs: the Brain with Goldie

19 Jun

GoldieCurated by BBC Radio 1’s Gemma Cairney and composer Llywelyn ap Myrddin, Body of Songs is a project that explores the human body through music. The Music Court will profile each track in the compilation. The final four tracks will be announced this summer, and an album will follow. The concept is described best on their website:

“A collection of 10 songs by some of the UK’s most talented artists, inspired by the body’s organs.

Hidden from view, suctioned together in dark flesh, the organs are the core of our physical functioning, and our emotional and feeling world.

Each artist explores an organ with the help of experts, to find out how it works and unlock its mysteries and myths. Along the way they ask profound questions about their own lives; about illness and disease, and age and suffering.”

More information can be found at


I’ll be honest, this was a tough one to write. The brain is all-but incomprehensible, so Goldie’s sonic take on it is just as hard to wrap my mind around. The song starts softly, and grows into a beast that takes on many forms. I have come to terms with the fact that I cannot really describe it. It is true to its name and becomes an abyss of synapses, firing from so many different angles, it is impossible to foresee the end. But of course it does eventually come to a close, meandering as mysteriously as it had at the start. Play it on loop, and it sounds like how reincarnation must feel.

Goldie was a pioneer in the electronic music scene in the nineties. (For anyone that is familiar with Goldie, that sentence is woefully under-representative of his body of work.) He has been an artistic force for many years, delving into visual and street art as well as music. For Body of Songs, Goldie chose the brain for the simple purpose of wanting to know the origin of our thoughts, in what is known as the “old” brain, or the limbic system. He observed specimens that had undergone many different types of trauma, and as most artists do throughout this project, he was forced to reflect on his own life. “I look back and wonder how I ever made it out of where I was,” Goldie explains, continuing,

“It’s only now I realise the trauma I had been through, and yet, the beauty of being creative and wanting to become ‘somebody’ [which] sits in my brain, it’s the same place where our fear lies.”

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