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John Moose, the band you can listen to only in a forest

The Swedish folk band John Moose released its debut album. You can download it for free, but to hear it you have to be in a forest.

Escaping the city to dive into nature. Literature, cinema and music often tell stories about urban escapism. For the John Moose folk band, composed of five musicians coming from Värmland’s wild woods, Sweden, environment is a vital issue. To such an extent that they thought to “oblige” their listeners to escape into woods to listen to their songs. How? Allowing them to download their debut album of the same name for free through a mobile app, while in a woodland or forest.

 

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The app, designed by the group’s drummer Tobias Norén, uses Google Maps and a simple GPS system. GPS coordinates are sent from the smartphone to a web service which scans the map and, through a specific algorithm, determines if the user is truly surrounded by nature. More than inventing a viral strategy, the John Moose tried to provide some food for thought about the human ambivalence between nature and civilization. John Moose is their alter ego and the main character of the band’s songs and he wanders about existential and philosophical questions: he decides to leave the civilized world and look for isolation. During his journey he becomes obsessed with the thought that he has violated the earth by which he is nurtured.

 

“The simplistic picture of nature is easy to take in and be amazed by”, explains lead singer André Szeles. “But our romantic perception of nature can be harmful: we preserve the parts of nature that we enjoy and find attractive. But the parts that are most vital for the environment and biodiversity are often the parts that don’t get much attention in culture”. “We want to give our listeners a unique experience. – the artist says – We hope that our fans as well as journalists really take the time and effort to go out in the woods and listen to our music. The woods alone are a great experience”.

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