Halfweek Habit #5 Climate Conscious Collaboration

Amy Woodburn shares the uplifting story of creative collaboration as she and fellow songwriter Lizzie Freeborn overcame the challenges of lockdown to record their debut album.  After meeting at an Extinction Rebellion event, the pair formed ISYLA and, united by their passion to combat the threat of climate change, have created “Where she walks” – an homage to a brighter future for generations to come.


“I feel like this album; these songs and this music, has been inside me for a very long time. And meeting Lizzie, and our shared ethos, was the critical catalyst to making it happen. Our shared ambition is for as many people as possible to hear this music, and to think about the varied, but important, messages contained within it. I’m pleased that we have crossed generations, and also combatted our historical lockdown period, and still managed to bring it into being.

We began to make the album in February and got about a month’s head start before the crisis hit. The main effect that lockdown had in the continued production of the music and the videos, was to increase the amount of remote working. In fact there were a lot of benefits to working this way. Skilled musicians from around the country recorded in their own home studios and sent files in to the studio. The video making began and continues with a real spirit of ‘we can do this ourselves!’ Without any flashy equipment we created one of the videos – mostly Lizzie filming on her phone and me filming tissue paper butterflies in ‘flight.’ It has taught me to appreciate in a very simple way that we don’t need to seek ‘bigger’ thinking it will be better. We can design around what we can do using the skills and resources we already have.

I think habits are born of mindsets. My mindset has shifted with this experience. I think the album and the videos will be a good reminder of what can be achieved in what might have seemed more challenging conditions. It’s been empowering and I feel it’s taught me to believe in what can come from creative minds and ‘can-do’ attitudes! Feeling connected with others from an online community of people with environmental concerns has also been a very important part of keeping me motivated. Many of the song lyrics were inspired by beautiful sentiments from social media highlighting the importance of platforms where people can connect, add their voices and feel supported by others.

The barrier to continuing to live small is simply that we have the choice to do otherwise. We are used to this luxury and we have friends and family spread across the country that we miss! I think that sustainable travel is key. We want to get an electric car though I understand electric cars are not the perfect solution environmentally. It will make this easier if the infrastructure in the county is good for this improved for example by increasing the number of charging points. Similarly if public transport reached every community fares were not so high, we would certainly choose buses and trains more.

When we come out of lockdown, I really hope we can see more clearly the link between the way we live our lives and its environmental impact. When I started writing the album I wanted above all else to find a compassionate way to connect people with this issue and with Earth, our home. Waking up to the scale of the crisis and having the vision to reimagine a different and better future is what is at the core of our ISYLA compositions. When we are able to reunite – though who knows when that will be – Lizzie and I would love to take the songs to some festivals to help to build more interest in the album and it’s message. “

ISYLA’s ‘Where She Walks’ takes its audience on a journey through different musical genres and styles. Its sound ranges from the delicate contemporary folk and electro of The Staves and London Grammar, heard in ‘Daughter’ and ‘January Rain’, to the anthemic heights of ‘Earthling’, reminiscent of Chvrches.  It is a beautiful collection of songs and highly recommended by Team 365!

‘Where She Walks’ by ISYLA is available for streaming on all major platforms.


Creative Kernow, based at Krowji, is the umbrella organisation for the following nine projects. Together we support the production, promotion and distribution of work by creative practitioners in Cornwall because we believe in creativity's transformative power and want more people to benefit from it.
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