Meet Nourey. 

An Anjunabeats artist who is opening the Saturday festivities for this year’s Above & Beyond Group Therapy Weekender. She’s collaborated with fellow Anjuna artist Olan (who is also performing at the Weekender), remixed BT’s “Where the Sun Meets the Sea” and has put out some stellar solo productions of her own.

Who Is Anjunabeats' Nourey?

Her real name is Norhan Bayomi and whenever she’s not producing trancey tunes, she is busy as a postdoctoral research fellow and manager of the Climate Change and Cities Programme at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 

The focus of Norhan’s research is the impacts environment and climate change can have on developing regions and how the environment’s role may come into play in addressing this. Utilizing AI and other technologies, Norhan navigates a way to a better understanding of building and urban design, and the strategies for suitable adaption.

Back in November 2021, Above & Beyond in conjunction with MIT’s Environmental Solutions Initiative, hosted an event in Boston to discuss the influence that music communities and artists can have when raising awareness about environmental issues and the climate. 

Having been introduced to MIT through Nourey, she, alongside her colleagues at MIT’s Environmental Solutions Initiative, will be pairing up with the Anjuna team to gauge the climate footprint of their label shows and operations. Over the course of the coming months, the Anjuna team will publish some of their findings with real proposals for actionable change that we all as a community can lend a hand to a healthier planet.

Performing at the Gorge isn’t the only reason why Nourey is attending. She is hosting a 'We're All In This Together' Climate Q&A with her adviser Prof. John Fernandez and other Anjunafamily artists on Saturday. On both Saturday and Sunday, you’re also welcome to check out the M.I.T. Climate A.R. Experience, where you can immersive yourself in how music festivals interact with and impact the environment.

Learn How To Be More Sustainable This Festival Season <<<

Ahead of the third edition of the Group Therapy Weekender (ABGT250 included), we sat down with Nourey to discuss her new EP, the intersections of music and science plus all things sustainability/climate-related in the music industry.

Is there a way to utilize the research used in your studies for festival planning to improve festival structure design to give attendees relief from the heat?

There are opportunities for deploying drones to map outdoor air temperature and identify locations with better thermal comfort levels; however, the issue with tents might be a challenge to monitor indoor air temperature accurately, depending only on thermal imaging from drones. 

Other technologies can help, like air temperature sensors that can monitor thermal comfort levels and be very useful for large gathering spaces. For festivals, there is also an opportunity for improving thermal comfort using means of evaporative cooling (fans cooled with water) that can affect attendees' thermal comfort levels.

How do you see VR playing a role in establishing stronger ties in local music communities?

VR is an exciting alternative for the immersive live experience. 

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Although I firmly believe nothing can replace the live experience of attending a concert, there are untapped opportunities to use VR and AR. For example, one of the options we explored in our research in the MIT Climate Machine is how to integrate VR or AR as an option for live streaming big festivals to reduce the number of audiences traveling to the venue. 

One interesting option shared by one of the Anjuna family members was hosting group live streaming parties in different cities for major events like ADC, ABGT, etc., to keep aspects of the live with the crowd without traveling.

Anjunabeats has long been climate advocates. Learn more about their efforts to save the planet here <<< 

Besides on-site merchandise sales, what messaging can Anjuna and the music industry as a whole use that might break through to their audience looking for sustainable festival attire?

I think improving awareness of emission footprint from traveling is a major concern that still needs to be fully communicated to the audience. 

Multiple ongoing initiatives are currently working on increasing awareness of different transportation modes. For example, I am a massive fan of Coldplay’s sustainability initiative and how they provide their fans insights on greener options in their live events. I hope to see more work on that front, especially at the ticket purchase point, where fans can understand the better alternatives for transportation. 

That can also be supported with incentives such as a discount on ticket prices to encourage people to change behavior positively.

How has your scientific journey been influenced from playing in rock bands to becoming a producer/DJ?

Going to MIT has changed my perspective on what is possible with research and technology; I have always been passionate about fusing my passion for science and problem solving with music since I was at school; I initially wanted to join music school instead of engineering but ended up going to architecture which was the perfect intersection between art and engineering. 

Check out what other festivals and artists are doing to save the planet <<<

After signing with Anjunabeats, I was blessed to work with them to identify sustainable opportunities for their business, providing me with the venue to fuse music and science altogether. In addition, working with my advisor and mentor, Prof. John E. Fernandez, has given me the flexibility to explore other venues outside traditional research domains, and that is what motivated us both to start the MIT Machine as a multidisciplinary group that focuses on bridging different science domain to the industry among which we are currently focusing on the music industry. 

I am super grateful for my journey where I am blessed enough to mix the best of both worlds, and I hope this can inspire more people to pursue their passion.

Can you tell us a little about the labor and inspiration that went into the creation of your EP For Ellie'? 

For Ellie is part of a larger EP concept called Meant to Be that speaks to why we need to overcome social barriers, accept others and learn to become the person we are meant to be. 

Each track comes with a specific message line that ties to the main idea of being mindful of who we are and accepting who we are surrounded with. I was inspired when I read Zanziman Ellie’s story and how he was bullied for his condition, and that brought the inspiration to write something about social acceptance and sharing kindness. 

I had in mind that this EP can inspire the personal journey of understanding who you are and self-acceptance and a positive message to people who have experienced appearance-targeted bullying. It is scary when you look at the numbers of people who experience targeted-based bullying every year.

Balancing between work and music has been a challenge; I try to dedicate time during my week to work on climate change and research, but mainly weekends are the times I mostly dedicate to my music.

Tickets are still available with more information here.