beneath the stream
23. Interspecies ~ language between us?

23. Interspecies ~ language between us?

May 12, 2020

“Long ago when animals could speak …”. In this episode we explore the boundary lines between non-human species and ourselves, boundary lines that many indigenous peoples - and our ancestors - did not see, and the ability, or not for communication to pass across that boundary. Today, for western society, it is only in children’s novels that animals can speak and be heard.

So much is invested by animals in the biology of communication and we can teach creatures about human communication but is it inconceivable that they have an ability to speak to us in their form? In maintaining scientific distance do we only allowed artists and musicians to show us that other species have ‘language’ and we should not treat the non-human as less than ourselves?

 

THEME MUSIC BY DAVID ROTHENBERG. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. USED BY KIND PERMISSION OF THE ARTIST http://www.davidrothenberg.net 

TOGETHER WITH ADDITIONAL MUSIC IN THIS EPISODE BY DAVID ROTHENBERG

Some of the ideas and references we make in this podcast can be found here:

Sitting Bull https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sitting_Bull 
Tales from Ovid - Ted Hughes https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tales_from_Ovid 
Chaser - border collie https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaser_(dog) 
Kanzi - bonobo https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kanzi 
Raven https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raven
Greater Honeyguide https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greater_honeyguide
Red-tailed Hawk https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red-tailed_hawk 
Watership Down https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watership_Down 
The Jungle Book https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Jungle_Book 
The Chronicles of Narnia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Chronicles_of_Narnia 
John Masefield https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Masefield
Sperm Whale https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sperm_whale 
Orca or Killer Whale https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Killer_whale 
Blue Whale https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_whale 
Corky https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corky_(killer_whale) 
David Rothenberg http://www.davidrothenberg.net
Thousand Mile Song https://www.theguardian.com/books/2008/jun/07/scienceandnature
Birds Why Birds Sing https://www.theguardian.com/books/2005/dec/10/featuresreviews.guardianreview5 
Bug Music https://www.bugmusicbook.com 
Eisteddfod https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eisteddfod 
Jim Nollman https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Nollman 
Dolphin Dreamtime http://www.doyletics.com/_arj1/dolphind.htm 
Kamchatka https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kamchatka_Peninsula 
Henry Beston https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Beston 
Tree networks https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/the-whispering-trees-180968084/ 
Plants and sound https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plant_bioacoustics 
Himalayan Balsam https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impatiens_glandulifera 
David Abram https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Abram
Becoming Animal https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/318/becoming-animal-by-david-abram/ 
Prince Charles https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles,_Prince_of_Wales 
Real Magic - Dean Radin https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/551604/real-magic-by-dean-radin-phd/ 
Day of the Triffids - John Wyndham https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Day_of_the_Triffids 
Evelyn Glennie https://www.evelyn.co.uk 
Monica Gagliano https://www.monicagagliano.com 
Plant Consciousness https://www.plantconsciousness.com 
Plant Intelligence and the Imaginal World - Stephen Harrod Buhner https://www.stephenharrodbuhner.com/about/ 
Kurukindi https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZ77sYSqD6o 

22. The River ~ all things merge into one

22. The River ~ all things merge into one

April 8, 2020

The human and the non-human claim rivers as their own. By the banks of the River Kennet we conjour with our thoughts and experiences of rivers waters, along with those of a diverse cast of that includes: Roger Deakin, Bruce Springsteen, Norman Maclean, Masuru Emoto, Feargal Sharkey, Icy Sedgewick, Lewis Mumford, Michael Harner, Bedřich Smetana and Joseph Conrad.

We take in the travels, contours, myths, creatures, stories and spirits of rivers such as the: Awash, Tigris, Indus, Yellow, Nile, Danube, Amazon, Alde, Namada, Volga, Boyne, Crystal, Laxa, Congo, Moldau, Tana, and Everglades. We fight over them, deify them, we use them and misuse them, and yet what runs through them, because of us and despite us, is the the lifeblood of our world.

THEME MUSIC BY DAVID ROTHENBERG. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. USED BY KIND PERMISSION OF THE ARTIST http://www.davidrothenberg.net 

Some of the ideas and references we make in this podcast can be found here:

 

The River Kennet https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/River_Kennet 
Water Crowfoot https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ranunculus_aquatilis 
Water Vole https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_water_vole
Grass Snake https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grass_snake 
Reed Bunting https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_reed_bunting 
Brown Trout https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brown_trout
Brook Lamprey https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brook_lamprey
Crayfish https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Austropotamobius_pallipes
Mayfly https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mayfly
Caddisfly https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caddisfly
Awash River https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Awash_River
River Tigris https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tigris
River Indus https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indus_River
Yellow River https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellow_River
River Nile https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nile
River Danube https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danube 
River Amazon https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amazon_River
River Alde https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/River_Alde 
Emperor Claudius https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claudius 
Boudicca https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boudica 
Pied Kingfisher https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pied_kingfisher 
Water Monitor https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asian_water_monitor 
Lewis Mumford https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lewis_Mumford 
River Namada https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narmada_River 
River Volga https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volga_River 
Isis https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isis 
River Boyne https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/River_Boyne 
Kelpie https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kelpie 
Morgan https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morgen_(mythological_creature) 
Personhood for rivers https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_personhood 
Animism https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animism 
Roger Deakin https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_Deakin 
West Indian Manatee https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Indian_manatee 
Crystal River https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crystal_River,_Florida 
The Salmon of Knowledge https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salmon_of_Knowledge 
Laxa https://www.nat.is/laxa-river/ 
Kushtaka, Tlingit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kushtaka 
Selkie https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selkie 
Amazon River Dolphin https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amazon_river_dolphin 
The Grindylow https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grindylow 
Icy Sedgewick http://www.icysedgwick.com 
Peg Powla https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peg_Powler 
Hamish Henderson https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamish_Henderson 
Goðafoss https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goðafoss 
Michael Harner https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Harner 
Mircia Eliade https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mircea_Eliade 
Achuar https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Achuar 
The Fighting Temeraire https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fighting_Temeraire 
Heart of Darkness https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heart_of_Darkness 
River Congo https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Congo_River 
Apocalypse Now https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apocalypse_Now 
Bruce Springsteen https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruce_Springsteen 
The River https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_River_(Bruce_Springsteen_album) 
Bedřich Smetana https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bedřich_Smetana 
River Moldau https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vltava 
Baiji https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baiji 
Masuru Emoto https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masaru_Emoto 
Chlorpyrifos https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chlorpyrifos
Chalk streams https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chalk_stream 
Feargal Sharkey https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feargal_Sharkey 
River Tana https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tana_(Norway) 
Everglades https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Everglades 
Okavango https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Okavango_Delta 
Daintree https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daintree_Rainforest 
Cantabria https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cantabria 
Norman Maclean https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norman_Maclean 

21. Sea Voices: siren voices

21. Sea Voices: siren voices

March 8, 2020

How do we each respond to the environmental alarms that are being sounded by climate, nature, youth and the ocean? In this episode we feature interviews with Roger Hardy and Rhett Griffiths - wave-tossed thoughts from the tideline of the North Sea - plus a recording of Rhett’s epic poem ‘The Tipping Tide’.

Artists suggest different ways of seeing the world and, in response to these issues and as part of Siren Festival in 2019, artist and sculptor Roger Hardy created a powerful installation and multiple figurative sculptural piece on Aldeburgh beach entitled ‘Time and Tide’. He also created ‘Lookout’, a human figure gazing out at the sea from the South Beach Lookout. Here was also installed - in written form and in audio recoding - ‘The Tipping Tide’, a poem by Rhett Griffiths.

With extracts of Colin singing ‘Adieu Sweet Lovely Nancy’, we explore what the sea says to us.

Some of the ideas and references we make in this podcast can be found here:

Rhett Griffiths

poem - The Tipping Tide

Roger Hardy 

Siren Festival  
Roger Hardy’s ‘Time and Tide’ 
Roger Hardy and Rhett Griffiths’ 'Lookout' and 'Tipping Tide'  
Lancaster 
Dawlish  
Aldeburgh Festival 
Suffolk 
Devi Singh  
Heathcote Williams  
Benjamin Britten 
South Beach Lookout  
Greta Thunberg  
School strikes  
Mudlarking  
Felixstowe 

20. Owl ~ mythology, motif and mastery

20. Owl ~ mythology, motif and mastery

January 9, 2020

An archetype, a creature that we impose human ideas, ideals, values and characteristics upon. An unknowable, untouchable creature of the dark, whose call provokes fear and awe. A silent, surreptitious, living breathing feathered predator, whose beyond-human abilities allow it to master the night and span almost every habitat on Earth. Which of these is Owl for you?

As a family of birds, owls are all of these and more, and we explore their role in human culture from 30,000 years ago to the present day, as well as sharing tales of owl encounters around the globe. Evil messenger and harbinger of Death? Wise councillor and friend from childhood literature? Owl can be what each of us bring to it but is also master of its world.

THEME MUSIC BY DAVID ROTHENBERG. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. USED BY KIND PERMISSION OF THE ARTIST http://www.davidrothenberg.net 

Some of the ideas and references we make in this podcast can be found here:

Forest Eagle Owl 
Sinharaja, Sri Lanka 
Pliny the Elder
Tengmalm’s Owl
Florence Nightingale
Pablo Picasso
Winnie the Pooh
Bagpuss  
Tawny Owl  
Eric Hosking  
Ural Owl  
Sir David Attenborough  
Hawk Owl  
Saariselkä, Finland
Little Owl  
Chauvet Cave, France  
Eurasian Scops Owl  
Athena  
Harry Potter  
Western Screech Owl  
Hopi  
Sokoke Scops Owl, Kenya
Aztec god of death  
Cider with Rosie, Laurie Lee  
Barn Owl  
William Wordsworth  
Tlingit  
Egyptian Book of the Dead  
Great Horned Owl
Seminole Apache  
The Secret Life of the Owl, John Lewis-Stempel  
Great Grey Owl
Barred Owl  
Minnesota, USA  
Eurasian Eagle Owl  
Eurasian Pygmy Owl  
Pel’s Fishing Owl  
Blakiston’s Fish Owl  
Snowy Owl
Twin Peaks, David Lynch  
The Messengers, Mike Clelland  
Whitley Strieber  
Owlman, Cornwall  
The Mothman Prophecies, John Keel  
Mark Twain  
Elf Owl  
Short-eared Owl
Denmark  
Öland, Sweden  
Goldcrest
“In a hole with an owl” The Fast Show  

19. Wilderness 2 ~ is it beyond our reach?

19. Wilderness 2 ~ is it beyond our reach?

December 11, 2019

“What avail are forty freedoms without a blank spot on the map?”, said writer Aldo Leopold, and in this episode we revisit what the human concept of wilderness means and where we might find it. Unmodified, unspoiled, on the edge? When in our history was the point when humans changed their view of wilderness?

With incidental music from Colin, we consider how wilderness means many differing things to different people - it is ‘home’ for some and hostile for others - and discuss what our view of it says about us. Is our definition derived from an International Union for the Conservation of Nature edict, or is it reflect - or even imposed - by the human approach to the way we make art? Ultimately, is wilderness still a valid notion or is it beyond our reach, beyond our gift to bestow, at a time when perhaps we need it more than ever?

THEME MUSIC BY DAVID ROTHENBERG. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. USED BY KIND PERMISSION OF THE ARTIST http://www.davidrothenberg.net 

Some of the ideas and references we make in this podcast can be found here:

Jane Smith 
Marco Brodde
Darren Rees 
Kitty Jones
Chris Wallbank
Julian Hoffman
Beauchene Island, Falklands
Bay of Biscay, France & Spain
Pasvik Valley, Norway
Unst, Shetland
Spitsbergen
Hoo Peninsular, England
Dan Richards
IUCN wilderness definition 1B
Xia Gui - master chinese painter  
Old Testament
Paleolithic art
Sicily rock art caves  
Shan shui - master chinese painter   
Thomas Moran
The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone (painting)
The Sublime (artistic movement)  
Sewell Newhouse (trap maker)  
Industrial Revolution
Snow Storm: Hannibal and his Army Crossing the Alps (painting by J. M. W. Turner)
Smithsonian, Washington DC
Aboriginal Australian art
Shoshone
Ansel Adams  
BBC Planet Earth
John Muir
Bushcraft
Aldo Leopold
Annie Dillard
Edward Abbey  
Kvitøya Island, Svalbard
Barry Lopez  
Of Wolves and Men
Jordan
Bedouin
All Things are Quite Silent (English folk song)
Franklin Expedition  

18. The Sea ~ a prelude

18. The Sea ~ a prelude

November 10, 2019

The Sea ~ a prelude 

Summoning the spirit of a forthcoming full podcast on The Sea, we tease with Rhett Griffiths reading an extract from his poem ‘The Tipping Tide’ (more of the poem and an interview to come), Colin singing ‘Adieu Sweet Lovely Nancy’, plus wave-tossed thoughts recorded by the sea-washed shingle on the tideline of a grey North Sea.

All in rather lively STEREO by way of a change. Enjoy.

17. Wilderness 1 - with Dan Richards

17. Wilderness 1 - with Dan Richards

October 7, 2019

The way that people respond to wild places lights them up; so proposes writer Dan Richards, who’s latest acclaimed book, ‘Outpost: A Journey to the Wild Ends of the Earth’, explores what wilderness means to us. In this podcast he discusses whether our response to wilderness is bearing witness to the traces of humans who have been affected by places that, in our imagination, are meant to be savage and untameable.

Does wilderness comprise the places where a writer can touch ‘other’? Be lonely? Feel alive? Escape human connection? Or see what the world would be like without us? These places change us, and with music by Dan himself and prompting from Colin - solo in this episode - together they ponder ultimately whether humans are entitled to go to these places that might themselves be irrevocably changed by our visits? 

THEME MUSIC BY DAVID ROTHENBERG. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. USED BY KIND PERMISSION OF THE ARTIST http://www.davidrothenberg.net 

Some of the ideas and references we make in this podcast can be found here:

Outpost: A Journey to the Wild Ends of the Earth 

Wealden Literary Festival 

Dan Richards 

Svalbard 

Ny Ålesund 

Polar Bear 

Climate change 

Desolation Peak 

Jack Kerouac 

On the Road 

Thoreau 

Walden 

Roald Dahl 

Francis Bacon 

Edward Abbey 

Gary Snyder  

Cairngorm Mountains 

Bothy 

Iceland sæluhús 

Mars Desert Research Station 

Cordouan Lighthouse 

Ray Bradbury 

The Foghorn 

The Signalman, Charles Dickens 

Roger Deakin 

Nicky Wire, Manic Street Preachers 

Oscar II Land 

 

16. Pilgrimage

16. Pilgrimage

September 12, 2019

From the North-west passage to Niels Bohr via Bruce Chatwin, Bardsey Island, Joan Baez and Blue Whales, our journey on this podcast explores the physicality, spirituality and ‘otherness’ of pilgrimage. Recorded on location on the Camino de Santiago in Asturias, northern Spain we ponder the meaning of this human act of endurance, faith and meditation.

What do we learn when we feel the earth on our skin and feel, and touch or reconnect to, something more: to meet the crossing points to our ancestors, or the migratory routes of birds, or profound non-human experiences. Accompany us and discover if we are in fact ‘nobody to the hills; just a body, feeling’.

With music by Colin Williams.

THEME MUSIC BY DAVID ROTHENBERG. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. USED BY KIND PERMISSION OF THE ARTIST http://www.davidrothenberg.net 

Some of the ideas and references we make in this podcast can be found here:

Asturias 
Biodiverse 
Camino de Santiago 
Oviedo 
Cathedral of San Salvador 
Frédéric Gros: A Philosophy of Walking 
Satish Kumar 
Green lanes 
Croagh, Ireland 
Kumano Kodō, Japan 
Kumano Shan Zan 
Via Francigena, Italy 
Pilgrims Way, North Wales 
Holywell 
Bardsey Island 
Mount Kailash Circuit Tibet 
Matthew Oates 
Migration of birds 
Santa Cristina de Lena 
Swifts 
Shamanism 
John Clare 
Brill Building, Broadway 
Goffin & King 
Elton John 
Cafe Wah?, Greenwich Village 
Ellis Island 
Sicilian 
Black Mountains, Wales 
Bruce Chatwin 
Niels Bohr 
Quantum Physics 
Paleolithic rock art 
John Coltrane 
Joan Baez 
Bob Dylan  
Blue Whale 
Northwest Passage 
John Franklin
Michael Palin: Erebus 
Stan Rodgers  
Michael Meade: Fate and Destiny the Two Agreements of the Soul 

15. ‘Irreplaceable’ with Julian Hoffman - the fight to save wild places

15. ‘Irreplaceable’ with Julian Hoffman - the fight to save wild places

August 11, 2019

Recorded on Hampstead Heath in London, we take a journey into some of the most threatened places and habitats of the non-human world by talking with Julian Hoffman, author of the newly published and acclaimed book ‘Irreplaceable’. He eloquently weaves accounts of both loss and ‘radical hopefulness’ through the stories of the people working to save these places, and through our conversation we seek to answer questions about our relationship with the non-human.

Are stories becoming ever more important for us to navigate the great challenging environmental issues of our time? Why do locations become places of importance to humans? Why do some enlarge what ‘home’ means to them by including the non-human? How do we resist being divorced from the natural world by the those pursuing power and greed? How is it that children still engage with the non-human in the little details and small places unselfconscious about engaging with nature?

THEME MUSIC BY DAVID ROTHENBERG. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. USED BY KIND PERMISSION OF THE ARTIST http://www.davidrothenberg.net 

Some of the ideas and references we make in this podcast can be found here:

Irreplaceable

Julian Hoffman

Hoo Peninsular

John Keats 

Mavrovo National Park - north Macedonia

Meteora monastery west Greece

Watford allotments

Wales

Gwent Levels

Wordsworth

Future Generations Act

Cairngorms

Jim Harrison

Václav Cílek

Serengeti

Great Expectations

David Abram

Nan Shepherd

Arctic Tern

Bangka island, Indonesia

 

14. Bear - totem and reality in Asturias

14. Bear - totem and reality in Asturias

July 6, 2019

There is perhaps no creature that better encapsulates our conflicted relationship with the non-human world. Think of the complex mix of ideas that we humans associate with bears in modern times: child’s toy; indigenous people’s power totem; the reality of human-bear antagonism; the fear of unpredictable predators; celestial constellation; Boston Bruins; Chicago Bears; Yogi; Goldilocks; the list goes on. Through their place for us in myth, symbolism, history and reality do bears ‘see’ through us, and in doing so allow us to see beyond our humanity and glimpse again how we are primordially connected to the natural world?

With music from Colin, and recordings from in the field in Asturias, northern Spain, amidst the mountains, screes, meadows and forests of biologically-rich Somiedo Natural Park, we explore the ideas that humans hold regarding Bear, whilst seeking an encounter for real with a being that is now scarce in western Europe.

With special thanks to Marco and Wild Watching Spain.

THEME MUSIC BY DAVID ROTHENBERG. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. USED BY KIND PERMISSION OF THE ARTIST http://www.davidrothenberg.net 

Some of the ideas and references we make in this podcast can be found here:

Somiedo Natural Park

Asturias

Cantabrian Brown Bear

Grizzly Man movie

Grenadier Guards bearskins

Bear clan

Eight species of bear

Kodiak Bear

Romania Bears

Nicolae Ceausescu

Bears in Britain

Cave Bear

Grizzly Bear

Winnie the Pooh

Gentle Ben

Bear senses

Bear Totem

Spirituality and Bear