beneath the stream
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

 

13. Sounds II - messages from the non-human

13. Sounds II - messages from the non-human

June 7, 2019

Nature, the non-human - and humans too - connect together in the world of sounds. We are all auditory creatures. However, how do we non-humans relate to what we hear? How do we experience these sounds and where do we store the images and memories we associate with them: in our heads, our hearts, our cells, or all of those?

With three chosen non-human sounds that mean something to him and spark discussion, plus his own music, Colin considers: the messages that the non-human shares with us; the difference between noise and sound; seeking being unsettled by a natural sound; how sounds herald other beings as visitors in ‘our’ world; and how we feel their presence. 

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:

Whale blowing 

Blue Whale 

Science of sounds as a sight 

Cockchafer / May Bug 

Emotional Reaction Model - Misophonia 

Echoic memory 

Dylan Thomas 

Love in the Asylum

Richard Adams

Watership Down 

Skylark 

Vaughan Williams 

The Lark Ascending

Thomas Moore 

Philip Hoare 

Cape Cod

Melissa Harrison 

Rain 

Hinduism 

River Ganges 

Mary Oliver 

At the River Clarion 

12. Ghosts in the Darkness

12. Ghosts in the Darkness

May 11, 2019

Night distorts the human world and, as we become separated from what is not human, is the night the way we reconnect with that experience? Sat in a final fragment of Dunwich’s 10th century Greyfriars Monastery, near a single tombstone of All Saints Churchyard, we record this podcast at night in one of the “most haunted places in England”.

With ‘A Natural History of Ghosts’ by Roger Clarke, filling our minds, we contemplate why should ghosts - whatever that phenomena might be - appear more often at night? As night ‘falls’ (or does it rise?) we consider the fears that we lay at night’s door, seen from the corner of one’s eye. A time of danger and the ‘other’, night is filled with terrors for modern humans.

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:

Greyfriars Priory 

Dunwich 

Brassaï 

Tarsier 

M R James 

Margaret Atwood 

Black Shuck 

Hobby Lanterns 

Marsh Gas 

Homer’s Odyssey 

Apochrypa 

Jinn 

A Natural History of Ghosts - Roger Clarke 

Bram Stoker  

11. Wild Wood

11. Wild Wood

April 9, 2019

“To enter a wood is to pass into a different world” said author Roger Deakin, and in this episode, recorded in ancient Staverton Thicks forest, we explore why it is that there is a history of humans going to the woods to grow and learn, and to travel to find ourselves, often by getting lost. Why is it a place of story-telling, of fairy tales, of childhood imagination?

Disorientating for many modern humans, is there a density of ‘otherness’ in forest, and is this why for us the wild wood is it place of fear but also a place that we love? Sit with us on a mossy fallen tree as we question whether these are places to hide, to escape and adventure, or ones to fear where the non-human - or perhaps human - is watching us.

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:

Blair Witch Project 

The Legend of Boggy Creek

Staverton Thicks 

Pollarding 

Gossip from the Forest - Sara Maitland 

Where the Wild Things Are - Maurice Sendak 

Grimm’s Fairy Tales 

As You Like It - William Shakespeare 

Walden - Henry David Thoreau 

Wood - Andy Goldsworthy

The Scarlet Letter - Nathaniel Hawthorn 

The Consolations of the Forest - Sylvain Tesson 

Wild Wood - Roger Deakin 

Woodlands - Oliver Rackham 

Lord of the Rings 

Domesday Book 

Beowulf 

Białowieża 

Baka people 

The Witch - Robert Eggers 

Grizzly Adams 

Olympic National Park 

Massachusetts

Polish Jewish villages 

 

10. Myth and The Woodwose - feat. Thea Smiley

10. Myth and The Woodwose - feat. Thea Smiley

March 7, 2019

We humans have long made sense of the non-human world around, and beyond us, through storytelling and myth. Folklore has much to say about hairy wild men, and women, and their relationship to us, past and present. Exploring these motifs, stories and the creative process, we focus on these ‘woodwose’, their presence on church fonts, and their probable origins as creatures and symbols. 

We speak with playwright Thea Smiley who, with theatre company Wonderful Beast, has written about The Last Wildman and The Woodwose. With her we ponder what we should learn from wild places and wild people, and the 'mythical' beings who perhaps know more than we do about how to live.

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:

Aesops Fables 

Pliny  

Michael Witzel

Selkie

Flood mythology 

Werewolf 

Wendigo 

Griffin 

Thea Smiley

Wonderful Beast theatre company 

Return of the Wildman 

Woodwose 

Woodwose photos 

Matt Salusbury 

The Wildman 

Wildman of Orford 

Ludham font 

Ralph of Coggeshal

Green children of Woolpit 

Orford Ness 

Ted Hughes ‘Wodwo’ 

Bigfoot, Sasquatch, Almasty 

9. Tracks

9. Tracks

February 7, 2019

In this podcast we explore the proscribed routes, the safe paths, the trackways; and how they affect our perception of the land and our experience of the non-human world. What lives beyond the path? Are we an animal making paths of convenience or is there a human need for paths, boundaries and way markers - is it that our species deliberately wants to make marks on the land?

On a windswept autumn day we explore The Ridgeway and ancient Wayland’s Smithy discussing trading routes, pilgrimage, and how to avoid getting lost on tracks that may even be born of the Earth itself.

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 Ridgeway

Oxfordshire Downs 

Wayland’s Smithy 

Uffington White Horse 

Plague village of Eyam 

The Old Straight Track 

Ley lines  

Paths of Desire 

The Old Ways  

Robert MacFarlane 

A Line Made by Walking 

National Trust  

Tristan Gooley 

8. Night

8. Night

January 7, 2019

Night makes us focus on our human experience of the darkness. Night is a place where the non-human world thrives: both in reality through wild predators whose senses exceed ours, and also in imagination as, for humans, the darkness often harbours our fears and is home to the unknown, the half-seen, and the mis-heard.

We explore what is special about night, In what ways does night reveal itself that goes beyond simply the interval between the light of day? How do we respond as the night-time takes away our senses? Maybe night is when we see ourselves most clearly.

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:

 

Robert Johnson 

Canonical hours 

Ramadan 

Melatonin 

The Daintree 

Tawny Owl 

Nightjar 

Transylvania 

Fortified churches  

Svalbard  

Spring-heeled Jack 

Jack the Ripper 

Reynardine 

Heart electromagnetic field 

Baja California

Swamp gas 

Human sleep pattern 

Botswana 

The Darkness is Light Enough 

Visions of Johanna  

7. Wind

7. Wind

December 2, 2018

In a windswept locale we explore how both we, and the inhabitants the non-human world, respond to the wind. Wind spirits, the voice of the wind, hurricanes, and the sense of ‘aliveness’ that it has all affect us. Why does it makes us feel a certain way? How is it perceived by many indigenous human cultures?

For birds, insects, trees, seeds, oceans and more, the way the wind moves across The Earth is fundamental to their lives. And so it is to us. Indeed during this podcast you cab get the wind in our voices.

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:

North Wessex Downs 

The effect of wind on children 

Inkpen Beacon  

Anemochory 

Mi’kmaq

Navajo word for wind 

Sami god, Bieggolmai  

Carlos Castaneda  

Shetland  

Iceland 

Western Isles

Beaufort scale 

Aeolian harp 

Gerard Manley Hopkins 

6. Sounds 1

6. Sounds 1

November 8, 2018

We explore some of the most evocative sounds in the natural world and examine the power that the acoustics of the non-human world have over us. As we listen in Part 1 to Ian’s choice of sounds, we discuss how we navigate the natural world with sound and how it gives us a sense of place.

Are we acoustic creatures? What is the ‘voice’ of the non-human world? How does it speak?

How does sound link to a sense of place and calendar and what is it power to stir memories in us? What indeed is its power for one species to ‘speak’ to another?

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:

David Abram, Becoming Animal 

Spring Peeper 

Barry Lopez, Arctic Dreams

Elk 

Chris Watson  

Geoff Sample  

Gruenrekorder 

Peregrine Falcon 

5. Fear - with guest Robert Lloyd Parry

5. Fear - with guest Robert Lloyd Parry

September 9, 2018

The non-human world, in it’s many guises, can often be a place where we face our fears. Recorded in Cambridge at Mill Road Cemetery and the 12th century Leper Chapel of St Mary Magdalene, this episode features an interview with Robert Lloyd Parry, an outstanding performance storyteller, who specialises in classic literary ghost fiction, in particular the work of Montague Rhodes James.

We explore Fear: as a human adaptation; as a heightened sense; as a part of our experience in the wild; as something ‘unnatural’; or something we experience in solitude; and how we experience it in our sense of familiar and unfamiliar places. 

We would like to thank our wonderful guest Robert Lloyd Parry. To discover more about him visit  http://www.nunkie.co.uk

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

Arthur Machen https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Machen

The Cruel Mother https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Cruel_Mother

Malcolm Sinclair https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malcolm_Sinclair_(actor)

Julian Hoffman https://julian-hoffman.com/irreplaceable/

Ray Bradbury https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ray_Bradbury

Kenneth Grahame https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenneth_Grahame

Robert Macfarlane https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Macfarlane_(writer) 

M R James https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M._R._James

A Warning to the Curious https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Warning_to_the_Curious 

Oh Whistle and I’ll Come to You My Lad https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%27Oh,_Whistle,_and_I%27ll_Come_to_You,_My_Lad%27

Cambridge Leper Chapel https://www.cambridgeppf.org/Pages/Category/cambridge-leper-chapel

Canon Alberic’s Scrapbook https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canon_Alberic%27s_Scrap-Book