treats for the ears

Umbrellas of Edinburgh – podcast

click on me to hear
The Umbrellas of Edinburgh is a book of new poems, covering a wide range of city scapes.  The Scottish Poetry Library has taken some of these, read by their creators, and made them into a podcast which lasts about 43 minutes.

Each brief poem is written specifically about a different place, ranging from well known central landmarks to deprived outer city estates.  The voices in your ears will take you to a variety of places and times – including the resident who remembers catching his first glimpse of Rolls Royces in his street, during Festival time.

A delight to hear, and it will give a flavour (if ears can have tastebuds) of various parts of the city.  A great addendum or introduction to a visit.


Wide Open spaces Music “Endless Field”

If you like open spaces, nature and find it recharges you – here’s a new instrumental album which draws on the same inspiration – it brings the open spaces to you, wherever you are listening.  And the distribution company, Biophilia Records has healthy involvement with the environment.

Ike Sturm (who I know slightly personally, but the little I know I appreciate a lot) says:

“Nature inspires us; we journey into the wilderness to create more space in our lives and to reflect on our experiences.  We hope audiences will listen more deeply and explore their own frontiers”

Endless Field are bassist Ike Sturm and guitarist Jesse Lewis, who have played together (more…)

Sue Perkins on a Desert Island

Desert Island Discs is a classic UK radio programme which has the format of a biographical interview – and much more interesting than that sounds.  Each week, a different celebrity picks 8 favourite pieces of music and recollects their life around them. They’ve just hit a seam of gold with Sue Perkins last week – and now I see the next guest is John McEnroe.  Both have been interviewed, interviewed others, been commentators, lived public lives – for decades – and never said a boring sentence (at least on camera).

They speak eloquently, passionately, and thoughtfully on – well, life – and anything any interviewer throws at them.

“You’re a very quotable person, Sue Perkins” says the interviewer.


Poetry/wonder (Lucille Clifton 1936-2010)

Happy Birthday, poet Lucille Clifton.  We celebrate you; your arrival and what you made, in the time that you had.

“The mistake teachers sometimes make is that they think art and poetry – they think that’s about answers and it’s not about that, it’s about questions.  So you come to poetry not out of what you know – but out of what you wonder.”