Grace Adam talking walking

On an icy December day, walking with a friend in Queen’s Wood in north London, Andrew Stuck came across an intriguing set of pedestrian signs on which were written lines of poetry, lyrics, and instructions. His curiosity got the better of him, and when he got home, he tracked down Grace Adam, who had created the signs.

Returning to the wood in January, when the muddy ground was as slippery underfoot, Andrew interviewed Grace Adam to find out what had been her motivation, in creating the installation called “Out of the Woods…Words to navigate by”. 20’05” 9.5MB

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If you are reading this entry before the Spring Equinox (20 March) 2018 then you will still find Grace’s work in Queen’s Wood.

Nick Hallissey talking walking

Andrew & Nick walk along “The Backs” in Cambridge with King’s College chapel in the background

A warm mid-summer’s day stroll through the Grantchester Meadows beside the river Cam should have been the idyllic setting for an interview by Andrew Stuck of Nick Hallissey, Deputy Editor of Country Walking magazine.

A professional walker and writer who has an encyclopeadic knowledge of walking routes throughout Britain.  For many, his must be the dream job, but as he reveals it is not just endless walks in the beautiful countryside, there’s research and meticulous preparation.  Neither of which Andrew appears to have done for this walk.  In addition, there are office-bound days prepping monthly issues of the magazine. We are also accompanied by a photographer, as Nick is keen to use images from our walk in a future feature. It is an experience Andrew has not encountered before. 11.4MB 24’19”

You can read Nick’s account of our walk in the March 2018 issue of Country Walking magazine. Want to read more of Nick’s adventures?  Country Walking Magazine are offering listeners to this podcast a discounted rate on subscriptions (including a trial package of 3 months for just £5) – just follow this link

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Why don’t you take up the Country Walking Walk 1000 miles challenge in 2018?

 

Photos were expertly taken by Richard Faulks.

Maggie O’Neill talking walking

Maggie O’Neill is a leading academic researcher in criminology and sociology.  Walking is a key element of her ethnographic research into the lives of asylum seekers, the homeless, refugees and sex workers in England’s northern cities.

Maggie walking on Lindisfarne

A recent recipient of a Leverhulme Scholarship, she invited those she had encountered through her research to walk with her, along and across borders of significance in their everyday lives.

Andrew Stuck caught up with Maggie on a brief visit of hers to London. Just as they set our for a walk, the heavens opened, and they sought shelter, so the interview took place in a crowded hotel lobby. 20’05” 9.4MB

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Terence Bendixson talking walking

Terence Bendixson, journalist and author, is probably the longest serving campaigner for pedestrians  throughout the world, and is now the President of Living Streets in the UK, the charity formerly known as the Pedestrian’s Association.  He was recruited to the cause in the 1960s by Tom Foley, the Association’s co-founder, after an article he had written in the Guardian about the dominance of cars in our cities and towns. He his a strong believer in encouraging people to walk their daily errands, being aware of how street pattern and layout can influence travel behaviour and enhance or limit the experience of travel on foot.  He has lived almost all his life in Chelsea, now a prized neighbourhood of London, our conversation takes place there one sunny morning along roads he has walked since he was eleven.26’34” 12.5MB

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Julie Poitras Santos talking walking

Chatting to Julie Poitras Santos, you can’t help but be enthused by her sheer exuberance about her work in bringing people together to walk and tell each other stories. A lecturer at an art school in Portland, Maine, on the east coast of the United States, she has travelled a lot to embed herself in many different communities.

Map & Universe (photo Josima Quintilier)

She is currently exploring people’s sense of getting lost and the techniques they use to find their way again, both physically and metaphorically. In part she uses a labyrinth, and in our conversation, we discuss how group walking of labyrinths can bring clarity in thought and a strong sense of camaraderie, amongst strangers. We are walking on a warm summer’s day in La Romieu in south west France, one of the entry points to the long distance pilgrimage route known as the Camino de Santiago. 24’ 31” 11.5MB

The interview was recorded in August 2017 as part of “Made of Walking” at La Romieu in south west France. Published in December 2017.

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Geert Vermeire talking walking

 

 

 

 

As the five day 2017 Made of Walking event in La Romieu, south west France drew to a close, Andrew Stuck had an opportunity to talk to Geert Vermeire, it’s organiser and a walking poet and philosopher, in his on right.  We sat in an ‘echo-ey’ dining hall, in front of a small audience of Made of Walking participants, a couple of whom contribute to the interview by asking questions.  Throughout Made of Walking, Andrew had been trying to pin Geert down for an interview, but he was never still for long enough, so on the off, Andrew wanted to explore his role and how he came to make Made of Walking happen. 26′ 12″ 12.3MB

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Duncan Speakman talking walking

Duncan Speakman, modestly describes himself as an ‘outsider artist’ and a ‘jack of all trades’ with no formal arts training and experience gained as a composer, sound engineer, documentary post production, digital artist and now writer.  His ‘walking pieces’ have delighted Talking Walking producer, Andrew Stuck, who thought he might describe them as immersive taking you away from your surroundings, Duncan likes to think that his work is making you more present in the city, using sounds and music in ways to shape our experience.  Andrew was lucky to catch him between ‘performances’ of his latest work, “It Must Have Been Dark By Then” which was being played at the British Library. We tried to find some quiet streets away from the busy Euston Road, covering much of the territory that this latest walking piece may draw you through. 11.5MB 24’29”

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Bruce Mowson talking walking

Andrew Stuck, producer of Talking Walking, may have been podcasting for ten years, but he always has a little bit of trepidation when he is about to interview an artist who works in sound.  Out and about on a walk, he can use the ambience to cover up some of his clumsy editing, but in conducting an interview over the Internet there are few ways to conceal his inadequacies. When it came to interviewing Australian sound artist Bruce Mowson, Andrew had arranged to walk with him in Greenwich Park while he was in the UK on a family holiday, but fate played its hand in the guise of a train strike, and we never got to do that walk.  So what follows is a call Andrew made to Bruce once he had returned to Coburg, Melbourne, in which they talked about his enthusiasm for walking and how he has put years of studio recording experience behind him in making a piece called “Adventures in Sightlessness“. 23’26” 11MB

 

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Matthew Beaumont talking walking

It is a busy summer lunchtime in Bloomsbury, and we are within a ‘stone’s throw‘ of where Charles Dickens once lived.  Andrew Stuck, producer of Talking Walking, is in the company of Matthew Beaumont, a scholar and Professor in English Literature at University College London and author of the bestselling book called “Nightwalking, a Nocturnal History of London”. His research interests go far beyond literature as he is also Co-Director of the University’s Urban Lab where he is responsible for the Cities Imagined strand.  22’17”  10.4MB

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8 Breaths talking walking

8 Breaths Oxford is produced by Katherine McGavin and Mariana Galan Tanes

8 Breaths participants don masks as Mariana talks about air quality.

Air quality is an issue which is grabbing media interest both here in London and elsewhere.  It is a nebulous, hard to grasp concept, and leaves many of us disempowered – what simple actions can we do to improve the air we breathe?  Katherine McGavin and Mariana Galan Tanes, are two post-graduates studying social sculpture at Oxford Brookes University who have come up with an imaginative, entertaining and thought-provoking way to get us more engaged.

It is an inter-active walking tour of Oxford in 8 Breaths, in which you travel in time and place to discover more about the air we breathe, as well as being a call to personal action.  Andrew Stuck joined a group of twenty on the inaugural 8 Breaths tour at the beginning of July 2017 and spoke to Kat and Mariana immediately afterwards, recording the interview on a busy street corner surrounded by passing tourists. 16′ 34″ 7.8MB

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Want to join an 8 Breaths tour? – click here for more details.

Sharon Thompson talking walking

Excerpt from ‘Forever Young’

Australian Sharon Thompson trained as a classical singer and contemporary vocalist, worked in a variety of musical contexts, in addition to performing and devising, she coaches solo artists for TV and Music Theatre and the music industry. Passionate about the natural environment, she’s been known to turn her musical skills to assisting with environmental campaigns.

Sharon’s private and professional walking practice is diverse and represents a learning journey in site-responsive listening and making. Interviewed in central London, she had just finished a run of Forever Young at the Traverse in Edinburgh, working with Australian theatre collective one step at a time like this.16’35” 7.8MB

‘Dirt Song’ performed in a Melbourne storm drain

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Julian Rickert talking walking

Australian, Julian Rickert is a founder member of internationally acclaimed theatre group ‘one step at a time like this’, who was a late starter in theatre, only going to drama college at age thirty. ‘en route’ was a site responsive immersive theatre production first created in the laneways of Melbourne that took the theatre company around the globe, including a visit to London as part of the Cultural Olympiad in 2012.

Taking to the streets, they have created performances for audiences of one at a time, in which you as the audience member engage both imaginatively and directly with the city, passers-by, narrative and your own pace within these. They have devised cinematic experiences on foot using audio, and performances that include overlaying an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure on Chicago, Nashville and Melbourne, in which they use a technique they call “follow film”.

Andrew Stuck, producer of Talking Walking, caught up with Julian on a visit to Bermondsey in London in 2015. 24’20” 11.4MB

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What Julian at one step at a time like this has done since our interview

“Since this interview we have created a number of audience walking works. In September 2017 ‘one step at a time like this’ created Immergence, in which audience intersected with local young people as they journeyed through Torquay, UK.

Through audio and live encounters audience become privy to the voices and perspectives of these local young people as they reflect on their lives and living in a formerly grand tourist destination. Immergence was part of an extended journey-based project by Claire Doherty and Situations, which saw audience travel across three towns and a bay to experience 9 artworks responding to nature-writer Philip Hoare’s reflections about the area.

We have also been developing an episodic night-time experience, Death Keeps Me Awake, for 50 people, each solo and listening to a radio broadcast.

The enigmatic radio broadcast cajoles you to drift through night-time streets and precincts – slowly but inexorably you are drawn to the centre of town, where cues for action and prompts for imagination are embedded, drawing you further into your own journey. Narrative threads evolve over episodes creating a dialogue between the existing world, the narrative fiction and the audience’s imagination.

We continue to create various walking works in places as diverse as Navy Pier, Chicago and outback Australia in Deniliquin.”