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Posts from the ‘Audio’ Category

Dreaming on the Camino

walking boots

During both our journeys (DREAMING PLACE Residency in 2011 and Place-Dreamer Pod Tour in 2013), conversations about dreaming, journeys and slow travel led to at least three lengthy discussions about walking El Camino de Santiago in Northern Spain. We both share a fascination with pilgrimage and walking, so we were eager to hear about people’s experiences on this very famous traditional route of walking pilgrimage.

Here is Janet McAllister sharing a brief reflection on her experience walking the Camino:

We also thoroughly enjoyed talking with Janie Crone and Susan Hughes, both Camino walkers. You can read about Susan’s experiences on the Camino HERE.

NOW…..Anna and Mark (Anna’s husband) are currently finishing their own trip to walk a section of the “Camino.” They were planning to go either from Pamplona to Logrono or Logrono to Burgos….when they return from their journey we can look forward to hearing about which route they chose as well as some reflections on their journey and perhaps some dreams as well!

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A kettle full of generosity

“It’s my dream to own a kettle like that!” says Mary-Jane, her tiny frame tilted back to take in the beauty of our family-size kettle which hangs from the pod’s rear hatch. Its brown enamel surface is hand-painted with bright bargee swirls and flowers and it’s slightly scuffed.

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We are bursting to say “here you are, Mary –Jane please take it as a gift from us; for hasn’t she just given us an envelope with money in it, to repay our visit just as if we are her own children or grandchildren? But we don’t and the kettle stays in our care, ‘cos without it who knows how can we boil water for our visitors’ tea?

Back on the road we decide we will  gift the kettle, but later on when we don’t need it so badly. So when we get back to England it is carefully wrapped and sent over to its new owner, Mary-Jane of Tawny McKelly. So that if you pass by her cottage today or tomorrow asking for “a little water from the tap” just as we did, to quench your cyclers’ thirst, Mary -Jane will say, “You can, Aye, so you can surely, surely.” And then she’ll say, “Are you needin’ a cuppa tea o’ anything?” And when you say, “Yes that would be grand!” She’ll invite you in through the front door and you’ll l sit on the sofa by her dresser, decked with birthday cards and the radio still playing.IMG_8585
“It’s a long way you’ve come isn’t it?” she’ll say and “D’you want a chicken sandwich d’you?”

Place-Dreamer Tool “On Stage” in Penzance

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Our favourite Place-Dreamer Tools has been”on stage” in the intimate space of a Georgian townhouse in Penzance, Cornwall as part of ‘Salon de Texts: Edition2‘.The rhythm of fragments(You can read more about it here.)

Anna chose to perform ” This Place has Seen….” as  a” duet” with  Mark  in this very special spoken word showcase. Originally generated under the circular navigation  aid at Berry Head National Nature Reserve  the piece offers glimpses into hidden worlds.

You can hear Anna reading the piece here.

We invented this Place-Dreamer Tool siting next to a bubbling brook at the foot of Cuilcagh Mountain in the Marble Arch Caves Geopark during our DREAMING PLACE residency. You can read some of what we wrote that day here. “This Place Has Seen” also features in our Radio Dreaming broadcasts and you can read all about  this and other “free writing” tools in the Place-Dreamer Toolkit here.

To use “This Place Has Seen” yourself:

  • Sit comfortably in a place that you want to get to know better.
  • Have pen and paper at hand.
  • Use the phrase, “This Place Has Seen” as a prompt for your imagination, intellect and psyche to delve into the known, unknown and imagined history of the place where you are sitting to retrieve images and snippets of its past.
  • Write down whatever comes to mind, unedited.
  • Have a look and see what you’ve written. It may surprise you.

We’d love to hear about your experience if you try using “This Place Has Seen”.

What are the “tools” that you use to delve into a place?

Michael sings Old Flames

Michael at Castle Manor Rest Home

Michael at Castle Manor Rest Home

“Off-Grid” Cures from the Vegetable Garden for New Mothers and Everyone *Audio*

Vegetable-Garden-CuresDuring our Place-Dreamer Pod Tour, we visited the Organic Centre in Co. Leitrim. The students of the permaculture course that was taking place there at the time came out to visit the Pod during their tea break. Between drizzles, they listened to Radio Dreaming in the Pod and gathered ’round the hatch at the back to chat with us about “Off-Grid” ideas, tools and cures. (It was also during our time at the Organic Centre that we met Hans Weiland who told us about his very interesting Off-Grid entertainment/weather prediction method involving clouds. We blogged about it here, and featured him and the topic of cures in our Off-Grid Radio Dreaming Episodes Part 1 & 2. You can listen to them here.)

Conversation wandered from solar panels, to the kelly kettle, to the bramble vine we were using as a clothes line (clothes pins naturally included!) and finally landed on the topic of “cures.” We talked about traditional cures and hedgerow cures and cures that one might find in the kitchen or vegetable garden. There were a range of voices in this group, male and female, Irish as well as folks from other countries. Once the conversation got rolling, many people chimed in with a cure from their granny or something they’d learned recently.

Read more

Travelling with a question

what does it mean to be off-grid

Inspired by the technological challenges of our journey into the wilds of Marble Arch Caves Geopark in Ireland and Northern Irlealnd for DREAMING PLACE, we returned to the island of Ireland early this summer for a new and entirely different experience. This time we carried with us folding solar panels, a kelly kettle and an important question.

What’s does it mean to be off-grid ?

Its always enlightening to travel with a question, it offers a slant, a fresh perspective and gives much inspiration. As we travel  invitations flood in from people eager to share their off=grid lifestyles and ideas with us so we came back with a bundle of recordings  for a final episode of Radio Dreaming.

We are excited to announce that Radio Dreaming Off-grid part 1 and Radio Dreaming Off-grid part 2 is almost ready and will be coming soon.

Listen to “What is off-gridding?  and  Radio Dreaming Episodes 1-4 

Tasting the past: Hans Wieland on Kefir (audio)

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Listen as Hans introduces us to kefir. 

Hans talks about kefir fermentation.

In the kitchen of Hans and Gaby Wieland we learn of the off-grid properties of Kefir.  Lactic acid fermentation doesn’t need any energy to produce, it doesn’t need energy to keep .The result of a symbiotic relationship between lactic acid bacteria and yeasts it has been transforming and preserving milk for millenia. The usefulness of Kefir, its health giving properties, powers of preservation and tangy taste have ensured its preservation from the first dairying cultures.  Hans feeds his kefir with goat’s milk. Water kefir is a slightly different strain that eats sugar.

“You put in lemon and raisins or sultanas and let it ferment for three to five days,” after which time it will have turned into a wonderfully refreshing drink, sweet and sour at the same time similar to elderflower champagne. 

Find out more about kefir here. 

Did you see Our elderflower fritters blog?

Our thanks to Hans Wieland  of Rossinver Organic Centre, for providing info re Kefir fermentation for this blog. Hans runs courses on all aspects of fermentation. This blog is based on a transcript of our audio conversation with Hans at his home in Co. Leitrim, Ireland.

Listen to Radio Dreaming on Soundart Radio and a stream of Art and Community Radio Stations around the world

We love radio and it’s the perfect way to share our adventures with people whoever they are and wherever they may be, in their cars, homes and workplaces.

Radio Dreaming Episodes 1-4 live-streamed on Soundart Radio every Monday in September at 3.30pm.

Listen in to Episode 1: Dreams, Food and the Edible Landscape  live-streamed on Soundart Radio  102/5fm Monday 9th September at 3.30pm  here

Or select and listen to Radio Dreaming Episodes 1-4 with ear buds right now  on our blogsite.
Radio Dreaming Broadcasts

See Radio Dreaming  schedule updates here

Electric car ambassador dreaming

Listen here as sound  recordist Maurice Barnich from Luxembourg, tells how his electric car enhances his vision of a cleaner planet. (Extract from an in-depth interview with Maurice about his e-car)

On-shore and off-shore commercial windfarms are an evident sign of Ireland’s commitment to sustainable energy production.  As  we tour with our pod we look out for  alternative and micro- energy generation. “If only we could photosynthesize.”

Our first stop on the pod tour is at Cavan courthouse. Here you can re-charge your electric car for free while you have your day in court!

A vision for a sustainable future cannot include energy production based on oil shale gas extraction using the fracking process. We support our friends and others  who oppose fracking at Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark.

Wilderness of my dreams (Phoebe + ukulele)

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During our stop with the Pod at the Leitrim Sculpture Centre, we met artist in residence, Phoebe, who is also a poet and musician. She invited us up to her second floor studio above the print rooms to listen to her play her ukulele.

Between Phoebe’s lovely, descriptive song  and the rare Irish afternoon sunshine streaming in the window, we were charmed to be sure!

Listen to the song here:
See, hear and read more of Phoebe’s work here.

The romance of the road – life in a home-built wagon: a place dreamer pod interview

What is it like to travel  the length and breadth of Ireland in a home-built wagon?

Listen here to find out! (Note: headphones or earbuds are best for online audio!):

Lynne Maguire lives in County Leitrim and works as a cook at the Organic Centre in Rossinver.

Dreaming place with our Pod Tour

Like a faithful pet our little pod follows us to outlying homesteads, castles, museums, lakes and windy hilltops, providing refuge to all sorts of people and their dreams. With its gleaming shell, comfy sofa and tool-kit of unusual props the pod  becomes a vibrant hub of dialogue, music , ideas and laughter.

In the coming months we’ll be creating  Episode 5 from audio footage gathered on the island of Ireland so completing our  Radio Dreaming series. Look out for news of broadcasts on Community radio stations around the world.

A pod party is a great way to make art in outlying areas.

A pod party is a great way to make art in outlying areas.

Place-dreamer Pod out and about

OutandAbout

Today we are out and about. Sure it will be another enjoyable and busy day. Perhaps today the crows will be listening in as they climb the thermals on the crag and the swans may be listening from the lough.

What is off-gridding? (Audio post from the Geopark)

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We have been asking people at the Geopark for their definitions of Off- Gridding for our final Radio Dreaming Episode. Here are some initial responses from Louise, Judy and Marylin, who we spoke to at a Place-Dreamer Pod Tour home visit.

Place-dreamer pod on the hill

SONY DSCToday we are out and about again, playing Radio Dreaming to the winds and all who sail on them.

Place-Dreamer Pod in Enniskillen

Today we are in Enniskillen. You’ll find us in the courtyard at Castle Museum 10am – 5pm. Please join us if you are in the town on Bank Holiday Monday.SONY DSC

SONY DSC

Place-Dreamer Pod out and about in the Geopark

Pod party visit to Wayne and Louise's near Enniskillen

Pod party visit to Wayne and Louise’s near Enniskillen

Today we are out and about in the Geopark. (Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark). We’ll be playing Radio Dreaming Broadcast to whoever is willing to listen!

Frog on Cuilcach

Place-Dreamer Pod in Cavan

Courthouse

This week we started off the Radio Dreaming Pod Tour in Cavan town outside the Courthouse, town centre carpark and Bullock Art Centre.

Many of you stopped by on the way out of court to work or the library to admire the pod, climb aboard the pod for a listen or to respond to some of our Place-dreamer props. We heard some wonderful and inspiring stories about boglands,wild food, and hair rinses. And some of you stopped by for  tea with us. Up on the hill traveler children came out to look at our wee caravan and ask for CDs of our episodes for their grannys and grandads. After an interview with local Cavan TV, we were invited on to a boat rally.  Tea and sandwiches  and many stories later later we finished up at Sally’s house to rescue a drowned boat from the lake!

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Transformation of Materials: Part 2, Knowledge and Action

We gave a little background about Ignatius Maguire in our recent post, “Transformation of Materials: Part 1, It Starts with Choice”. In this post, we move into the knowledge and Action that makes our choices real.

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When we visited Ignatius’ farm he took the time to describe and demonstrate to us the whole process of “bringing in the hay”, a very relevant example of transforming a renewable material into something used by farmers all over the world to feed their animals.

Ignatius makes scything look easy. When we try it, it takes us a whilte to get into the rhythm and when we do, we feel the muscles that we would need to do the job all day long.

He also shows us how he “shakes his hay” and forms it into rucks. Anna tries her hand at shaking hay:

After he forms the hay into neat rucks set to dry, Ignatius creates rope ties to hold  the hay rucks in place and prevent them from blowing away in the wind. He spins hay from the base of the pile into rope, using a special tool, sort of like a crank-spindle made from the handle of a bucket:

We try spinning as well – it’s like magic and we feel sort of like Rumplestiltskin spinning our very own gold:

Ignatius chooses to process his hay in this way and enjoys it. He holds a wealth of knowledge that he keeps alive through daily use. He is fit and healthy and has an incredibly close relationship with his family’s land because of this choice. It is no doubt a lot of hard work, but Ignatius’ relationship to his land, seems to us to be one clear example  of “Dreaming Place.”

Transformation of Materials: Part 1, It Starts with Choice

Recently we’ve been thinking about transforming renewable materials around us into things that we use in our lives and how that process is an important element in our Place -Dreamer Toolkit. We have discussed this idea in previous posts about string HERE and hidden technologies HERE.

Because we are fascinated by these simple, but ingenious technologies and processes, we’ve been revisiting our unique time with Ignatius Maguire on his family farm. Including his grandchildren, his family has been on the land for eight generations.

Ignatius 1
He gave us an extensive tour of the grounds and the traditional, human-powered technologies and farm practices that he chooses to use to keep it all going. He is unlike most of his farming neighbors who have opted for more modern methods to harvest hay, plant potatoes and grow grain. Like that of Margaret Gallagher (see our post about her HERE), his dream for his life is shaped and colored differently than most.

Here, he describes his simple reasons for his chosen life-style:

Ignatius is a good reminder that we all have choices about what lives we want to lead, what technologies we want to use in our lives and for some of us, what processes, tools and technologies we choose to use to transform raw materials into things we can use in our lives.

Look for the second half of this post, coming soon – “Transformation of Materials: Part 2, Knowledge and Action” featuring more of Ignatius describing the traditional practices that he uses on his farm.

Radio Dreaming Sneak Preview

Rainbow Radio copy

We just posted a sneak preview of Radio Dreaming Episode 2 as an update on our Kickstarter Campaign in celebration of passing the £800 milestone. Check out the sneak preview here!

St. Patty’s Day Special: Wood Sorrel and the Myth of the Shamrock

On this day, enjoy a lovely description of the storied layers of the symbolic Irish Shamrock.

Happy St. Patty’s Day!

Harnessing Motion

prototype-ankle-micro-churn

Oracular power of a cave

An unexpected acoustic experience at Coolarken Cave at Boho prompts Claire and I to consider the musicality of water in contact with Geology.  Did prehistoric tribal peoples dwelling near the present day village of Boho visit Coolarken cave  to collect  dreams?

Listen here to  our  Coolarkin Cave Musings snippet:

Precognitive drawing: porcupines, caves and nonlinear time

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Join us in discussion with Les Brown of Cave Rescue, for musings on precognitive drawing and the momentum of a project. Also not be be missed: discussion of a porcupine in a cave and nonlinear time. (Play audio file below.)

See our previous post and related images similar topics here.

 

Wild dreams and stories Claire and Anna’s Skype snippet audio

Just 4,000 miles of ocean, desert and  rolling hills lie between us, so at the mo’ a lot of our collaborative dreaming happens over Skype. In the new year we’ll be using  google docs to storyboard our 3 new Radio Dreaming Episodes, then we’ll be using dropbox to share our audio files and texts to create our pieces for broadcast on local community radio.

Its 3.30 pm in Compton, Devon and Claire is still crunching toast in her  off-grid earthship home in Questa New Mexico, when I decide to record our  Skype conversation.

So listen in to us discussing dreams, stories and other DREAMING PLACE things.

Whistle for a White Christmas

Listen to the McConnel brothers playing whistle at the Beleek Fleadh at MAC Geopark and dream of a White Christmas.

Learning from “The Puzzler”

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Exploring methods of slow travel and off-gridding are important elements of our Place-Dreamer toolkit. During our DREAMING PLACE residency at Marble Arch Caves, we were fortunate to happen across a couple of experienced slow travel and off-gridding experts on “The Puzzler” – Andy, Sally and Catkin Rawnsley, who we already introduced to you on our blog here and here. (You can learn even more about them and their slow travels here.)

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“The Puzzler” is a bespoke narrowboat outfitted beautifully, as pictured below, for comfortable living and traveling on waterways. With plans on the horizon for our own Dreaming Place bespoke travel vehicle (more to come on that soon!), we are re-examining our interviews with Andy and Sally with great interest.

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Using space creatively and effectively is one of the most important (and most fun!) aspects of kitting out a mobile vehicle such as The Puzzler. We asked Sally and Andy what their favorite piece of kit was and this is what they told us this:

As they showed us how each step of their little staircare holds a handy storage compartment. Genius!
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Prehistoric technology report – Crom Estate

As you can see we’ve had technology on the mind since our recent presentation in the “Matter of Technology” panel at the ISEA2012 Albuquerque Machine Wilderness symposium. We’ve been mulling over the fact that our arts practice is very much about different kinds of technologies both contemporary and prehistoric, as is DREAMING PLACE. Check out other posts recent posts on this topic  here and here.

One of the things we find so fascinating, as inhabitants of what many would call  “the technological era,” is that every era has been technological in its own way. According to Wikipedia:

Technology is the making, modification, usage, and knowledge of toolsmachines, techniques, craftssystems, methods of organization, in order to solve a problem, improve a preexisting solution to a problem, achieve a goal or perform a specific function. It can also refer to the collection of such tools, machinery, modifications, arrangements and procedures. Technologies significantly affect human as well as other animal species’ ability to control and adapt to their natural environments.”

Listen in to our prehistoric technology report from the Crom Estate below:

Radio interviews

Lucinda interviews Anna on Soundart 102.5 Fm an Art and Community Radio station about Radio Dreaming and her collaboration with Claire Coté. Sound Art radio broadcasts from Dartington, Devon  and is associate member of RADIA fm.

Anna Keleher + fiddle music by Susan Hughes on Amelia’s Culture show, Riviera Fm, a community radio station livestreaming in English Riviera Geopark, Torbay, Devon .Amelia’s culture show Riviera FM interview 11.10.12 copy

The lure of radio

Radio as a means of dissemination is a sculpting force in our practice.

Radio broadcasts and live streaming by radio stations  have become a primary medium for sharing our work with local and international audiences. (Soundartradio and Riviera Radio in Devon, Radia fm 24 countries, KRZA in New Mexico and Colorado,  Cavan Community radio in Éire) We have two projects in which radio broadcasts are the primary result.

Our Travelling Residency by van and ferryboat to Finland and back in 2008 resulted in the illustrated radio journey “How Far From Home Are We?”

Our  latest piece is Radio Dreaming.

Listen to Radio Dreaming Episode 1. Dreams, food and the edible landscape Thursday 11th October.If you’re in the Torbay area tune in on 106.2 FM to Riviera Radio or streaming online at http://www.riviera.fm/

Or you can always listen in to Radio Dreaming at www.dreamingplace.eu/radio

Our practice and projects all have audio elements, in combination with live events.

We combine exploration of ancient technologies with modern communication technologies in live – events and exhibitions. Multi-sensory experiences are one of the main goals for participatory outcomes of our projects.And this often requires modern technologies as well as “traditional” ones.

Eating Time, Taming Food was a project that looked at prehistoric food technology.
The project culmination was a sort of archaeological treasure hunt and “Bronze Age Tea Party” followed by a lab session and film viewing.
Approaching an Exchange is a multi-layered project embodying an intercultural, inter-temporal “exchange” with the original inhabitants of prehistoric archeological sites. We ask participants, “If you could bring an object or an idea to share with the original inhabitants of a Bronze Age hut circle, what would you bring?”

“Butter Walk – Harnessing the motion of our gait” explores human-powered technologies. This idea often resurfaces in our projects and installations. Harnessing existing motion is something that really engages us, something we are continually exploring in our work.
In our gallery installations we enjoy combining older technologies with newer ones.
Technologies have also become to protagonists in our projects. This sculptural unit that we created has taken on a sort of personality as it travels from site to site……it has little hooves… and it leaves tracks.
If you’d like to … Albuquerque This is the piece that we have here in ABQ for ISEA at 516 Arts. So if you have a chance, go check it out or join Claire at the block party on Sunday as she takes the unit on a walkabout outside the gallery. Our “If you’d like to…. Albuquerque” video short allows our “perambulatory pet” to find its voice and directly speak to audiences.

We certainly don’t have the skill sets at this point to develop the instant star-trek-like transporter technology that we so wish for at times or the ability to create the solar, wind, gravity and human powered mobile studios for land and sea that we’ve discussed. But imagining and manifesting “collections of techniques in which resources are combined to produce desired products, to solve problems, fulfill needs, or satisfy wants” (Technology definition – Wikepedia) is well within our reach and its what keeps us making ART.

Our DREAMING PLACE project (Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark in Éire and Northern Ireland), engages us in creating a kind of novel “technology” – DREAMING PLACE TECHNOLOGY, including different methods to “dream ourselves and others into place”

Listen to RADIO DREAMING Episode 1 here

Our projects  challenge us all to keep our definitions of technology broad, to cast our creative nets wide and to consider how we can each invent our own technologies in our own lives and home places.

High low ancient contemporary kind unkind

Technology is very much a part of Dreaming Place; the high tech kind, the low tech kind, the ancient kind, the contemporary kind, the kind kind and the unkind kind. Our international collaboration is shaped by the technologies of the past, future and present. So w’e’re delighted to have been invited by Anita McKeown of SMARTlab to contribute to

“The Matter of Technology”- presentation and panel discussion at ISEA12 on Friday September 21st 1:15 – 2:30 at the ABQ Hotel, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

SMARTlab as Claire says “does some really cool stuff”. So together we’ve put together a 15mins power point presentation in which Claire speaks live and I speak via mp3 audio.

The communications technology we habitually use as we work together in our respective rural home places in Devon and New Mexico solve the BIG problem of time and distance. We use Skype for live chats and conversations, dropbox for file sharing and google docs for scripts, idea development, feedback and schedules. Technology enables our project outcomes to travel out to you in your own homes and workplaces wherever you are in the world. (blog hits from 66 Nations in last 90 days) via Radia FM live-streaming, local community radio, our blogsites and website. 

But though technology is the solution to some of the BIG challenges many of us face, often our present-day technologies disconnect us from our environments and sometimes even from our own bodies!

While these technologies protect our bank accounts and the environment from frequent plane rides to and from each other’s home places, too much “screen time”  gives us “square eyes” and makes us feel pretty lousy.

And as Anita flags up in her own presentation online devices and storage systems have a carbon footprint all of their own and are dependent on non-renewable rare earth minerals.

So we are constantly working on how to balance lifestyle with the goals of our arts practice and the screen time required to share our work with diverse audiences. Really absolutely  nothing replaces face to face contact. And our live events are irreplaceable as a potent means of sharing projects with participant audiences.

Some of our best ideas come while we are on the hoof interacting with people, places and things and experimenting to discover how the creativity of our prehistoric ancestors shapes our contemporary cultures.

To be continued….. in our ” The lure of radio” blog on 28th October

Dreaming Radio Broadcasts Across the Miles

collaboration what does it meanWhen we collaborate with each other in the field (as in the photo at left), we discuss our project face to face. However, this time of year is different. We are thousands of miles apart communicating via skype and sharing files to create Radio Dreaming Episodes. Dropbox and Google docs are our allies.

Here are are, working together, in our own home places, over 4, 000 miles apart, carefully timing our work sessions around the 7-hour time difference:

Below is a recording of one of our skype chats, or brainstorms. This one is about  stories. Anna is the one with the English accent and Claire with the New Mexico accent.

Poets and story telling Seanhaidhthe

Seamus O’hultachaín local expert and  “keeper of the Burren” writes poetry in the Irish Language, here he is interpreting a beautiful poem for us while we sit together on a glacial erratic at the Burren itself with a fine view of the Geopark spread out before us.

The seanchaidhthe “or traditional Irish storytellers reference has piqued our interest. So to give you a taste of the art of traditional Irish Storytelling do look at this archive Youtube clip of Seanchai (English spelling) Eamon Kelly and his”teaman” story of 1987.

Geopark director potholing interview

No.50 Dreaming Place data sheet drawing

Radiator Key Inheritance

“When I put that in my hand I can feel his hand.” Alan’s link with his ancestors is a bronze radiator key.  Which objects link you to your own ancestors?

This audio was recorded the day we invited a group of Fermanagh artists to share in “The Exchange” within the ruined compound of a bronze age roundhouse at GortamcConnell view point close to Marble Arch Caves.

The future in a lough, climate modelling

Bodies of water have been places of augury and insight since time immemorial but now there is a new twist to the tale and lough Nabrickboy is revealing qualities that predict the future. Martina from Marble Arch Caves Geopark explains ….

Who makes art?

A 40 day period of total immersion in tranquil Geopark landscapes allowed us to listen quietly to our thoughts . This one was recorded as it emerged into the dappled light.   If not us then who?

In which Anna and Claire discuss dreaming a bit more…

Do farmers dream about their land just as we do about our own houses? Discussing dreams by the lakeside we notice just how blurry the edges of  our project are.

Ancient technologies: humans + environment

We met an interesting man on our stroll around Money Cashel near the Burren,  here he is on ancient technologies and drawing. 

Campsite philosophers

What is truly valuable?

Canadians with European and Native northAmerican roots chat with us about homes outside our tents one morning at our lakeside campsite, Belcoo.

Radio Dreaming Episode 1 is here!


We are oh-so-pleased to share Radio Dreaming Episode 1 with you all! It is called “Dreams, Food and the Edible Landscape.”

Listen to the entire radio program here.

This first episode of our Radio Dreaming series will debut on air in the Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark on Cavan Community Radio 97.4 fm, today, Thursday 21st of June at 2:40 pm, GMT. Other broadcasts are also scheduled for this summer. If you can’t catch the program on air, we invite you to listen to the entire radio program here at our blog.

Our evolving broadcast schedule can be viewed here and the Radio Dreaming press release can be viewed here.

Many thanks to all the people, places, creatures and things at Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark for teaching us about DREAMING PLACE. And special thanks to those that contributed to this program and helped make it possible in a myriad of ways.

Please let us know of any radio stations that might be interested in broadcasting Radio Dreaming! More Radio Dreaming episodes are in the works so stay tuned….

We hope you enjoy listening and look forward to your feedback.

harnessing motion and seasonal energy

Here we are chatting on about  ideas for harnessing motion and seasonal energy.

Cottages Dreaming

This short audio segment conveys several layers of the DREAMING PLACE project with a cottage context. Click play button below to listen in:

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https://dreamingplaceproject.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/cottages-hold-memories.mp3%5D

I think of the sound the basic, functional bed springs would have made.

Was it a comfortable bed where who knows how many children were conceived and birthed?  Or was it hard, bumpy, damp, the itchy blankets taking ages to heat to a nice temperature warmed by the bodies and the fire.
 
The organic plant matter of thatch on the scalp of this cottage would have been the first to go. With its roof ripped off by the claws of relentless rain and drizzle and wind, the contents are then defenseless, wide open. They sit and wait.

Drip by drip, year by year, all the memories and worth and quality and goodness of the house erode and dissolve. “

Extract by Susan Hughes after a cycle ride to a tumble down house with her then boyfriend a Donnegall fiddler. The owner of the house would not let anyone take anything from it when his family had moved out many years before.

Chip van venue for traditional Irish music

Susan Hughes plays traditional Irish fiddle. We love her glorious music in a chip van story.

Here is Susan playing violin while we wash up. Enjoy!

Inside the belly of an ice-house – Crom Estate

Ice houses are to be found in the grounds of many of the old country estates in these Northern lands. Here is Claire at the Crom Estate in Northern Ireland inside the belly of an ice-house.

About Ice houses – Ice cut in winter was stored right through the year in stone icehouses across Europe supplying numerous big houses with fresh produce and keeping guests happy with novel sorbets, icecreams and crushed ice for cocktails and bumps or sprains got while out hunting the stag!

Today fridges are present in every kitchen – well almost. When I lived in Spain we didn’t have a fridge; we are vegetarians so it was easy. The micro-organisms in plain yogurt keep it fresh for weeks and the cool tiles and wooden shutters protected the veg from decay.

In the last century before the advent of the fridge, many families used cool boxes or chests packed with ice to keep meat and fish. The pantry or larder had marble shelves to keep dairy produce and cold meats fresh as long as possible. My mum tells me the cooling properties of her mother’s  larder were enhanced by covering the milk jug with a wet cloth. The milk was kept cool via evaporation. In Spain water kept in unglazed “porons ” keeps spring water fountain fresh even on the hottest days. When camping beers maybe kept cold by hanging them out of the window in wet socks! Or submerging them in the stream.

Margaret Gallagher, of Mullylusty cottage just outside Boho in the Marble Arch Caves Geopark lives off grid all year round. She tells us that a wheelie bin makes a wonderful off grid fridge which keeps hungry animals out in winter-time. But can the wheelie bin be as effective as a giant crock? Kept wet a ceramic jar will keep milk and other foods fresh in hot climates again by evaporation. Buried underground it could be used to store root vegetables like potatoes and turnips.

Margaret tells us how her family used an ordinary chest to preserve meat. After the pig had been butchered the pieces were packed into a wooden chest with salt and buried in a surprising place. The place of choice at Mullylusty and other cottages was usually the dung heap or midden . We didn’t ask Margaret why this was so, but archaeological evidence reveals middens as natural insulators, valued for their properties of conservation. Evidence from Skara Brae in Orkney shows the homes were actually built inside an enormous midden!

BOG BUTTER – Not sure if all of  you know this but past peoples apparently buried butter in wooden kegs in bogs. But how far back in prehistory was it that the original peoples of Ireland first used bogs as fridges. Who first understood that bogs can preserve fats? Micro-organisms that cause food to go off can’t dwell inside a soggy shroud of bog turf as they need oxygen to survive, this is why a bog performs as a brilliant off grid-fridge. In Ireland much ancient bog butter has been found over the years and some of it is still edible, if a bit cheesy.

Bawnboy poorhouse audio blog

Our visit to the ruined poorhouse at Bawnboy in County Cavan was sobering and we had a lot of questions to ask of this austere building. The site is not open to the general public so our audio provides a glimpse. The hair on our arms stood up as we surveyed these broken buildings, their chimneys heavy with trees and windows blown.

Built to house 500 men, women and children and opened in 1852, the poorhouse  was on way of addressing the poverty and destitution brought on by the Irish potato famine.  The poorhouse was supposed to be grim, it was hoped that only ” the deserving poor” would seek its refuge, saving tax payers money. In order to keep costs down the governors even questioned the provision of supper to inmates! Families were cruelly segregated in an iron regime where  harsh punishments were metred out for such actions as simply speaking to passers by.  Only children were permitted to go out at all.

The building was later used by the community for a variety of purposes and some of it was even turned into private accommodation before finally reaching total dereliction. (Information sourced from: http://www.irishidentity.com/stories/bawnboyworkhouse.htm)

In Praise of the Geopark *Audio*

Ireland leaks people…. as well as rain. For 40 days and 40 nights we wandered the Geopark, listening to its many voices and as our van rattled away at the end of our trip, our eyes too began to leak.

Listen here to our praises for the Geopark and its cross-border homelands. (For those of you that are unfamiliar with the area, Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark is comprised of lands in both Éire and Northern Ireland.)

Curious about the bell and squeaks on this audio segment? The bell is a permanent resident in Anna’s van and the squeaks are the sound of shifting gears.

Romantic or premonitionary?

Listen here to our fears for the Geopark and decide for yourself – are our words romantic indulgence or premonition?

A very big and real threat now hangs over “our” Geopark and its beloved people, places and things. A license has been issued to the powerful mining company, Tamboran Resources, for the extraction of shale gas within the Geopark using the controversial process of “fracking.”

Far from Ireland Claire and I have been blogging away without doing anything until one day we realised that some of the most precious nature reserves are threatened along with the fresh water supply and clean air. We have written to Fermanagh Councillors with our concerns. Read our letter and the responses of individuals here –  Dear Anna and Claire.

We agree with Councilor, Barry Doherty, (Sinn Fein) for Erne West when he says “We have so much natural beauty above and below the ground in this part of the world that to even contemplate fracking this area is surprising if not down right crazy.”

We  join present inhabitants, organisations and councilors in demanding a moratorium on the license so that the Geopark vision keeps strong and the people, places and things of all Ireland remain vital and alive.

Find out more about fracking and the MAC Geopark here and how you can get involved here.