Something Understood: Wild Swimming

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Something Understood: Wild Swimming

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Modificato: Gen 12, 2010, 9:27am

I just caught this programme on the BBC iPlayer and thought it was well worth listening to. Admittedly the subject is close to my heart (I've been dipping into Roger Deakin's wonderful Waterlog over the past few months):-

Something Understood: Wild Swimming (available on-line for 5 more days)

Writer Sarah Cuddon reflects on what draws people into the open sea and the wild water of rivers. She talks to Kate Rew, founder of the Outdoor Swimming Society, about the real experience and metaphorical significance of wild swimming, with reference to Byron, Mark Twain, Iris Murdoch and others writers 'hungry for water'. With music by Dvorak, Portico Quartet and Kathryn Williams.

Gen 14, 2010, 11:18am

Thank you, thank you for this suggestion. I wouldn't have ordinarily tuned into this programme. But what a combination of beautiful descriptions and gorgeous music. Loved it.

Gen 14, 2010, 11:39am

Golestanian, have you listened to Words and Music on BBC Radio 3? Could be right down your alley:

Antimuzak usually posts interesting broadcasts over at the BBC radio 3 group.

Gen 14, 2010, 5:39pm

I'm so hooked on Radio 4 and Radio 7 that I seem never to have time for Radio 3. But I will certainly try. You are right. Antimuzak posts wonderful summaries.

Modificato: Gen 14, 2010, 6:21pm

Radio 3's Drama on 3 has great radioplays . I'll be running out of disc space on my computer shortly ! ;-D

Gen 15, 2010, 8:37am

Glad to have been of service! I find Something Understood can be pretty hit and miss, but this particular programme resonated with me. If you liked it, allow me to recommend a couple of other Roger Deakin programmes available on the BBC:-

Cigarette On The Waveney

Roger Deakin glides quietly amongst the moorhens as he paddles his canoe, Cigarette, through the shallows of the River Waveney to discover the sounds of the river and its wildlife.

Canoeing the Waveney from one Suffolk mill to the next you enter another world, quiet except for the sounds of the river and its wildlife.

Cigarette on the Waveney combines a personal narration by writer and conservationist Roger Deakin, recorded during the journey over several days and nights, with an evocative soundscape of the River Waveney and its changing moods.

Roger's journey takes him from the river's source at Redgrave Fen in Suffolk to Geldeston Lock in Norfolk.

The Waveney is a secret, reclusive river that forms the boundary between Norfolk and Suffolk, and steeped in history; from the martyrdom of St Edmund at Hoxne to the stalking of the wily chub in the reeds of Medham Marshes.

Roger's transport is a canoe called Cigarette. It's named after the craft in which Robert Louis Stevenson voyaged through the waterways of Belgium and France in 1876.

Cigarette is a Canadian style canoe, long and broad, which moves silently and stealthily through the water.

It allows Roger to get close to the wildlife in the reeds and the shallows; the otters, moorhens, kingfishers, herons and an occasional hissing swan.

The soundscape captures the trickling of water beneath the streamlined canoe and the whisper of the wind in the reeds, to the sounds of night on the river bank and a well-earned pint at Geldeston Locks at the journey's end.

The Garden

Walnut Tree Farm is a 450 year old wooden farmhouse, buried under a blanket of ivy and wild honeysuckle in Suffolk.

The garden is reached by a stony track across a narrow moat from the village common. It's an untamed place; a slice of ancient Suffolk extending into four meadows, a small wood and a walnut tree after which the farm is named.

The garden is a clearing containing a moat; two ponds; a shepherd's hut; over a mile of tall, thick hedgerows; and four meadows of grasses and orchids which buzz and hum with the sounds of insects and birds through the year.

It's a wild place with its own special charm. Moorhen chicks "whisper to one another" in the shadows of overhanging trees as Roger swims through the cold, clear waters of the moat. Dragonflies land undaunted on the swimmer's head, whilst the clang of a metal breadbin lid heralds the arrival of the postman.

A lovingly restored shepherd's hut resting amongst the tall grasses provides a welcome retreat for Roger when he's not digging out docks from the hay field, scything nettles along the field edge, or dragging timber from the wood with help of an ancient, seed-cloaked tractor.

In this evocative soundscape, Roger presents an intimate and personal portrait of the changing character of his garden as the seasons unfold. There's the fiery crackle of an autumn bonfire as leaves "curl like question marks"; the gentle melt of snow into a winter moat; the orchestral sound of a dawn chorus in spring; the squeal of a dock being ripped from the earth; and the low, haunting drone of a organ pipe in the garden's H.Q.

Gen 15, 2010, 8:39am

I thought there was a further Deakin programme, and sure enough here it is:-

The House

As a tribute to writer and conservationist Roger Deakin who died recently, The House is a unique sound portrait of life in his timber-framed house in Suffolk.

Gen 15, 2010, 8:50am

Sound portraits...-now there is a thing. Right down my alley :-).
This week alone I recorded two programmes on "Soundscapes", one on Bristol (and Trip-Hop), one on Norway (both from German radio stations, though).

Gen 15, 2010, 9:48am

Thank you both.
I'm looking forward to the weekend and more happy listening.

Feb 5, 2010, 2:11pm

Neither swimming, nor R4, but there are five short Roger Deakin programmes here on Radio 7: . Enjoy!