Since November 2019 Jenny has been recording a new podcast series
The Living Mountain Conversations. Jenny chats with artists, writers and ecologists about the mountains and how wild places inspire their work. Conversations span topics from rewilding the highlands of Scotland to feminism in the 1940s, and everything in-between. You can listen below...
Musician and artist Jenny Sturgeon gives a brief introduction to The Living Mountain Conversations podcast, the idea behind it and what to expect in the coming episodes.
In this opening episode Jenny chats with Nan Shepherd’s literary executor and close family friend Erlend Clouston. Jenny and Erlend chat about his family’s relationship with Nan, Nan as a mountaineer, the increasing popularity of her work, and the relevance of ‘The Living Mountain’ today. Written during the Second World War and first published in 1977 The Living Mountain was described in the Guardian as "The finest book ever written on nature and landscape in Britain.”
Jenny meets up with filmmaker and curator Shona Thomson (www.akindofseeing.co.uk) at Lyth Arts Centre in Caithness. Jenny and Shona work together on audio-visual performance ‘The Living Mountain’, inspired by Nan Shepherd’s book and the Cairngorm mountain range. Here, they chat about Shona’s work curating archive film, Scotland’s Moving Image Archive, the history of film, women in film and creating content to enhance audience experience.
In this episode Jenny meets up with guitar maker Rory Dowling (www.taranguitars.co.uk). They discuss how Taran Guitars came into being, the process of building bespoke guitars, working to a musician’s brief, what the Cairngorm’s means to Rory and the making of the ‘Nan Taran’ - a guitar Rory and apprentice Zachie made for Jenny’s The Living Mountain music project from reclaimed Scottish materials.
Jenny chats with Nan Shepherd biographer Charlotte Peacock (https:/charlottepeacock.co.uk). They discuss the process of researching and writing a biography, the Scottish Renaissance, feminism in the early 20th Century and Charlotte’s insight in to Nan’s working and walking life.
In this episode Jenny chats with Doug Gilbert, operations manager at rewilding charity Trees for Life. Doug is based in the Highlands of Scotland at Dundreggan and manages the native tree nursery and planting sites. They chat about the various strands of Trees for Life, how the charity began and its plans for the future (https://treesforlife.org.uk).
Jenny chats with ceramicist, community worker and activist Nicky Bolland about her connection to the outdoors and how wild places influence her work. They discuss nature as a source of inspiration, making time for creativity alongside working another job, Nicky's experience working with people seeking asylum in Scotland, the creativity and constraints of being a carer for Nicky’s 4 year old daughter, Iris, and how that relationship influences her creative practice.
In this episode Jenny chats with artist Kyle Noble about his creative process, his connection to the Cairngorms and how it informs his work - which ranges from large scale paintings to detailed mark making on animal skulls (http://www.kylenoble.com). Kyle’s works offer an alternative meditation on the Scottish landscape, influenced by the ancient landscape of Aberdeenshire, a passion for rewilding the Scottish wilderness and the Chinese Landscape Painting traditions.
Jenny chats with dancer, choreographer and producer Simone Kenyon
(http://www.intothemountain.co.uk). They talk about Simone’s career in dance, her working practice which includes walking arts and links between dance and the environment, site specific projects, Simone’s recent project ‘Into The Mountain’ inspired by Nan Shepherd’s book The Living Mountain and women in the mountains.
In this episode Jenny meets up with photographer and filmmaker Robyn Spice (www.robynspicemedia.com) at Lyth Arts Centre in Caithness. They chat about Robyn’s experiences working in the outdoors, story lead film making, the mental health benefits of spending time outside, pros and cons of technology and making time for the things you enjoy.