The Lumieres Podcast
Owen Shiers - Following A River
I first met Owen Shiers back in 2011 down in Devon where we were both on the same intake of The Journey, the flagship course run by Mac MacCartney and his team at Embercombe.
Since that time Owen has moved back to his native Wales and in 2019 he put out his first album, a musical project with a difference. ‘Dilyn Afon’ (or ‘Following A River’) is the result of three years research and work, collecting arranging and recording folk songs from Ceredigion. This a project which aims to put West Wales and its fragile traditions firmly back on the musical map.
It's an evocative, timeless work and I highly encourage everyone to seek it out.
The word ‘cynefin’ itself is swaddled in layers of meaning – a Welsh noun with no direct equivalent in English, its origins lie in a farming term used to describe the habitual tracks and trails worn by animals in hillsides. The word has since morphed and deepened to conjure a very personal sense of place, belonging and familiarity.
I spoke to Owen about his journey to making the record, what it means to be cultural conservationist, and how urgent it is that we stop standing by while our heritage slips slowly into extinction.
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7. Charlotte Pulver - An Alchemical Life01:42:21Charlotte Pulver is a modern-day alchemist and ceremonial facilitator, born into the Pulver lineage of apothecarians.She has a background in natural healthcare, studying and practising various systems of healing – including Tibetan Medicine – for more than twenty years. Her work is rooted in a love for making medicines, which she sells through ‘Pulver’s Apothecary’. She teaches intuitive herbalism and medicine-making and leads a variety of pilgrimages, ceremonies and workshops at auspicious times throughout the year.CONNECT WITH CHARLOTTECharlotte on InstagramCharlotte on FacebookCONNECT WITH JODYJody on InstagramLumieres on InstagramJody's WebsiteSUPPORTSupport the show on PatreonMUSICSix Organs of AdmittanceDrag City Records
6. Gwyn Edwards - Tales of The Tylwyth Teg01:04:34My guest today is Welsh folklorist Gwyn Edwards. I first met Gwyn in his native Snowdonia when he was a guest teacher on the Dadeni course. We walked out into the mountains and Gwyn told us tales of the Welsh fairy folk, the Tylwyth Teg, echoes from the past alive but very much in the here and now, connected to the land and the people of the area where these stories are still told and continue to evolve today.If you like stories, then you are in for a real treat, as Gwyn has one of the most comforting and grounding voices I know of. This episode was recorded as all these podcast episodes are, in person, in the room. I visited Gwyn at his house late last year, we caught up over tea, ate beans on toast and duly fed, settled in to record.Diolch Gwyn for making the time to speak with me and for carrying and spreading these stories.CONNECT WITH JODYJody on InstagramLumieres on InstagramJody's WebsiteSUPPORTSupport the show on PatreonMUSICSix Organs of AdmittanceDrag City Records
5. Stephen Hugh-Jones - Adventures In Anthropology01:21:31My guest today is anthropologist Dr. Stephen Hugh-Jones who is a life fellow of King's College, Cambridge.Along with his wife Christine, Stephen spent two years in the late 1960s living alongside a village of Yucuna Indians in the Colombian Amazon, learning about their language, their customs, cosmology and cultural traditions. They were even initiated into the tribe and given new names, forever connecting them to this community on the other side of the world.Stephen shares his journey into anthropology and his life-long research and support of the Yucuna people he became so close to. He also recounts in vivid detail the Yurupari initiation rite he undertook back then, which involved a hefty dose of Ayahuasca in the darkness, amongst many other things.This is an absolutely fascinating conversation for anyone interested in hearing first-hand how an indigenous culture with minimal western influence operates. You’ll even hear about the story of The Spirit Without An Anus!CONNECT WITH JODYJody on InstagramLumieres on InstagramJody's WebsiteSUPPORTSupport the show on PatreonMUSICSix Organs of AdmittanceDrag City Records
3. Justine Squire - Unmasking Endometriosis01:46:33If I said the word endometriosis to you, would you know what it meant? March is endometriosis awareness month, a debilitating and difficult-to-diagnoses disease that affects 1 in 10 women.In this episode, my wonderful friend Justine squire, who is a amazing circus artist and performer, goes deep into her own lifelong journey to her diagnosis and unmasks many of the myths around what this disease actually is and how it can be more widely understood and therefore treated.It takes courage to come on a podcast and speak about what is a very personal issue, and so I want to say a very special thank you to Justine for being up for this, and being such an exceedingly well-prepared, well-researched interviewee! She really drops the knowledge so be prepared to learn a lot - I know I did.EPISODE RESOURCESPain and Prejudice: A call to arms for women and their bodies by Gabriella Jacksonhttps://nancysnookendo.com/ - for information and advice on Endometriosis.https://insixteenyears.com/ - Endometriosis-focused podcast with a personal, humour-led touch.https://thebotanicclinic.com/about - Betty specialises in treating the disease with herbal & alternative medicine.CONNECT WITH JUSTINEJustine's WebsiteJustine on InstagramCONNECT WITH JODYJody on InstagramLumieres on InstagramJody's WebsiteSUPPORTSupport the show on PatreonMUSICSix Organs of AdmittanceDrag City Records
2. Eric Maddern - A Wild Man's Dreaming01:28:45This week’s guest is Eric Maddern. Eric is a storyteller, an author and the founder and steward of Cae Mabon, a magical eco-retreat and learning centre in Snowdonia, North Wales. They host all sorts of courses, ranging from singing and voice work, to clowning, herbalism, mythology, yoga, and natural building. It’s a place that is very dear to me having spent quite a lot of time there over the past few years.On this episode, I asked Eric to tell his own fascinating story, and weave it into the quite miraculous tale of how Cae Mabon came to be. He’s told it many times over the years, so I really appreciate him taking the time to revisit it for the podcast and for this audio time-capsule!Big thanks go to Eric for making time to speak with me. I must say, I find his rich voice to be a very soothing listen and I do hope you enjoy this episode.JodyCONNECT WITH ERICCae Mabon WebsiteCae Mabon InstagramCONNECT WITH JODYJody on InstagramLumieres on InstagramJody's WebsiteSUPPORTSupport the show on PatreonMUSICSix Organs of AdmittanceDrag City Records
1. Dani Tonks – The Body Knows01:41:46A little refresher if you are a new listener – I started this show back in January 2017 after realising I had a network of friends, friends-of-friends and various contacts doing weird and wonderful things in the world, and I wanted to celebrate them. I thought a good way to do this would be to go out to meet them and record interviews finding out how they got to where they are now, doing the unique work that they do, shining their light into the world, if you will. I only ever record in person, because I think it is just a whole other kind of energy when you are in a room with a person, as opposed to looking at them on a screen. So you can imagine the past couple of years have been a bit tricky!This year there is a new wave of energy carrying the show forward and I have a bunch of great conversations recorded and for this new season. You will meet storytellers, musicians, folklorists, farmers, anthropologists, ritualists, and artists, all at the intersection where creative expression, holistic health and grounded spirituality meet.To celebrate the very first of these new episodes I went down to Bristol to record this conversation with the force of nature that is Dani Tonks. Dani is a somatic coach and movement teacher, who runs a variety of body-focused classes, workshops and retreats, both online and in-person. Somatic work is very much about re-connecting us to the innate wisdom of the body, allowing it to guide us to what we need, as you will hear and experience in this very episode.I feel very privileged as this is Dani's first ever podcast. Thanks Dani for trusting me with your story and your journey. This is a powerful conversation and I do hope you all get something from it.I'll be back next week, but for now, please enjoy.JodyCONNECT WITH DANIDani's WebsiteDani on InstagramCONNECT WITH JODYJody on InstagramLumieres on InstagramJody's WebsiteSUPPORTSupport the show on PatreonMUSICSix Organs of AdmittanceDrag City Records
5. Chimera Release Special59:53Welcome back once again to the Lumieres Podcast! – Yes, somehow I’m still here and this is really happening, you are not dreaming… or maybe you are. Either way, today I have a very special episode of the Lumieres Podcast to share with you, because today is the day that my first book, Chimera, is released!Chimera: Living Through Leukaemia, A Memoir – to give it it’s full title – is the alchemical story of my teenage near-death initiation. Here's the blurb:Jody White’s eighteenth year of life filled his heart with young love – only to break him apart. Diagnosed with a rare form of Acute Leukaemia, he was given just two weeks to liveAfter a whirlwind of intensive treatment, and close to death, he dreamed his way into the care of a wizened cowboy, his own personal SWAT team, and a mysterious old crone who wanders the desert collecting wolf bones.Chimera is an alchemical dive into teenage illness, a near-death initiation framed by the innate, mythic stories that touch all our lives.I’m really proud and excited about this book. And I still can’t quite believe it’s actually out there starting it’s journey in the world.I decided to launch it with a crowdfunder. Over 100 backers raised around £5K to support the production of the first copies of the book, with 20% of that going to charity. This was a very special moment for me and I’m so thankful to all those who supported the project. If any of you are listening, once again, thankyou so very much.Because not only was there the pandemic to contend with, the latter half of 2021 also brought with it perhaps the most stressful six months in my personal life I think I’ve ever I’ve been through. Without going into too much detail, with all the challenge and emotional turmoil that was stirred up, there were days I wasn’t sure quite how I was going to move forward. Yet quite bizarrely, there was still an underlying sense that it was all part of the flow of my life, something to be ridden out, rather than raged against. Dedicating myself to finishing the book got me through.But this is a podcast Jody, I hear you ask? Yes, it is. And…. I have also been recording an audiobook version of Chimera for all of you who prefer to listen to your literature these days. Seems to be an ever-growing number of folks actually, myself included.Whilst that is a couple of months away from being done, as a very special book launch day treat, I thought I’d present the first two chapters exclusively here now for you lovely listeners. If you’re still with me after all this time off, then you are hardcore and I salute you to the absolute max.Stay safe out there,JodyCONNECT WITH JODYJody on InstagramLumieres on InstagramJody's WebsiteSUPPORTSupport the show on PatreonMUSICSix Organs of AdmittanceDrag City Records
4. Tchad Blake – Maestro of the Mix01:19:11Tchad Blake is an audio engineer and producer, primarily known for his creative, world-class mixing. His work on records by The Black Keys, Sheryl Crow and Suzanne Vega have won him several Grammy awards.The list of artists he has worked with is seriously impressive, from Peter Gabriel to Crowded House, Tom Waits, The Pretenders, Fiona Apple, Arctic Monkeys and many more.It just so happens that Tchad lives in the Welsh hills a short trip north, so when my friend Emanation put us in touch I was really excited to sit down and chat with an industry legend, putting a body and a face to a name I saw pop up on the back of my Pearl Jam and Joseph Arthur CDs growing up.Tchad is humble, gracious and a very funny guy, happy to share stories from his life in music. From the early days as an LA studio assistant, to forming a long-term partnership with producer Mitchell Froom, moving to the UK, working at Real World and settling down in Wales with his wife Jackie to raise their two boys.For those local to the Powys area, and for those interested, a shout out to the fantastic organisations Tchad mentions towards the end of our chat:Mid-Powys Youth TheatreThe Willow GlobeImpelo Dance CentreBig thanks to Tchad for making the time to talk with me. I hope you enjoy this conversation. Breathe deep and go well,JodyCONNECT WITH TCHADTchad on InstagramCONNECT WITH JODYJody on InstagramLumieres on InstagramJody's WebsiteSUPPORTSupport the show on Patreon.MUSICSix Organs of AdmittanceDrag City Records