Trees A Crowd


Chris Watson (Part Two): If a podcast is recorded in a forest, and no one is around to hear it…

Season 1, Ep. 16

This is the second part of the conversation with Chris Watson, following on from the recordings made during the dawn chorus. Chris is a legendary sound recordist and president of the Wildlife Sound Recording Society. He’s worked on a whole host of documentaries, including David Attenborough’s Life of Birds, talks about the time in his band, Cabaret Voltaire, and how he has since collaborated with the likes of Bjork and beyond. His passion for music and nature are brought together as he guides us through these moments, including his attempt to capture, in 18 minutes, the 10,000-year journey of a piece of ice sliding down the side of a glacier, the sound of a cheetah purring, and the song of the blue whale.

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Dr Helen Pheby: Sculpture for sheep, and rhubarb trains; the place ‘Extraordinary’ can happen

Season 2, Ep. 7
Dr Helen Pheby is the head of curatorial programmes at Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Set in 500 acres of historic parkland, the park has provided a “gallery without walls” for artists such as Elisabeth Frink, Auguste Rodin, Giuseppe Penone, and local legends such as Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore. Helen has collaborated on projects in Iraqi Kurdistan, South Africa, India, and even Barnsley! Born in the so-called ‘rhubarb triangle’, Helen reminisces over “the rhubarb express”, a train which ran from her village in Yorkshire to London, and muses over how magical it was being able to see the contrast between rural and urban environments. In this insightful conversation, Helen explains how she believes creativity and art is a human right, how the YSP was visited by Henry VIII, and how another Henry, Henry Moore, believed it was the job of artists to show people the natural world and subsequently designed artwork for sheep. She explains how the Sculpture Park aims to be inclusive, free from the barriers of social standing, wealth and a gender imbalance that art is often associated with. Subsequently, the YSP is now home to brain-controlled helicopters, women on horseback steeplechasing through the landscapes of the First World War, and all of this second to the migratory routes of the Great Crested Newt. In her own words: “We are places the extraordinary can happen.” For more information on this podcast, including David's thoughts following this interview, head to: