Trees A Crowd


Bella Hardy: Singing in the Shadows of Mountains

Season 1, Ep. 10

In this episode, David speaks to award-winning folk musician Bella Hardy. A fiddle-singer and songwriter from Edale in the Peak District, she has performed at festivals worldwide and on the UK folk circuit since she was 13. In 2007, she released her debut solo album Night Visiting, for which she was nominated for the Horizon award at the BBC Folk Awards. She has since won at the Folk Awards for original song, for ‘The Herring Girl’ in 2012, and was named BBC Folk Singer of the year in 2014 – but most importantly, earlier this year, she composed the theme tune for this very podcast! David and Bella discuss how folk music has been redefined over the years, deviating from its once rural beginnings, and Bella reflects on her musical influences and inspirations from nature – from hiding in dens with fox cubs, to using “the joy of folk music” as merely a hyper-convoluted way to become branded as “Patron of the Bog”!

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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: