Episode 1: Ear to the Ground
Climate Frequencies is a new series of the BALTIC Podcast that listens to the climate emergency and its reverberations through the ears of artists, thinkers and activists.
The series begins deep in the molten core of the earth, tunnelling through the rock formations under our feet before burrowing up to the soil and land, through forests, and out to the oceans ascending to our final episode into the air we breathe.
In this episode, musician and artist Natalie Sharp heads deep into the bowels of the earth to listen to the rocks and minerals forged in the substrata. She asks how they might influence our idea of time, how we think about our past, present and future, and if they even have the potential to heal us.
Sound artist and musician Kelly Jane Jones reflects on our connection to the natural world through the sound resonance of rocks. Author of Notes From Deep Time, Helen Gordon discusses how geology allows us to step back into our planet’s history to draw lessons on how we might approach the changes in climate. Architects Miriam Hillawi Abraham and Nasra Abdullahi share their time-travelling short story from the perspective of the rock formations in the east African rift.
Presented by Natalie Sharp. Produced and sound designed by Femi Oriogun-Williams and exec produced by Alannah Chance for Reduced Listening.
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Guests in order of appearance
Natalie Sharp is an octopus janitor of art and music and a key figure in what the Quietus calls ‘New Weird Britain’. Practising 360 degree, multi-sensory, Gesamtkunstwerk approach to live musical performance art. Lone Taxidermist is the utterly bizarre and otherworldly ruptured activity generated by Cumbrian musician, costume maker, skin decorator, performer and natural provocateur Natalie Sharp. Her performances manifest icons and deities drawn from the strangest corners of the (Post-)Internet, with sensorial acts of gender distortion, food porn and squelchy mass ritual. Sharp effortlessly blends ‘instruments’ which come to hand – whether that be songwriting, multi-instrumentalism or mastery of non-standard instruments like musical saw and theremin, stagecraft, costumes, graphic art, video making, face paint, vocal technique, remixing and DJing.
Kelly Jayne Jones is a Manchester based artist making work that combines performance, installation and sound. She is mostly self taught and began working in DIY experimental noise music and her practice has expanded to include dance, gesture, sonic drawings, stone sculpture and film scores. She is interested in creating a multi-sensory experience that creates possible conditions for communication and exchange. Creating contemporary zones bordering quantum fictions, where communion may have the potential to explore our inner dimensions. KJJ has collaborations with Hannah Ellul (White Death), Greta Buitkute (Clout then Grappling), Dan Valentine from Rainer Veil and Haris Epaminonda. She has performed across Europe in DIY venues and has been commissioned for works with projects at dOCUMENTA13, Tate Modern, ICA London and CCA Glasgow, Le Plateau Paris, Borealis Festival & Kunsthalle Bergen Norway, Tectonics contemporary music festival, Hangar Bicocca gallery Milan, Sheffield Site Gallery, the Whitworth Manchester and hcmf//2019. In 2019 she had a collaborative work with Haris Epaminonda, Chimera, shown at 58th Venice Biennale 2019, Haris won the Silver Lion for best young participant for this film. In Nov 2020 KJJ was nominated for Tetley Jerwood solo exhibition.
Helen Gordon’s books include Notes from Deep Time (Profile), a work of nature and science writing that has been translated into six languages, and Landfall (Penguin), a novel. A former Granta magazine editor, she currently teaches creative writing at the University of Hertfordshire. She has written for, among other places, The Economist’s 1843 magazine, the Guardian and Wired. She lives in south London.
Miriam Hillawi Abraham is a multi-disciplinary designer from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. With a background in Architecture, she works with digital media and spatial design to interrogate themes of equitable futurism and intersectionality. She holds an MFA in Interaction Design from the California College of the Arts and a BArch in Architecture from the Glasgow School of Art. She is a CCA-Mellon researcher for the Digital Now multidisciplinary project, a fellow of Gray Area’s Zachary Watson Education Fund and a Graham Foundation 2020 grantee.
Nasra Abdullahi is a designer, writer and editor based in London. She is currently a junior writer at Wallpaper* magazine, the 2021 guest editor of The Avery Review and a member of the second cohort of New Architecture Writers. A student at the Bartlett School of Architecture, she is interested in ways we can seek equitable futures through material cultures away from projected architectural and urban desires. Seeking a multiplicity in spatial practice, she is interested in what modern architectural technology can look like when innovated and reappropriated through and in relation with various knowledge systems. Currently her work is centred around exploring the possibilities of using analytical tools from black and indigenous radical traditions to inform us about design and technological practices towards liberation.