Inspiration and recommended listening
Under 10 minutes
Waters of Life - Earshot, ABC Radio National (length: 4:05). A short, beautiful, birds-eye view of one river (the Mitchell) and one tributary (the Dargo) in south east Australia, beginning at the coastal lakes at the river mouth and sweeping up into the high country. Includes some great snippets of field recording.
March Microadventure - A Foray Into the Woods - Allysse Riordan (length: 3:42). Join Queer Out Here editor Allysse on an overnight microadventure - from the busy road, through the gate into the woods, crunching the leaves underfoot, to a place where she can put the water on for a brew and listen to the birdsong . . . This piece tells a sound story with only one sentence of narration.
Accessibility in Outdoor Spaces with KJ & Helen - Fat Girls Hiking (length: 4:08). What makes an outdoor space accessible - or inaccessible? In this video, KJ and Helen discuss some answers to this question: the presence or absence of properly maintained paths for users of mobility aids, gender neutral or single-user bathrooms and the reactions of other people to queer people, people of colour and wheelchair users. Also featuring a cute dog.
Invertebrate Harmonics - Chris Watson (length: 6:26). Sound art in which field recordings of insects in the Borneo jungle are used to explore a rhythmical, musical drone. This was released on the SN Variations label as part of a collection inspired by the Italian composer Giacinto Scelsi.
Candis & Jay Go Hiking - Real Love & Fairytales (length: 7:58). A fun little video documenting one couple's walk up Kennesaw Mountain. We learn it’s important to get your hair looking good just in case the strenuous hike means you have to go to hospital and then you end up on the news. Could you take Queer Out Here listeners on a hill climb near you?
When I Heard at the Close of the Day - poem by Walt Whitman, read by Xe Sands (length: 2:01). A poem, by a queer poet, about the satisfaction and happiness to be gained simply by spending time in nature with a loved one.
Tour of the Trails at Piedmont Park - Mister Richardson (length: 9:06). This video documentary from the 1980s (now on YouTube) was produced by the America Music Show, Atlanta. It's pretty hilarious in places. Mister Richardson notes that the cruising area no longer exists, so it's also a cool bit of queer archive material.
This Canadian Group is Queering Skateboarding - Xtra (length: 2:31). A short video about the importance of finding an accepting space to try things out, the importance of representation, and the love of skating. We’d love to have your mini documentaries about any groups like this in your area!
As I Am Walking (I Am Becoming) - Jonathan (length: 2:12). Queer Out Here editor Jonathan creates a textured meditation on the way a person brings themselves into being through their interactions with the environments. Part poetry, part field recording, this is an example of what we mean when we say “sound art”. This piece was featured in Issue 01.
Into - Be (length: 6:12). One of four tracks on the album One, which is an interpretation of summertime in the UK through the movement and sound of bees. This was originally conceptualised as a live performance in which the activity of a beehive would trigger certain pre-recorded sounds (of beehives and improvised music), creating an evolving soundscape.
A Catalog of Nights - Nocturne Podcast episode (length: 24:56). A series of field recordings from around the world, documenting different nightscapes - from a thunderstorm in France to a hot night in Sydney, from frogs and canals in Italy to a camper van near bubbling geysers in New Zealand, to the weird in-between nighttime inside a plane. Experience a world of nights through your headphones and get inspired to collect your own atmospheric field recordings.
Street Harassment - Trans Specific Partnership Podcast (length: 11:34). In this podcast episode, hosts Joanna Cifredo and Rebecca Kling talk about their complicated relationship with street harassment. Not all interactions with outdoor spaces are positive, not all instances of street harassment are interpreted as negative. It’s interesting to hear about this issue from two thoughtful trans women.
Give Me Space Below My Feet - Between the Ears, BBC Radio 3 (length: 29:43). A wonderful mix of interview, poetry and binaural stereo field recordings, this immersive piece by Helen Mort traces memories and stories of Gwen Moffat's mountaineering life. Listen with headphones for full effect and be inspired to try a different approach to outdoors audio.
Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) 2019 - Week Two - Uphill Adventure (length: 14:22). Sarah and Jess are attempting a thru-hike of the PCT this year and uploading weekly diaries to YouTube. In this update they pass the amazing Eagle Rock and have an amusing encounter with some cows.
Walking with Delta Kay to the Sacred Women's Teatree Lake - Go Earthcare, Bay FM 99.9 (length 18:45) - Host Ros Elliott and Arakwal woman Delta Kay visit the sacred women's Tea Tree Lake. They discuss what this living place means to Bundjalung Arakwal people and why the sacred women’s site should be respected - not be visited, picnicked at or swum in by men, not “developed” or (as in the past) used for sand mining.
Soho LGBT Walking Tour - Clayton Littlewood (length: 13:14). A mini-documentary about the history - and particularly the surprisingly longstanding LGBTQIA+ history - of this area of London. The walking tour is (was?) run by Centered and includes some information about the area as well as the development of the tour itself.
Over 30 minutes
Walk to Connect - The Dirtbag Diaries (length: 39:46). Jonathon Stalls shares his experiences of walking across the USA. This story takes us from the disconnection and isolation Jonathon felt as a queer kid growing up in suburbs, where people’s main outdoors activity happened between their front door and their car door, to the connections he made moving at human speed, the fear and freedom he felt walking through the “edgeless embrace” of the desert. Hear more from Jonathon in Issue 03.
Queer Nature on Reclaiming Wild Safe Space - For the Wild podcast (length: 1:21:49). Pinar and So Sinopoulos-Lloyd of Queer Nature engage in a productive discussion with host Ayana Young about the ways in which humans interact with and are part of more-than- or other-than-human worlds. From the podcast page: So and Pinar “explore how tracking and trailing answer the call of our ancestral bodies and the land, what deep intimacy with the more than human world looks like, how place-based skills are tools of liberation, and how to heal community we cannot solely be in reciprocal relationships, we must be in accountable ones as well.”
Diversity on the Trail - Trail Correspondents, The Trek (length: 1:23:41). The Trek’s Trail Correspondents series follows a number of thru-hikers as they attempt to complete various long distance trails in the USA. In this episode, correspondents are asked to reflect on ‘diversity’ and trail culture. Sassafrass is the only openly queer reporter featured, but there are some interesting points raised by different folks here.
Queer Berlin Walking Tour - #FemGeniusesInBerlin (length 35:53). University students from the USA go on a queer walking tour of Berlin. There's an introduction and some clips from the tour - the first talking about historical figures, the second providing an outline of a contemporary space for queer and other marginalised people. This is followed by a discussion (there is a lot of background noise) reflecting on some of the ideas the tour deliberately and inadvertently brought up.
Is LGBTQ+ Travel Inherently Political? - Condé Nast Traveler (length: 53:02). There’s a lot of, “Would you go to [x] country?” and keeping the conversation lighthearted. But this panel discussion does touch on issues such as why and where queer people choose to travel, considerations of personal/political safety and who gets to travel across international borders and how. This might give you a jumping off point for your own discussions.
Podcasts and radio programmes
Off Track - "A radio show and podcast which combines the relaxing sounds of nature with awesome stories of wildlife and environmental science, all recorded in the outdoors." Currently hosted by Ann Jones, this show from Australia's ABC Radio National switches from the scientific minutiae of odd natural phenomena and weird creatures, to big picture social and environmental stories related to migration, land use and so on. It often features lovely field recordings and it's always a bit of a lucky dip - as Ann Jones says, "Join me next week - that's when I'll be taking you somewhere else."
Mountain - "A podcast about adventure." Mountain is produced and hosted by Christopher Sleight, veteran radio-type, who describes the podcast as "a crafted mix of interviews, sound and music, brought together to tell compelling and immersive stories." While episodes of Mountain are, unsurprisingly, all mountain themed, the content varies from stories about mountain rescues, cycle races or climbing trips, investigations of caves, music, history.
Out There - "Hosted by Willow Belden, the award-winning podcast captures the understanding, the strength, the inspiration, the healing that humans draw from spending time outside, to help you navigate life’s big questions and ease the anxieties of adulting today."
Paul Kirtley Podcast - Paul Kirtley is a professional bushcraft instructor, passionate about nature and wilderness travel. His podcast includes long conversations with people engaged in these fields.
Tough Girl Podcast - "Every episode of the Tough Girl Podcast is full of inspiring stories of women overcoming great challenges." Host Sarah Williams interviews an outdoorsy, sporty or adventuring woman every week. The interviews follow a fairly standard format discussing the interviewee's background, their adventures, how they train for and fund their challenges and so on.
Nancy - "Provocative stories and frank conversations about the LGBTQ experience today." Hosts/BFFs Kathy Tu and Tobin Low take us from the importance of queer role models to anti-trans politics in the USA mainstream, from a camp for queer women and enbies/non-binary identified folk to the intricacies of being queer and/or out at work.
Awaye! - A programme from ABC's Radio National, which "brings you diverse and vibrant Aboriginal arts and culture from across Australia and the best from Indigenous radio broadcasters around the world."
How to be a Girl - This podcast is produced by a mother of a trans daughter, about navigating life as a trans kid - and as the parent of a trans kid - in the USA.
The World According to Sound - "A 90 second audio show." Each episode consists primarily of a sound along with a small amount of informative voiceover. Sounds range from singing sand to hold music, notes made by blowing on leaves, water pipes and protests. Think of episodes as something a bit like audio snapshots of a places, times, people and objects.
Twenty Thousand Hertz Podcast - "The stories behind the world's most recognizable and interesting sounds." The sound a car door makes when closing can signify quality and luxury, noise pollution has physical and psychological effects on those who live with it, and it's pretty weird to find out that a voice acting gig you did six years ago means you're now the voice of Siri. Host Dallas Taylor is usually the guide through these professionally-produced stories.
Nocturne Podcast - "Peering into the dusty corners of the night." Host Vanessa Lowe and co-creator Kent Sparling describe Nocturne as "essay radio - a hybrid form of audio storytelling that blends elements of documentary, fiction and sound-art." The theme of the podcast is night; interpretation of the theme is varied, from short documentaries to interviews to collections of sounds.
Short Cuts - "Short documentaries and adventures in sound." This ongoing series of shorts, found sound, music and spoken word is hosted by comedian and activist Josie Long on BBC Radio 4. Episodes usually feature three or four pieces, loosely based around a theme or concept - time, borderlands, witness, copycat, the voice, anonymity - with linking bridges from Josie Long. Sometimes the links are more tenuous than others!
Flex Your Heart Radio - "A podcast about body positivity, fitness, feminism, recovery, taking risks, and crushing it at life." Hosted by Lacy J Davis - we used an excerpt from this podcast in Issue 01.
The Heart - "An audio project about intimacy and humanity." From joy to sorrow, The Heart explores humanity through the lens of love and intimacy. There is happiness, confusion, sadness and wonder, in episodes that range from around 5 to 45 minutes. With a rich sound design that integrates sound art, interviews and fiction, this podcast asks questions about who we are and how we love.