The Living Mountain Conversations

The Living Mountain Conversations

Living Mountain Conversations - black and white Jenny Sturgeon, Lochnagar.
Image: Shona Thompson

Since November of last year, Scottish musician and artist, Jenny Sturgeon, has been in conversation with artists, writers and ecologists about Nan Shepherd’s The Living Mountain.

The result is The Living Mountain Conversations, a series of podcasts now available on iTunes and Spotify.

Listen in each week as Jenny chats with her guests about Nan Shepherd and how her work, The Living Mountain, has inspired theirs.

Talking about The Living Mountain

The line-up includes:

And me…

The Living Mountain Conversations with Charlotte Peacock

I was honoured to be asked by Jenny back in April to blether about Nan Shepherd for The Living Mountain Conversations. With Jenny locked down in Shetland and me in Suffolk, it had to be over skype, but blether, we did.

And in Episode 4 you can hear us talking about the process of researching and writing a biography, the Scottish literary renaissance, feminism in the early 20th Century and Nan’s working and walking life.

You can catch up on The Living Mountain Conversations podcasts here.

The Living Mountain album

The Living Mountain album by Jenny Sturgeon. Image
Image: Hudson Records

Jenny Sturgeon’s own work has been influenced by Shepherd’s. And her podcast series coincides with the launch of her second, solo album, The Living Mountain.

Inspired by Nan Shepherd’s book, it explores human connections with the wild as well as Aberdeenshire-raised Jenny’s own experiences of walking in the Cairngorms. It also delves deep into Shepherd’s own philosophy of Being.

Sturgeon’s lyrics express love, loss and wonder at the natural world. From its minute mosses and moths to the wider landscape and ecosystem. Each of the twelve tracks echoes the chapter titles of Shepherd’s book:

  • The Plateau
  • The Recesses
  • The Group
  • Water
  • Frost and Snow
  • Air and Light
  • The Plants
  • Birds, Animals, Insects
  • Man
  • Sleep
  • The Senses
  • Being

Described as a ‘heavenly homage to one of Scotland’s greatest outdoor writers’, Jenny Sturgeon’s album, The Living Mountain is out now.

And it is heavenly. But don’t take my word for it.

Here’s what Folking.com has to say about the album:

Sturgeon’s passion for this project shines through. A feast for the senses and as elevating as the mountains themselves, in The Living Mountain, Sturgeon has conjured a timeless album that takes you up close and personal to a tactile and sensory place where you can almost smell the heather, feel the roughness of the rocks and be awestruck by the Aurora.

The end result is an exquisite, spellbinding, life-affirming and totally immersive experience – piece by piece the image-rich songs weave together to form a living, breathing tapestry of the Cairngorms – a real tonic for our times.’

Here’s a taster:

Order the Living Mountain album

You can order The Living Mountain album from Hudson Records.

In addition, check out Huam. It’s the third collection of songs from Scottish trio, Salt House (Jenny Sturgeon, Lauren MacColl and Ewan MacPherson.)

Firelight’s my favourite. Well, it would be, wouldn’t it? It’s inspired by Nan Shepherd’s poem Fires, which you’ll find in In the Cairngorms.

Autumn’s here. And winter’s not far behind. Come ‘in from the cold-blown dark’ and listen to it by a ‘new-lit fire’.

Look out for The Living Mountain Project which Jenny will be touring alongside Shona Thompson in May & November 2021.

It’s an audio-visual performance which explores Nan Shepherd’s writing, the Cairngorms, what it means to connect with a landscape and find a sense of place.

For more on The Living Mountain project and Jenny Sturgeon’s work and collaborations, check out her website.

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The Living Mountain Conversations
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The Living Mountain Conversations
Description
In a new podcast series, The Living Mountain Conversations, Scottish singer/songwriter Jenny Sturgeon chats with artists, writers and ecologists about the mountains and how wild places inspire their work. Conversations span topics from re-wilding the Scottish highlands to feminism in the 1940s, and everything in-between.
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