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Life Rafts

Down the river, over the flood and out to sea with Winnie the Pooh, migrants, fire ants and caterpillars to the airs of Britten, Fanshawe, Baaba Maal, Armatrading and Boulanger.

Life Rafts can be made of anything – from an empty honey jar to a planet called Earth. Stowaways on rafts can have unexpected consequences. Rafters require common sense on board. Strictly Speaking. That said, Life Rafts are good for most things. A few bits and pieces of suitable strength and buoyancy properly lashed together will provide hours of splashy pleasure on a shallow pond or stream. Or, on the right current, get you across the Pacific. They can certainly make the difference between life and death – just ask a Fire Ant. Or Noah. Or yourself. With music from David Fanshawe, Baaba Maal, Joao Gilberto, Rachel Porter, Elena Kats-Chernin, Herbie Hancock and more.

With the voices of Alia Alzougbi and Shaun Mason.

READINGS:
Mary Coleridge - I Had a Boat
Thor Heyerdahl - The Kon-Tiki Expedition by Raft Across the South Seas
R M Ballantyne - Man on the Ocean: A Book about Boats and Ships
Michael Rosen - The Raft
Anne Carson - Short Talk on the Total Collection
Julian Barnes - A History of the World in 10½ Chapters
Ken Thompson - Where do Camels Belong by Ken Thompson
Alfred Russel Wallace - The Geographical Distribution of Animals
Rachel Rooney - Survival Advice from a Caterpillar
Robert Crawford - Crannog
Bert Hölldobler, Edward O. Wilson - The Ants
Dina Nayeri - The Ungrateful Refugee
Daniel Trilling - Lights in the Distance
A A Milne - Winnie the Pooh
Edward Lear - The Jumblies
Yann Martel - Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Emily Dickinson - “'Hope' is the Thing with Feathers’
Sir Ernest Shackleton - South!
Kathleen Jamie - The Blue Boat
Lola Ridge - Interim
Mark Twain - Huckleberry Finn
James Carter - Who Cares? (by permission of the poet and forthcoming in Weird, Wild and Wonderful by James Carter (Otter-Barry Books 2021)

Producer: Jacqueline Smith

1 hour, 14 minutes

Music Played

Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

  • 00:01

    David Fanshawe

    Journey to Easter Island

    Performer: Conche Horn/Guitar Link.
    • MERCURY 4261852.
    • Tr12.
  • 00:01

    Thor Heyerdahl, Norwegian adventurer and ethnographer

    Kon-Tiki Expedition - Across the Pacific by Raft - an anthropological experiment.

    • BBC Radio Archive - Broadcast in The Eyewitness, 01.12.48.
  • 00:01

    David Fanshawe

    The Singing Reef, Cook Islands

    Performer: N/A.
    • MERCURY 4261852.
    • Tr1.
  • Mary Coleridge

    I Had a Boat, read by Alia Alzougbi

  • Thor Heyerdahl

    Independence Day from ' The Kon-Tiki Expedition by Raft Across the South Seas', read by Shaun Mason

  • 00:04

    Rachel Portman

    Written in the Stars

    Performer: Ezio Pinza.
    • Columbia COL 476818 2.
    • Tr2.
  • 00:05

    Thor Heyerdahl on the Kon-Tiki Expedition 09 December 1952

    • BBC Radio Archive.
  • 00:06

    Herbie Hancock

    Maiden Voyage

    Performer: Herbie Hancock (piano), Freddie Hubbard (trumpet), George Coleman (tenor saxophone), Ron Carter (bass), Tony Williams (drums).
    • Blue Note CDP 7 46339 2.
    • Tr1.
  • R. M. Ballantyne

    First Rafts from ' Man on the Ocean: A Book about Boats and Ships', read by Alia Alzougbi

  • Michael Rosen

    The Raft, read by Shaun Mason

  • 00:16

    Lorre Wyatt

    Somos El Barco (We Are The Boat)

    Performer: Holly Near / Arlo Guthrie / Ronnie Gilbert / Pete Seeger (Harp).
    • Appleseed Recordings APR CD 1102.
    • CD2 Tr17.
  • Anne Carson

    Short Talk on the Total Collection, read by Alia Alzougbi

  • 00:19

    Benjamin Britten

    Noye, Noye, take thou thy company - Noye’s Fludde, All Aboard

    Performer: Donald Maxwell, Richard Pasco, Coull String Quartet, members of the Ednymion Ensemble, Alan Harwood (organ).
    • VIRGIN CLASSICS VC7911292.
    • Tr6.
  • 00:20

    Benjamin Britten

    Sir! Heare are lions, leapardes, in - Noye’s Fludde, All Aboard

    Performer: Donald Maxwell, Richard Pasco, Coull String Quartet, members of the Ednymion Ensemble, Alan Harwood (organ).
    • VIRGIN CLASSICS VC7911292.
    • Tr7.
  • by Julian Barnes

    Selection of the Animals from 'A History of the World in 10½ Chapters', read by Shaun Mason

  • 00:22

    Krunnfusz, Gordon/Traditional

    Ol' Ark's A Moverin

    Performer: Côr Meibion Trelawnyd.
    • Sain SCD 2012.
    • Tr7.
  • 00:24

    Elena Kats‐Chernin

    Blue Silence

    Performer: Acacia Quartet: Lisa Stewart (Violin), Myee Clohessy (Violin), Stefan Duwe (Viola), Anna Martin-Scrase (Cello).
    • VEXATIONS840 840-1202.
    • CD2 Tr4.
  • Ken Thompson

    Long-distance animal dispersal from 'Where do Camels Belong', read by Alia Alzougbi

  • Alfred Russel Wallace

    Vegetation Rafts from 'The Geographical Distribution of Animals', read by Shaun Mason

  • Rachel Rooney

    Survival Advice from a Caterpillar, read by Alia Alzougbi

  • 00:29

    Ildebrando Pizzetti

    De Profundis

    Performer: Westminster Cathedral Choir, James O’Donnell (Conductor).
    • BMG PUB 017.
    • Tr8.
  • Robert Crawford

    Crannog read by Shaun Mason

  • 00:32

    Cyril Francis Tawney

    Chicken on a Raft

    Performer: The Young Tradition.
    • Castle Music Ltd 72260.
    • Tr19.
  • 00:34

    Walter Tschinkel (Prof. Biology, Florida State Uni.) on the black imported fire ant in 1918 from Argentina and red (Solenopsis invicta) mid '30s

    Mark Carwardine investigates spread of red imported fire ant in US.

    • BBC Radio Archive - 'Nature’ 13.09.99.
  • 00:35

    Newton Ferreira De Mendonca, Antonio Carlos Jobim

    Samba De Uma Nota So (One Note Samba)

    Performer: João Gilberto.
    • Blue Note 7243 8 35283 2 5.
    • Tr13.
  • Bert Hölldobler and Edward O. Wilson

    Fire Ant Rafts from 'The Ants', read by Alia Alzougbi

  • Bert Hölldobler and Edward O. Wilson

    Fire Ant Rafts from 'The Ants', read by Alia Alzougbi

  • 00:37

    Benjamin Britten

    O Waly, Waly

    Performer: Dame Sarah Connolly.
    • CHANDOS CHAN 10691.
    • Tr1.
  • 00:40

    Lili Boulanger

    Du fond de l’abime (Psalm 130)

    Performer: J J Grunenwald, organ; Chorale Elisabeth Brasseur, Orchestre Lamourex; Igor Markevitch (Conductor).
    • EVEREST EVC9034.
    • Tr1.
  • Dina Nayeri

    One night’s journey from 'The Ungrateful Refugee', read by Alia Alzougbi

  • Daniel Trilling

    Another night’s journey from 'Lights in the Distance', read by Shaun Mason

  • 00:45

    Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger

    Exile’s Song

    Performer: Ewan MacColl.
    • Folkways Records FW 8732.
    • CD2 Tr8.
  • 00:46

    Baaba Maal

    Bouyel (The Boat)

    Performer: Baaba Maal.
    • Wrasse Records Wrass 093.
    • Tr5.
  • A. A. Milne

    The Escape from 'Winnie the Pooh', read by Alia Alzougbi

  • 00:51

    Träd

    Lord, Let Me in the Lifeboat

    Performer: Bunk Johnson-Sidney Bechet and their Orchestra.
    • JASMINE JAS CD 635.
    • Tr21.
  • Edward Lear

    The Jumblies (extract), read by Alia Alzougbi

  • Yann Martel

    Survival Manual from 'Life of Pi', read by Shaun Mason

  • 00:55

    Ezio Bosso

    Adagio "White Ocean" (Antarctic)

    Performer: Relja Lukic (cello), Orchestra Filarmonica '900 del teatro Regio di Torino; Ezio Bosso (Conductor).
    • SONY 88985425592.
    • Tr4.
  • Emily Dickinson

    'Hope' is the Thing with Feathers, read by Alia Alzougbi

  • Sir Ernest Shackleton

    On board the James Caird from 'South! - the story of Shackleton’s last expedition 1914–1917', read by Shaun Mason

  • 00:58

    Howard Goodall

    Shackleton’s Cross

    Performer: Howard Goodall.
    • Classic FM 4810108.
    • Tr5.
  • Kathleen Jamie

    The Blue Boat, read by Alia Alzougbi

  • 01:02

    Joan Armatrading

    Save Me

    Performer: Joan Armatrading.
    • A&M Records CDMID 104.
    • Tr5.
  • Lola Ridge

    Interim, read by Alia Alzougbi

  • 01:06

    Johann Strauss II

    Cool Runnings: The Blue Danube

    Orchestra: Vienna Philharmonic. Conductor: Herbert von Karajan.
    • Deutsche Grammophon 445773 2.
    • Tr7.
  • Mark Twain

    Star watching from 'Huckleberry Finn', read by Shaun Mason

  • James Carter

    Who Cares?, read by Alia Alzougbi - by permission of James Carter (from the forthcoming Weird, Wild and Wonderful - Otter-Barry Books, 2021)

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