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The Listeners (Series 3, Ep 3)

Musician, Dame Evelyn Glennie, Poet Katrina Porteus and Quaker Hermione Legg reveal how there’s more to listening than hearing.

A Musician, a Poet and a Quaker share their listening experiences; discuss the difference between hearing and listening and reveal how listening is more than just an aural experience; it’s something much deeper motivating their work and their lives. The musician is Dame Evelyn Glennie, whose vision is to teach the world to listen by encouraging everyone to discover new ways of listening. As a result of hearing problems when she was a child, Evelyn learned to ‘feel ‘ sounds, not just hear them. Using different instruments she demonstrates how sounds and reverberations can affect us; emotionally and physically. Katrina Porteus’s earliest memory is the sound of a blackbird singing whilst she was in her pram. Since then listening has had a huge influence on her work as a poet; much of her work is about the fishing communities and landscape of County Durham and Northumberland. Like Evelyn, Katrina feels sounds; they are “the heartbeat of a place”. On the written page, there is silence between the words of a poem. “If we get it right we can find silence where we can really listen” says Hermione Legg, who has been a Quaker since she was child and regularly attends meetings which are opportunities for a community to come together in worship. There is no creed and much of the meeting is silent. The silence offers an opportunity to listen. Listening is also about communication. “If I’m listened to, I feel I have worth” says Hermione “Why speak if no one’s going to listen … Life would have no meaning without us listening.” Producer Sarah Blunt.

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28 minutes

Podcast