Curious minds select the most fascinating podcasts from around the world. Discover hand-piqd audio recommendations on your favorite topics.
Will Kherbek is the writer of the novels Ecology of Secrets (2013) and ULTRALIFE (2016), both published by Arcadia Missa. His Ph.D. was granted by the University of London in 2014. In 2018, the poetry collections 26 Ideologies for Aspiring Ideologists (If a Leaf Falls Press) and Everyday Luxuries (Arcadia Missa) were published. Kherbek is also the writer of the essay "Technofeudalism and the Tragedy of the Commons" (2016) which appeared in the debut issue of Doggerland's journal. The essay considers the role of information in the writing of the Nobel Prize winning economist, Elinor Ostrom, in relation to the concept of the "tragedy of the commons" as formulated by Garrett Hardin. He has written about high frequency trading and finance for the award-winning German language publication, BLOCK, and has consulted and appeared at events with the conveners of the Alternative School of Economics and Rabbits Road Institute in London. His art journalism has appeared widely in publications including Flash Art, Spike Magazine, MAP Magazine, Berlin Art Link, Rhizome.org, and others.
In addition to being one of the best British songwriters of her generation, Laura Marling embarked on a project as a podcaster between the recording of albums. Marling became interested in the role of women in the music industry and her podcast, Reversal of the Muse, consists of interviews with female musicians and performers, but also engineers and studio techs, even female guitar shop owners, to record and explore the ways women approach the creation of music and the culture around music – a culture that is often dismissive and disempowering.
This episode features a conversation with the musicians, Shura and Marika Hackman. The discussion ranges widely. Shura begins by speaking about the beginnings of her interest in music, and the difficulties she had in finding musicians to play with her. At a certain point, she says, she realised that she couldn't rely on other musicians to turn up and had to embrace the Do-It-Yourself approach. Marling poses the question of whether the DIY ethic is inherently feminine, and the discussion turns to the insecurities women are often made to feel in music studios. "If I make mistakes in private," Shura says, "it's OK."
Though the artists recall many sadly familiar instances of tyrannical behaviour by industry figures – not least Hackman's recounting of being forced to put her sea-punk blue hair into a beehive by stylists because the stylists felt it conveyed the "right" aesthetic for Hackman's music –, the most rewarding aspect of this episode of Marling's podcast, and of the series in general, is listening to musicians talk about the ways they relate to music. Shura speaks of having short, passionate "flings" with albums, and Marling theorises about an "athletic approach" to music versus an "intuitive approach" whereby, Hackman rejoins, growth comes through limitation, rather than despite it. But not all limits are so generative, and Marling's podcast does the critical work of exploring psychic, creative and structural limits.