Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Teller and the Tale featuring storyteller and author David Campbell

This week on The Teller and the Tale I feature Scottish storyteller and author David Campbell.

David is one of Scotland's premier storytellers and certainly one of its most respected elders and tradition bearers. Raised in the north-east of Scotland, he was immersed in the rich multi-lingual cultural that included the Scots language, English, and the Doric tongue. He first acquired his love of story and song from the men and women of the Traveller tradition and would later befriend the great Traveller storyteller Duncan Williamson, of whom David has written a two-volume account.

Anyone who has had the pleasure of hearing David in session, will appreciate that they are in the presence of a master storyteller, a word-weaver equally adept with Shakespeare or Dylan Thomas, as he is with the Scots poets like Hugh Macdiarmid, Norman McCaig, and Hamish Henderson. In fact, David had the privilege of learning from them. But perhaps his greatest teacher (and sidekick) was the aforementioned Duncan Williamson. When once asked why storytelling was so important, Williamson remarked, "Stories are oor education." David has not only been one of Duncan's greatest students, but a wonderful teacher in his own right who has shared stories and his vast experience with many other storytellers (yours truly included).

David, along with another master storyteller Donald Smith, helped to found the Scottish Storytelling Centre in Edinburgh, a centre which supports and develops the ancient art of storytelling across the land and sea. In his long career, David has been an author, poet, teacher, broadcaster, traveller, musician, and storyteller extraordinaire.

Join me on the Teller and the Tale beginning this Sunday morning for a half-hour in the company of David Campbell as he shares aspects of his life and career . . . and, of course, a story.

Watch a video of David Campbell at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YNSHDjE590M

You can also learn more about our guests at The Teller and the Tale web sitewww.thetellerandthetale.com.

Michael Williams
The Teller and the Tale

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Teller and the Tale with storyteller and herbalist Amanda Edmiston

Due to a mix-up on times last week, I'm repeating this show again starting Sunday 22 March at 7am (Canada/US) and 11am (UK/Ireland). Repeated on Tuesday at 8pm (Canada/US) and 12midnight (UK/Ireland) and Thursday 4pm (Canada/US) and 8pm (UK/Ireland). North American times are EST and British times are GMT. Check www.bluesandrootsradio.com for times in your part of the world.

This week on The Teller and the Tale, I'm joined by Scottish storyteller Amanda Edmiston.

Born in Aberdeen, Amanda's has travelled and lived in different parts of the UK before coming to Glasgow as a single mother to study herbalism. It was around this time that she also took up storytelling, no surprise given that she grew up in a storytelling household (Amanda's mother is storyteller Jean Edmiston).

However, before she began her life as a storyteller, Amanda spent time studying Native American art and culture in America, an influence which also finds its way into her stories. She also studied human rights law and ashtanga yoga, a practice which still informs and inspires her work.

Recently, Amanda has been working with the "Living Voices" programme, sharing poems, stories, and songs with the elderly in a highly participative project. She's also at home in the classroom telling stories with children and young people, inviting them into the ancient world of herbal and botanic folklore demonstrating the importance of our relationship with the natural world.

In addition to her solo work, Amanda frequently collaborates with other artists and musicians exploring local history, people, plants, and the important life-giving connections between them all. Learn more about Amanda's work at http://www.botanicafabula.co.uk/About-Us.html.

One of those works is Atropa Nights, a collaboration with musician Louise Cairns. In it, Amanda tells tales of dangerous plants, wilful women, and the men that loved them. One reviewer has written,

“I was incredibly impressed by Amanda's storytelling. I found her performance gripping. Her incredibly theatrical physical presence, combined with her the deep voice, she drew her audience through a series of tangled and entwined triptych of tales, involving and enthralling her audiences in equal measures whilst creating characters that bring a smile with humorous asides and observations that keep her voyeurs hanging on her every word and transfixed with her every gesture.”

Amanda will be taking the show to the Logan Botanic Garden, near Port Logan in Dumfriesshire, in May 2015 so check her website--Botanica Fabula-- for dates and times.

Join me as I catch up with Amanda in her home near Stirling to chat about her life and storytelling and learn more about her passion for herbal and botanic folklore and story. It all starts off on Sunday 15 March at 7am EST (Canada/US) and 11am GMT (UK/Ireland) only on Blues and Roots Radio (www.bluesandrootsradio.com). Check the Blues and Roots Radio website for details of times in your area.

You can also learn more about our guests and listen to other shows at The Teller and the Tale web site www.thetellerandthetale.com.

Michael Williams
The Teller and the Tale