15 Sep 2018

Stories of the night: Nocturne

From The Podcast Hour, 12:35 pm on 15 September 2018
Nocturne logo (Supplied)

Nocturne logo (Supplied) Photo: Supplied/Robin Galante

A nocturne is a piece of music that's inspired by, or which evokes, the night. It's also the name of a podcast I've been enjoying recently that was recommended by Drew Ackerman (or Dearest Scooter) of the unique podcast Sleep With Me who we had on the show a few weeks' back.

Nocturne is made by the independent American audio producer Vanessa Lowe, who's intrigued by how people and places change as day turns into night. As she says 'Do I truly know you if I only know the daytime you?' So here you'll find stories of shift workers and insomniacs, of night adventurers who love having the streets all to themselves, of dreams and sleep anxieties, and of couples who haven't shared a bedroom for years.

Vanessa Lowe of the Nocturne podcast

Vanessa Lowe of the Nocturne podcast Photo: Supplied

We play excerpts from a couple of stories I've enjoyed recently. 

'Blackfish' is all about a Cornish fisherman called Malcolm Saunders who does some of his best work at night, fishing off the coast of the south west of England.

Meanwhile, if you've ever stayed somewhere without power, or just turned off the lights at night so you can light a few candles and enjoy the way it makes the room look different, then you might appreciate 'Candle Hour'. It's the story of writer and journalist Julia Scott who was finding that technology use and 24/7 access to often negative news stories wasn't the best preparation for sleep. So she thought back to the power cuts and snow storms in her childhood decades before, and started a relaxing ritual before bed.

"At night, by candlelight, the world feels enduring, ancient and slow. To sit and stare at a candle is to drop through a portal to a time when firelight was the alpha and omega of our days." - Julia Scott