Random ideas and observations from Rob Watson as he travels about and does mostly mundane and ordinary things. The anti-influencer!
Distraction Therapy 045 - YouTube Walking Tours Reviews
I’ve been watching walking tours on YouTube, which are videos posted to show what different towns and cities are like around the world. There’s a continual flow of new videos being posted all the time, some taken from live-stream events, and others shot as a specific tour. I started by visiting places that I have been, and places where I would like to go as we come out of lockdown. The restrictions on travel have given me a new appreciation for the art of wandering about a place to explore what it is like. Just walking and taking in the sights and the sounds. As the video cameras have become smaller, and the quality of the recordings have improved, it’s possible to watch these videos in hi-definition. The gimbals and the image stabilisation processing gives a much smoother flow to the walk that was possible only a few years ago.
I’ve included four soundwalks in this episode of the Distraction Therapy podcast to give a flavour of what is being captured and shared in these videos. Are they a new form of documentary? There is minimal narrative, few use voice-overs, many don’t use music. They do give a great sense of time and place, and I’m sure they will develop a set of generic characteristics that fit alongside other forms of slow media.
Virtual Explore: Night Walk Around Ikebukuro Tokyo – Japan Walking Tour 2021 https://youtu.be/3hsG1V5Jd20
Samuel Rex: Leicester Afterdark, Walking in Leicester on a Saturday Night https://youtu.be/ORM5b7i05RU
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Go Explore: Montpellier Summer Walking Nightlife Tour https://youtu.be/Hm7nDNWsA2U
Night Walk in Lisbon, Portugal walking tour https://youtu.be/jlLZCXc-sto
Music this week is:
Amor Fati – Washed Out – Within and Without
King’s Lead Hat – Brian Eno – Before and After Science
Saudade (feat. JP Enfant) [Ambient Mix] – Tom Trago – Saudade
I’m a Fool to Want You – M. Ward – Think of Spring
Cartoon People – Freddi Henchi – Tribal Rites
Black Teeth – Syml – Dim
Distraction Therapy 044 - Knit and Natter and Virtual Sound Walks
This week I went to an event celebrating the work of a women’s group who have been meeting over Zoom over the lockdown in Leicester. They learnt how to knit and crochet, as well as using Zoom and YouTube to share skills in fostering a network of friends. It was lovely to be able to share the atmosphere of the celebration. I’ve also been watching a lot of walking tours on YouTube, and while It’s not so easy to travel at the moment, I’ve been able to take virtual tours of places that I have never been and would like to visit in the future. The tours here are from Paris, Berlin and Bangkok.
Distraction Therapy 043 - Leicester the Home of King Lear
I went for a walk through Leicester to test a new gimble that I’ve bought, and I captured some audio in the process. It’s interesting taking the audio from the video, because its less obvious what’s being referred to.
Distraction Therapy 042 - Total Systems Change
This morning I went for a walk into Leicester City Centre, and recorded some thoughts reflecting on the need for total systems change that has been identified in the IPCC report about climate change. What does this mean for our towns, neighbourhoods and communities? How are we going to facilitate change positively? How can we ensure that the changes that we make are equitable, socially inclusive, and relevant to reducing the harm we are doing to our biosphere?
Distraction Therapy 041 - Leicester Builds Back Better
As part of the Leicester Stories project, we went out into Leicester City Centre to ask people what they know of the Build Back Better slogan. Roy and Ryan were able to record some fascinating comments that help to show the wide variety of opinions and experiences that people have of the whole idea of building back better.
Distraction Therapy 040 - Beth Piggott and LibertyUK Festival
Beth Piggott is a producer with ArtReach, who has been working on the Liberty UK festival that is taking place in Leicester. Taking place across July and August, Liberty UK Leicester offers three art trails in the city centre. As a collaboration with members of the local community, the festival tells local residents stories and explores issues such as isolation, freedom and identity. Through conversations and workshops, Liberty UK has been able to craft new stories that shape a new vision for a more inclusive and optimistic future providing, supporting a renewed sense of strength to move forward and meet challenges that are ahead as we deal with the effects of the pandemic.
A real mix of informed guests discussing the topics.... always engaging & entertaining.