Makers & Mystics is the podcast for the art-driven, spiritually adventurous seekers of truth and lovers of life.
S12 E10: The Adjacent Possible with Joshua Heath Scott
After accidentally fixing a broken guitar pedal in 2007, Joshua Heath Scott’s natural curiosity pulled him into the rabbit hole of electrical engineering and circuit design-- from this experience, his company, JHS Pedals was born.
Today, JHS pedals has become one of the most influential pedal companies in the world, preferred by recording artists such as Beck, John Mayer, Madison Cunningham and many others.
Josh’s YouTube series, The JHS Show, has garnered millions of views from audiences spanning the globe and often expands into documentaries on musical technology, invention and music history.
Aside from his guitar-related work, Josh is an accomplished published photographer who focuses on photographic essays of Midwestern America.
Much like his pedal company, Josh tells us he accidentally fell in love with photography, riding his bicycle throughout Kansas farmlands and documenting what he saw.
In today’s episode, recorded live at the Loom creative arts event, Josh talks about the curiosity that drives his creative work as well as ‘the adjacent possible,’ a term describing creative and innovative possibilities that grow as they are explored.
Following our theme of art and identity, Josh shares about finding reflections of ourselves in others and in the way we see the world around us.
Patrons of the podcast can enjoy an additional interview segment with Josh at patreon.com/makersandmystics
S12 E09: Heritage and Innovation with Qais Essar
Qais Essar is a contemporary Afghan composer, instrumentalist, and producer who channels his melodic designs through the rabab, a 2,500 year old instrument from Afghanistan. He has toured extensively, sharing his new genre of music nationally and internationally. He has contributed original music to feature film and television also, composing for 2021’s Oscar-nominated film, Three Songs for Benazir. In 2017, Qais was recruited by director Nora Twomey to compose an original song for her Oscar-nominated film, The Breadwinner (produced by Angelina Jolie). He earned a Canadian Screen Award for “Best Original Song” for his piece, The Crown Sleeps.
In this episode, Qais shares his deep connections to this ancient instrument and how the rebab has become an extension of his own voice.
Following our theme of Art & Identity, this conversation offers a beautiful perspective on how culture, tradition and innovation shape the people we become.
S12 E08: Chasing Rabbits with S.D. Smith
In today’s episode we’re going to hear from a young adult fiction writer whose creative work is fueled by the inspiration of family and who gains tremendous creative energy both from his children and by writing for children.
Our guest is S.D. Smith, the author of The Green Ember Series, a bestselling middle-grade adventure saga. The Green Ember has reached hundreds of thousands of readers and spent time as the number one bestselling audiobook in the world on Audible. Smith’s stories are captivating readers across the globe who are hungry for “new stories with an old soul.” Enthusiastic families can’t get enough of these tales.
In our conversation, S.D. (Sam) shares why family and community are important to him as a writer.
This conversation continues the season 12 theme of Art & Identity, offering a meditation on how family and community shape the people we become and the art we make.
We will be talking in greater detail about this relationship between art and family in the Makers and Mystics Creative Collective. If you’d love to go deeper with us in these conversations, I want to invite you to visit Patreon and sign up today.
And since this episode features the work of a children’s book writer, it seems appropriate to tell you here that starting the first Wednesday in October, our collective will begin reading through The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
S12 E07: Landscape of The Body with David Taylor
Today on the podcast, we are continuing our discussion of art and identity by taking a look at the vital role of our relationship to our bodies.
Why is it important that we honor and understand our bodies? Why is having a right relationship to our bodies imperative to the quest of art and knowing our true selves?
Joining us for this discussion is Professor of Theology and Culture at Fuller Theological Seminary, David O. Taylor.
David Taylor has long been a voice and an advocate for the arts within academia and faith contexts.
In 2016, he produced a short film on the Psalms with Bono and Eugene Peterson. His previous books include: Open and Unafraid: The Psalms As A Guide to Life, and Glimpses of The New Creation: Worship and The Formative Power of The Arts.
In this episode David discusses his latest book, A Body of Praise: The Role of Our Physical Bodies in Worship.
S12 E06: Confronting The Empty Page with Andy Squyres
Andy Squyres is a singer-songwriter born and raised in the mountains of Northern California but after moving east in the late 1990’s, he’s spent the last few decades carving songs out of the foothills of his North Carolina home. Andy is Heavily influenced by the poetics of Leonard Cohen and the lyrical tradition of artists like Bob Dylan and The National. His passion for words convey a raw and unmatched honesty that bring listeners face to face with overlooked parts of our own humanity and weave together a tapestry of heartbreak and hope. In this episode, Andy and Stephen talk backstage at the Loom creative arts gathering about Andy's creative process, confronting the empty page and what it takes to build a sustainable lifestyle of making music and making a living. Patrons of the podcast can enjoy an additional interview segment with Andy of the making of his latest release Death Defying Joy which you’re hearing throughout this episode.
S12 E05: Finding Your Place with Esau McCaulley
When we think of identity, we often point to our distinguishing characteristics and individual preferences. But what about our sense of place? How does place impact the people we become and the art we make?
In today’s episode, award-winning author and professor Esau McCaulley talks with me about the impact of place on his life and how growing up in a poverty-stricken Alabama town informs the writing of his upcoming memoir, How Far To The Promised Land.
Patrons of the podcast can enjoy an additional interview segment with Professor McCaulley on finding your voice as an artist.
Makers and Mystics is a treasure! It’s got such rich and varied content, including inspiring interviews with musicians and writers and artists and thinkers of all kinds. It never fails to inspire me with thoughts on art, literature, beauty, and the value of art in our lives. Quite simply, it returns me to a place where I can see the world with wonder again. And that is priceless. No matter how busy my life gets, I always make time for this podcast. Thank you, Stephen Roach!
A Must for Every Artist of Faith
I have truly enjoyed every episode of this podcast. It grounds me, challenges me and draws me closer to my purpose. Thanks to Stephen and team for each well thought out interview and theme. I’ve been loving the theme of transcendence! It’s perfect for the season I’m in. God bless you all and keep making!
Encouragement to create
I continually come back to this podcast for creative motivation and encouragement. Some of my favorite episodes are the artist profile series. The care in the writing and telling of the stories of others is quite engaging.
Please keep creating new episodes. Thank you for championing creators and walking along us as we create!