The Official Podcast of The Breath & the Clay Creative Arts Movement. Hosted by poet-musician, Stephen Roach, Makers & Mystics is the podcast for the art-driven, spiritually adventurous seekers of truth and lovers of life.
S8 E12: The Aesthetic Universe with J.F. Martel
J.F. Martel is a Canadian writer, filmmaker, and podcaster. He has directed a number of French and English documentaries for Canadian television as well as created several dramatic short films. His writing has appeared on Reality Sandwich, The Finch, Metapsychosis, and in anthologies published by Tarcher-Penguin, North Atlantic Books, and Intellect Books.
His book Reclaiming Art in the Age of Artifice was published in 2015 by Evolver Editions;
The back cover tells us the book is an essential reading for visual artists, musicians, writers, actors, dancers, filmmakers, poets, anyone who has ever been deeply moved by a work of art.
I’ve read the book and I have to agree, J.F.’s ideas about art as an inborn human phenomenon that precedes the formation of culture resonates with own thoughts on creativity as an inherent part of our spiritual and human experience.
In this episode, I speak with J.F. about many of the concepts in his book including his thoughts on viewing the universe primarily as an aesthetic universe.
I’m excited to announce that J.F. will be one of our keynote presenters for this year’s The Breath & The Clay virtual experience taking place March 17-21, 2021. You can find out more about The Breath & The Clay and our theme of Re-enchantment at http://www.thebreathandtheclay.com/theme21
S8 E11: On Parables & The Surplus of Meaning
Amy-Jill Levine (“AJ”) is University Professor of New Testament and Jewish Studies and Mary Jane Werthan Professor of Jewish Studies at Vanderbilt. Her books include The Misunderstood Jew: The Church and the Scandal of the Jewish Jesus and Short Stories by Jesus; four children’s books (with Sandy Sasso); The Gospel of Luke (with Ben Witherington III); and The Jewish Annotated New Testament (co-edited with Marc Brettler).
In 2020 she published The Bible With and Without Jesus: How Jews and Christians Read the Same Stories Differently (with Marc Brettler); and Sermon on the Mount: A Beginner’s Guide to the Kingdom of Heaven.
She is the first Jew to teach New Testament at Rome’s Pontifical Biblical Institute. AJ describes herself as an unorthodox member of an Orthodox synagogue and a Yankee Jewish feminist who teaches New Testament in a Christian divinity school in the Buckle of the Bible Belt.
In this episode, I talk with AJ about how we interpret Jesus’s parables and why having a clear contextual understanding of Jesus’s stories is important both spiritually and creatively.
S8 E10: 2020 In The Rearview
Well friends. We made it to the end of this unforgettable and unrequited year. Its fascinating now to look back at the catalog of discussions we had and see the unintended red thread weaving its way through the pathless maze of 2020. In fact, the cliché “Hindsight is 2020” becomes this moment’s most truthful refrain.
In this episode, I share highlights from some of my favorite conversations from the year. Highlights include my interviews with Kimbra, Elephant Heart, Padraig O’ Tuama, John Eldredge and others.
S8 09: Armature and Astonishment with Sarah Hempel Irani
Sarah has contributed sculptures to national shows and received several notable awards, including the Maryland Arts Council Individual Artist Award in 2009. Currently Sarah is sculpting a seven-and-a-half-foot statue of renowned fashion designer, Claire McCardell, to be cast in bronze and installed in McCardell's hometown of Frederick, Maryland. In this episode, Stephen talks with Sarah about her creative process as a sculptor, how technique and spontaneity work together and how practices such as centering prayer leads to unexpected astonishment in her art making.
S8 E08: On Belonging and Becoming
One of the growing problems of our society that started long before but has been agitated by the COVID-19 pandemic is isolationism or the sense of loneliness and lack of meaningful social connections. Too much isolationism leads to individuals feeling a decreasing sense of responsibility or belonging to a group or a family. Therefore everything from littering to mass shootings could be rooted in the spiritual deficiency of belonging.
In this episode, Stephen shares on the artist's need to belong and the gift of creating a safe space to be in process.
S8 E07: Unearth The Flowers with Thea Matthews
Thea Matthews is a San Francisco born poet, orator and activist whose work centers on the complexities of humanity, grief, and resiliency. In this episode, Stephen Roach to talks with Thea about her debut poetry collection published by Red Light Lit titled, Unearth [The Flowers] and about her journey of finding healing and resiliency through poetry.
Thea's empowering poems provide a path to healing and illustrate how survivors can find a safe place within themselves to reclaim their own identity and sexuality.
Her book has been described as an electrifying letter to family, country, and self, Unearth [The Flowers] is relentless in its journey through stages of grief and healing while celebrating life.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Fresh inspiration with every listen
Love the community that is growing around Makers & Mystics. I carry away something from every episode that inspires me ongoing for days, weeks, or just becomes part of who I am. The combination of artists from our own time with vignettes of mystics past is perfect. Also appreciate hearing from Stephen Roach with themes that have been laid on his heart.
Today, the story from Sarah Hempel Irani pulled my swirling thoughts back to grounding. Thank you for sharing her story and your artistry as a creative. So insightful. 💎🙌🏻
Insightful and Engaging
As a visual artist I have truly enjoyed hearing artists of multiple genres talk about their process and their work. Stephen Roach’s questions are insightful and engaging. I always look forward to hearing the next one.