Poetics of Science: Through Itself

Friday, 23rd June, 2017 18:00
Sunday, 25th June, 2017 16:30


'Through Itself' is the second in a series of 3 weekend seminars

The compelling idea that inspires The Poetics of Science seminars is inspiration itself. Inspiration is an inexhaustible source through which the human reality can be directly known, be it through the science of the physical universe explored as an object, or through the embodied discovery of the hidden, interior realm of the heart

The speakers’ work is guided by a global concern and foresight and will explore ideas conducive to creative collaboration. The weekend offers a rich programme of interactive presentations and workshops, including Philosophy, Literature, Contemporary Music, Psychology, Healing and Art. The Seminar and music nights will be held in a large pavilion next to the beautiful 18th century Georgian House.

Full Programme, Cost and Bookings

Book your 10% off Early-Bird ticket now...

The Story of Trafika Europe

with Andrew Singer

andrew singer sm.jpg

In this talk, Andrew Singer discusses the origin of the literary project Trafika Europe, insights gained along the way about European life and cultures, and about the new initiative Trafika Europe Radio – a new, shared radio station for European literature.

When the Soviet Union ended, a spirit of increasing cultural unity swept through Europe and much of the world for the next several years. That was when, in the early-mid 1990s, the original Trafika literary project was founded by a group of American expats in Prague. Focusing on new literature in English translation from around the world, it was an exciting project and very well-received.

Global literature in translation is now more well-established – but times have also moved on. Living long-term in Hungary, Singer witnessed two strongly distinct cycles, over the ensuing years, in how Hungarian culture experiences itself in relation to Europe and the world. Following this, a year in Scotland added radically different insights into how cultures can interact and remake themselves with forward-looking vision in the European context. In parallel, Singer engaged widely for a couple of years in conversations about how cultures develop, the kind of world we’re seeking to co-create – and why it matters, in the context of a new set of shared challenges we are facing all together in this age of the world.

What is needed now? How can this cultural conversation continue to progress? What new tools are available, what is useful to contribute culturally in today’s Europe, and how?

Sense, Vision, Insight, Form: a poetry workshop

Wouldn’t you like to unlock more of your poetic potential?
Poet and teacher Andrew Singer leads this workshop as a creative unlocking in several stages, presenting a set of tools, techniques, examples and poetic understandings, with exercises for quickly reaching a new layer of poetic creation and polish. No prior experience or preparation is needed for this workshop. (2½ hours)

Andrew Singer is founder and head of Trafika Europe. He studied poetry writing with Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott for an MA in Creative Writing from Boston University, and teaches courses in European literature, literary translation and creative writing at Penn State University. He has led poetry workshops and given talks and readings widely in more than a half-dozen countries, including with British Council. As a poet, author, translator and artist, he is guided by a spiritual understanding of what we are living through, in the rapid transformation of our shared global culture. He currently lives in New York City.

The Implicate Order of Music

with James Wyness


Drawing on disciplines as diverse as evolutionary biology and semiotics, this illustrated talk will set out to engage the participants in creating fresh understandings about music, the function of music, its origins and its manifestations in the current era. Like language, musical behaviour exists in every culture. Both may have co-evolved to some extent, yet they serve different functions. A scientific approach, working with an ad hoc hypothesis, might try in the first instance to understand music as a phenomenological reality, something understood physically, cognitively and emotionally, yet immediately, without mediation, understood ‘through itself’ and not through cultural conditioning, romantic notions, commercial imperatives or transient trends.

According to physicist and philosopher David Bohm who theorised the notion of a holomovement in our awareness of reality, music is an active implicate order in the sense that ‘it continually flows into emotional, physical and other responses that are inseparable from the transformations out of which it is essentially constructed’. Matter and consciousness can be considered to be projections of a common ground. This ground is enfolded in our consciousness. We could argue then that music and consciousness are of the same order and measure. Despite the contrived language around these matters, I would hope that we can come to a simpler and better understanding of music, both the sound and ground of music, by letting go of assumptions and culturally ‘deconditioning' ourselves, at least temporarily.

James Wyness is a composer, sound artist, spatial practitioner and researcher. He composes and performs new music using hand-made acoustic and digital instruments, field recordings, found objects and electronics. In attempting to understand and articulate the idea of music as a system of forms rather than a commodity subject to transient trends, his research has touched upon fields such as evolutionary biology, paleoanthropology, semiotics and morphology. His musical work crosses the boundaries between generic forms such as ambient, minimalist, noise and electroacoustic music. A full discography, including audio streaming, can be found at his personal site.

As a sound artist he works on large-scale, long-term collaborative projects, currently developing an arts/science collaboration around the sonification of climate change data with a view to establishing a permanent sound installation that responds to real-time data.

Based in the Scottish Borders he is currently developing The Planning Department, a new artist-led collective who aims to produce challenging, yet accessible intermedia experiences through site-specific art set in unorthodox and forgotten sites and environments. The group’s wider aim is to serve as a real and virtual hub for national and international artists and to establish partnerships across communities and creative industries.

His work is performed and presented internationally. In his frequent collaborations he works with visual artists, dancers, choreographers, writers, theatre and film producers.

He is currently co-authoring a book on sound and music with Italian composer Giancarlo Toniutti. In dialogue form the book, An Atlas of Instabilities, takes a time-honoured experimental scientific approach to the understanding of music as a phenomenology of forms.

James has an MA (Honours) degree in French Studies and a PhD in music composition from the University of Aberdeen. Read more...

The Uses of Attention in the Lives and Works
of the Death-Cell Philosophers

with Martha Chamberlain Cass


A presentation about the ‘un-making’ of the self in the writings and experiences of some of the ‘Death Cell Philosophers’ of the 20th C.

Martha studied at Yale University and the Chisholme Institute in the 1970s and 80s, and then at the University of Birmingham (UK) from 2005-2011. Her interests include the development of an individual’s adaptive strategy, by necessity, in infancy, and the ‘un-making’ of this strategy, by choice, in adulthood.

Strangers Talk; Friends Listen

with Christina Mark


Christina will share her insights and experiences of listening to energy, in people, in places and in the land. She will demonstrate how energy works in us through practices such as muscle testing, dowsing with crystals, the language used for self expression, and meditation, to deepen the understanding of the inter-connectedness of everything that is experienced in life.

Christina has been a student of the Beshara School since 1977. This education has been the guiding light in her life, and continues to be so. She has worked in health care for nearly fifty years, as a nurse, as tutor in Further Education, and as a healing practitioner and tutor with the National Federation of Spiritual Healers Healing Trust. She has organised regular healing clinics in the Chaplaincy Centre of the Borders General Hospital in Melrose for the last thirteen years, and worked as a ward visitor in a voluntary capacity since 2008. Christina is the author of: 'Energy Healing: The Practical Workbook', published by Watkins and is currently editing: 'Energy Healing: The Training Manual', and has written a parenting booklet: 'Life Story Book'.

Along the Shores of Bewilderment

with Mark Boston


Mark will share his insights into the mysterious worlds of the imagination, examining the state of bewilderment as a fundamental companion on the creative journey. A presentation of work will then focus on animation as an unparallelled meeting place for countless art forms, demonstrating its rich potential for expressing the diverse, interior realms of the human being.

Mark Boston is a freelance painter, animator, cartoonist and poet who loves storytelling in all its forms. In some vegetable gardens, he is also known as the Bewildered Cauliflower, a mysterious creature found washed up in the outer wilderness of the dreaming. When asked about his origins, he whispered that he had been raised by wild rhubarb and is now using human form to explore the uplifting powers of art. Read more...
In 2016, Mark graduated from Edinburgh College of Art with a first-class degree in Animation. He then went to Poland to work on the upcoming Loving Vincent, the world's first fully painted feature film. Since then he has painted murals in Mexico, created animations for Trafika Europe, and is now developing illustrated storybooks.


What is Phenomenology?

with Huw Gault


Details to follow

The Friday Night Show

with Paul Finegan and Anthony Mulligan
Details to follow

Saturday Night Concert

with James Wyness and guest musicians
Details to follow

For Timetable, Costs and Booking click here...

Book your 10% off Early-Bird ticket now...

For more information, email
Tel +44 (0)1450 880215

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.


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