Conscient Podcast: e101 tension – how do you feel now?

Note : Une version en français de cet article est disponible sur : Français

(Deep breath)


I was thinking about the tensions in our lives and the art of finding a balance point… 

So I went for a sound walk in Vancouver and came upon a piece of fishing line. I brought it home, strung it up and recorded myself plucking it 

(sound of fishing line being plucked by hand) 

I held the fishing line with my left hand while I gradually reduced the tension with my right hand. 

Later that day I went for another soundwalk and came upon a white metal fence. I started to gently tap one of the rods with my middle finger tip, like a heartbeat… 

(sound of metal fence rod being tapped) 

Finally, as I continued my search for sounds of tension, I came upon another metal fence, this one by the ocean and struck it with a wooden stick while slowly decreasing my walking pace. 

(sound of metal fence tapped by a piece of wood)

I invite you to sit with me for a moment and feel these sounds. Try not to think, just feel. 

(sound of decreased tension by filtering and slowing down) 

How do you feel now ?

(further decrease of tension by filtering and slowing down to silence) 

What about now? 


How do you feel now? 

(Deep breath)


This episode was recorded on a Zoom H4n Pro audio recorder in Vancouver in September, 2022.  I composed it as a pilot episode with the intention of exploring somatic and embodied listening. It’s basically a sketch but I thought it would be a good way to start this 4th season of the conscient podcast because it asks an open ended question that will come back again and again throughout this project : how do you feel now?

I am grateful and accountable to the earth and the human labour that provided me with the privilege of producing this episode (including all the toxic materials and extractive processes behind the computers, recorders, transportation and infrastructure that make this podcast possible).


About the Concient Podcast from Claude Schryer

The conscient podcast / balado conscient is a series of conversations about art, conscience and the ecological crisis. This podcast is bilingual (in either English or French). The language of the guest determines the language of the podcast. Episode notes are translated but not individual interviews.

I started the conscient project in 2020 as a personal learning journey and knowledge sharing exercise. It has been rewarding, and sometimes surprising.

The term “conscient” is defined as “being aware of one’s surroundings, thoughts and motivations”. My touchstone for the podcast is episode 1, e01 terrified, based on an essay I wrote in May 2019, where I share my anxiety about the climate crisis and my belief that arts and culture can play a critical role in raising public awareness about environmental issues. The conscient podcast / balado conscient follows up on my (2016-2019) project: 175, 3-minute audio and video field recordings that explore mindful listening.

Season 1 (May to October 2020) explored how the arts contribute to environmental awareness and action. I produced 3 episodes in French and 15 in English. The episodes cover a wide range of content, including activism, impact measurement, gaming, arts funding, cross-sectoral collaborations, social justice, artistic practices, etc. Episodes 8 to 17 were recorded while I was at the Creative Climate Leadership USA course in Arizona in March 2020 (led by Julie”s Bicycle). Episode 18 is a compilation of highlights from these conversations.

Season 2 (March 2021 ) explores the concept of reality and is about accepting reality, working through ecological grief and charting a path forward. The first episode of season 2 (e19 reality) mixes quotations from 28 authors with field recordings from simplesoundscapes and from my 1998 soundscape composition, Au dernier vivant les biens. One of my findings from this episode is that “I now see, and more importantly, I now feel in my bones, “the state of things as they actually exist”, without social filters or unsustainable stories blocking the way”. e19 reality touches upon 7 topics: our perception of reality, the possibility of human extinction, ecological anxiety and ecological grief, hope, arts, storytelling and the wisdom of indigenous cultures. The rest of season 2 features interviews with thought leaders about their responses and reactions to e19 reality.

my professional services

I’ve been retired from the Canada Council for the Arts since September 15, 2020 where I served as a senior strategic advisor in arts granting (2016-2020) and manager of the Inter-Arts Office (1999-2015). My focus in (quasi) retirement is environmental issues within my area of expertise in arts and culture, in particular in acoustic ecology. I”m open to become involved in projects that align with my values and that move forward environmental concerns. Feel free to email me for a conversation :

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