Yes. I think it's about time we do. The secret, dear reader, is that we've written this blog post before - a couple times, actually. Wanders has been an idea the team have been playing around with for a long time; it changes shape and grows new branches occasionally but the core idea is the same: we want to make it so you can get the benefits of Overhear regularly, even if you're not regularly near the pins we already have on the map - which are currently densest in Birmingham City Centre and otherwise clustered at various locations with significant gaps in between. Enter: Wanders.
What if you could get Overhear content, wherever you are? We still want you to move and experience place in a new way - we're still Overhear, after all - but we're putting the power to choose the place into your hands. We want to transform your usual walks into an enriching, mediative experience through the use of thoughtfully written poetry and beautifully produced audio.
Eventually, we're looking to integrate the feature into the mobile app: you'll enter Wanders mode and a pin will appear at a location within a set distance, audio playing as you go on your journey, enriching the walk with a mixture of poetry and meditative prompts. For our first iteration, however, we're setting it up as an email subscription. Sign up for Wanders and get the audio delivered straight to your inbox, ready to play at your convenience.
"We are hugely excited about how Wanders will create spaces in which unique and profound experiences will emerge. How the act of walking, listening and attending can form new and centring episodic memories for those that participate." -Tom Peel, Overhear Co-director & Founder
The Anatomy of a Wander
Part One: Presencing We guide you in opening up your attention to where you are while simultaneously grounding you in that space. It's a gentle introduction to get you into the right headspace for… Part Two: Poetry We perform a few carefully selected pieces of poetry for you be present with. Take it in. Sit with it, attune to it and notice its effect on you. At the moment, we're working on creating Wanders around a mixture of our back catalogue and classical out of copyright poetry, setting them in conversation with each other, but in the future we also hope to commission new work specially for Wanders. Part Three: Prompt We draw on the poems' themes to elicit something that you can take away with you - whether that's a question, a thought or a writing exercise. It'll encourage you to reflect on what you've heard and how it fit into your own thoughts and experiences; this could be part of a regular meditative practice or your writing routine.
We're excited about this for a whole bunch of reasons. There's the obvious - we love poetry and we're always psyched to figure out new ways we can help make it a part of people's lives - and the less obvious.
One thing we pride ourselves on at Overhear is helping people to look at the places around them in new ways, facilitating the transformation of the ordinary into the extraordinary. The idea of sharing that power with our listeners, letting them choose where to apply that lens is kind of perfect. It turns into a reality our belief that any place is full of poetic potential, and that, with a little help (hello!), your daily walk can become a surprisingly magical experience. And it's not just about what you take in: we love the prospect of this becoming a part of your creative routine, whether you're a poet, a songwriter, a painter - any kind of artist. Each Wander is designed to get you into the right headspace for thinking creatively, prompting you into a response based on the work you've listened to. So, it's a prescription for Writer's Block on top of everything else… Essentially, what I'm saying is, we're really excited about it. If you're anywhere near as interested as we are in this idea, we'd love to hear from you. Find out more and sign up to be an early adopter at theoverhear.app/wanders
Before you go!
We'd love to know a few things about how you'd like to wander: