Transcript for "Coregulation - with Matthew Word Bain"

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00:00.00
Craig
Hello I’m Craig Constantine welcome this is the podcaster community show short conversations that are not just about podcasting because I like to take the scenic route. My guest today is Matthew Word Bain welcome Matthew I’m delighted that you.

00:13.54
Matthew
Thanks Craig I’m glad to be here.

00:19.61
Craig
I feel like it was sort of I I said the very first concept hey would you like to and you were like yes and you appeared in my schedule and I’m like oh I love serendipity people who just like sure I’ll jump in the pool and when I started looking at this morning as I was looking through some of your work I found. I don’t want to give way too many details because we might not talk about everything but I found music I found um some photography I actually found I had to go pretty far but I found some writing I found um, not a lot going on on Linkedin which I’m applauding I’m not a big fan of social media and I’m just wondering. What is it about um audio so like the idea of podcasts and playing the piano. These are 2 very different things but I kind of feel like even your photography there’s something either. The photography is related to music and audio or there’s something else that I don’t have my finger on yet. That is like a through line through these things. So what is it that maybe ties like what’s the through line for the different mediums that you’re creating in.

01:25.61
Matthew
That’s a really wonderful question and I’m fascinated that you are finding or sensing at least a link between something visual that I do and the notion of just audio. Um I think that. For me what comes up is the link would be just recording um in this in the sense of ah the photograph is a right is like is ah is a recording of a visual recording of a moment. Um at a place. Um I have I have.

01:44.99
Craig
Um, yeah capture. Yeah.

01:57.71
Matthew
I identify first and foremost as an artist in terms of roles or whatever. Um, and just down from their recording artist. Um, and i.

02:08.47
Craig
And and now you mean recording as in in general not recording as in an audio recording artist.

02:14.41
Matthew
Well, that’s just it usually when we hear the term recording artist. We’re talking about Beyonce or we’re taught you know and so and and yes, totally ever. She’s a recording artist.

02:21.10
Craig
But Taylor Swift

02:26.88
Matthew
And I’m using. Ah ah I’m sort of playing with the word recording there in that I’m also a recording artist when I’m foraging for photographs with my camera you know, um and there’s something about documentation that I think is where I began with that like this sense of having or making a record of something.

02:28.46
Craig
Um.

02:43.24
Craig
Yeah I saw a photo was like last house standing I think it wasn’ I was it was just a picture I mean if you’re if people are really arty. They’re like it’s a picture of house Dude I’m like yeah but you but I wondered like why why did you capture that and oh well, it makes perfect sense because if you’re.

02:45.41
Matthew
Um.

02:49.58
Matthew
Yeah.

03:00.87
Craig
Starting from a place of recording then that would be the kind of image. That’s your that’s your comfy place.

03:05.32
Matthew
Yeah, and and it’s it’s interesting because that that piece is is is um, an example of what’s sort of developed as ah ah I don’t know if the right term is medium or genre. Maybe it’s a genre where a couple of Mediums combine.

03:22.18
Craig
Um.

03:24.82
Matthew
Um, but I’ll ah take photographs and then I edit them and then I choose the ones that I like the most and I set them in a scrivener document for one day at a time for a daies feed and then I go through and i’ll.

03:34.23
Craig
Me.

03:39.65
Matthew
Write a poem from each of the photographs and so one of those gets published every day and so there’s a it’s hard to tell where the process begins like because on a certain level. The poetry is already present when I’m walking around with my camera I’m just not thinking about it. Um.

03:55.16
Craig
Yeah, it’s not. It’s not not I was going to say verbalized but what I meant was it’s not converted to verbs and texts and stuff before we wander too far where do you publish those dailies the imagery and the poetry.

04:08.31
Matthew
Great um, in in 2 in 3 places. Um on my website which http://issacredterrain.com um also it piers first on the internet on my Patreon account which is honestly I don’t know the Url. But if you.

04:22.38
Craig
Um.

04:28.19
Matthew
Search if you put my full name Matthew wordbain in quotation marks and search for whichever platform it is that I mentioned you should find me um so three d separate words? yes.

04:33.63
Craig
You should find it and there’s no hyphen that’s three separate words listeners and I will let to be clear so bae is is ah but w o r d space b a I and and yes if you if you type in those 3 words Google’s like here here here. It’ll take you to Patreon they’ll take you to your website cool.

04:46.65
Matthew
That’s right.

04:53.16
Craig
Um, like 1 of the interrupts you to make sure that got in here I’m wondering if the like how cognizant you are I mean it strikes me as like really cognizant but I’m wondering in the moment when you’re pointing your camera or in the moment when you sit down, you’re like okay poem write. Are you thinking about the big picture or are you more of I like the the pointful list metaphor which is kind of how I think I create is like oh my log or anything I’m just like sticking a dot on the proverbial canvas. Um, so when you’re doing photography or recording an audio piece or a podcast or whatever how cognizant are you of the Big. So um. Process versus just small process focused.

05:29.12
Matthew
Um, I mean the way the way I want to answer that is is both um, there’s ah I’ve been learning a lot about um the bihemispherality of the brain which is to say right? Brain left brain. Um, specifically through the work of Dr Ian Mcgilchrist um and one of the things he talks about is um, the coincidence of opposites and so this is an old concept or principle. It’s present in throughout alchemy and all these other contexts but he’s.

05:57.24
Craig
Concept.

06:02.75
Matthew
He also talks about it specifically in terms of the right brain and the left brain and that these two sides of the brain. They’re both contributing to language to everything we do but they go about processing or dealing with that process in different ways and so what you’re pointing to is to me showing up as you know.

06:14.35
Craig
Um, who.

06:22.90
Matthew
The parts. The points is a left brain phenomenon. The whole picture is a right brain Phenomenon My hope is my intention is and my feeling is that um, they’re both present at the same time… It’s hard to really, it’s hard for me to differentiate I can say like you know? Yes, right now I’m writing a poem but I’m also. Not just dealing with individual words I’m kind of opening to for something for what wants to happen to find its way through me essentially.

06:48.80
Craig
Yes, please can we get people in the world to do more of that I was torn between being distracted by my own process of like how do I do it but that makes me wonder if somebody just went wait. What.

07:02.71
Matthew
Um.

07:04.76
Craig
Are there particular mediums where that might be easier for someone to try it like I’m guessing that you know each medium would have ah a leaning like I don’t know dailyly but my guess is that particular Mediums have a leaning that they ah that they.

07:14.32
Matthew
Earth.

07:21.48
Craig
Tend to happen more in one side of the brain or the other I could be completely wrong about that I’m not ah I’m not artistically trained. Um and I’m just wondering like should we say write poetry or is a better gateway record podcast because I’m thinking oh audio Maybe Audio is really good at making. People engage with the bigger picture I’m just wondering like are there thoughts you have about which mediums lead to this type of thinking or more readily lead to this type of thinking.

07:42.36
Matthew
Um, zsk. Um I think it’s probably really individually dependent in a number of ways. 1 thing that comes up is that um in the west we tend to have been trained in disembodiment. Ah as part of the cultural.

08:02.34
Craig
Man.

08:06.49
Matthew
Context and if if we can learn to drop awareness from the head and like cognition and rational thinking and all of that down into the body. We don’t have to let go of thinking. That’s what people seem to be afraid of it was like.

08:21.68
Craig
Um, what are you talking about right? but.

08:22.69
Matthew
What? Ah you know what? if I stop thinking. It’s like that’s not a problem and it’s not going to happen. Um, but if I’m able to drop down into um, being present within my body like for instance while I’m having a conversation with you then?? um. I Don’t know how to speak to that in terms of right brain left brain but in terms of what you’re pointing to I think that um that can be something that happens in a podcasting Context. It can be something that happens… For instance when I’m taking photographs I’m walking around and so I’m that just that ambulation is ah is a yeah.

08:54.36
Craig
Yeah, perambulation is a more mode of thinking right.

08:58.65
Matthew
In my body right? and so and I feel to me like I’m dancing with the place I’m in and I’m not leading right? So Ah, and so I’m I’m not the leading partner in the dance and so I’m surrendering to what my senses are picking up on in the space. Um, and. So I don’t know how directly that answers your question but that’s what comes up for me and you can see that like different people. Some people are really up in their head and they’re not going to leave and and so they’re going to when they are podcasting. They’re going to do it in a certain way.

09:25.13
Craig
On.

09:32.82
Matthew
If they were to learn to drop down into their body or if there’s someone else who’s just already living in their body and also experiencing cognition. There’s going to be 2 different ways of going about it and I’m not sure there may well be like some mediums that are more. Um. Amenable to a certain way. But I think that.

09:50.56
Craig
I’m just wondering about conversation before we hit before I hit the big red button we were talking a little bit about conversation and that’s like my bag I’d love to talk about that I’d love to work on that I’d love to try and teach it and. I’m now thinking? Oh well I hadn’t really thought as like everything we’ve said so far 10 minutes 8 seconds in I haven’t really thought about conversation I mean I know it’s creative but I hadn’t really thought of it like let me Zoom out I do think about I want to go in and create a good conversation. It requires 2 people or 3 be able. But.

10:19.77
Matthew
Awesome.

10:22.36
Craig
But I’m very cognizant of that but I hadn’t really thought of that as like that’s creative like making a painting because to me conversations are usually for most people ephemeral I’m doing them recorded but I’m just suddenly thinking? Yeah I wonder if more people should be and Matthew’s nodding along what more people should be considering the. Creative nature of just 2 people talking to each other setting aside podcasting for a moment um have you played with that like because everything else you mentioned so far is a solo creative endeavor the ones you’ve mentioned specifically but conversation is usually at least 2 people something history have you played with conversation as part of your creative.

10:53.45
Matthew
This is.

11:01.58
Matthew
All the time. So I mean it’s it’s it’s It’s a great Well you did you ask really wonderful questions I mean it’s it’s um, you’ve just um, homed in onto something specific. That’s that’s appropriate to talk about in a conversation about.

11:01.99
Craig
Toolbox Maybe but ask shorter questions. Ah yeah.

11:19.92
Matthew
It will in a podcast that I know is not only about podcasting but also is about podcasting I I have been for the past two years the pandemic was an opportunity for me to step out of social isolation in a geographical space into ah just an enormous.

11:20.50
Craig
Um, Jason I always say adja tangential from bagas.

11:39.26
Matthew
Amount of new social connection in a virtual space and so I’ve developed really significant friendships over the past several years um and I’ve never been in the same place with any of these people and so um and that is of course happened. Well.

11:49.80
Craig
Right? right.

11:55.53
Matthew
Maybe not of course it’s happened on a discourse platform on several discourse platforms. But also in a lot of time spent on Zoom calls and so um I am very blessed with friends who are game for weekly.

12:01.25
Craig
Um.

12:09.55
Matthew
2 or three hour Zoom calls that are often focused around a particular sort of context. There’s a context for each of them. But there’s but there’s so that’s more like a container that can hold a liquid that can slosh around and do what it wants right? And so um, more recently? Um, one of those contexts has.

12:19.10
Craig
Um.

12:28.49
Matthew
Um, sort of given rise to a podcast project that’s still in Coate. It’s not There’s not a podcast to go listen to yet. Um, and we’re on a schedule with it which is organic and you know, um. Given our own needs in terms of scheduling and stuff. Um, but we have recorded a couple of episodes and it’s me and 2 other people Amanda Judd and Emma J Lopez um and the podcast is going to be called an emergent c. Which you might notice sounds like an emergency. Um and that’s ah I don’t know if I’d say it’s on purpose but it’s but it’s not a coincidence um and ah and so this is a space that we’ve um that we’re creating.

13:07.17
Craig
Intentional.

13:18.60
Matthew
In the container of a podcast where um, we begin with ah nervous system co-regulation which would just sound and maybe feel like a guided meditation to someone listening and the listener can you know the idea is that the listener can go through that or just tune out. But um.

13:28.27
Craig
Um.

13:36.78
Matthew
But it’s a way for us to get um the intention really on on the level of nervous system and and so we’re always co-regulating when we’re in conversation with people but this is a way of doing that intentionally. Um for the sake of nervous system resilience and getting to a good sort of um, unactivated State. For having a conversation. So a foundation essentially for the nervous system. Um yes, ah.

13:58.40
Craig
Okay, stop stop stop I got 9 things look this is going to be e rough. Um, first of all co-regulating I love that’s a brilliant observation. It’s it’s hard. Not impossible. It’s hard to do when you’re on a Zoom call and it’s one of the things that I love most about. Recording long-form podcasts in person and that’s a thing I say to people all the time is like it’s it’s just not the same when you get in the same room with someone and hadn’t ever really thought about pointing out the co-regulation parts I think that’s a very you just like touch that very briefly but that’s a deep insight about one of the things that. As podcasters. We set ourselves up by saying this a lot podcasting over the internet is really hard and because it’s really difficult to co-regulate even if even if you didn’t know that you should be doing that then it’s even harder. Um, so the co-regulating so I’m glad you touched on that the other thing that like leapt into my head is if you’ve ever heard of. Um I believe it’s Hugh Mcleod it’s called gaping void g a p I n g v o I http://d.com a brilliant artist long story I believe it’s Hugh who talks about things called social objects and ah crash courses. He’s talking about. Yes, we’re sitting and we’re having a conversation but it works much better if we have something to figuratively hold between us and talk about like how about the football game and then we can have a conversation. We’re not necessarily really talking about football. We’re not going to discover anything new about football but it gives the 2 of us a touch point something that we can refer to so my question from all of all of that is. Do you intentionally create social. Maybe you never thought of social objects per se but do you intentionally create things thinking I hope that this photograph of last house standing or I hope that this piano recording or I hope that this pack all these things are you intentionally imagining that people will pick them up. And do the human cloud social object thing with them.

15:48.53
Matthew
Interesting I Think my the the attention I haven’t thought about that. So I guess I haven’t had that intention at least not intentionally. Um.

16:01.50
Craig
I’m sorry if I just gave you another thing to do oh So I’m sorry.

16:04.16
Matthew
Well no, it’s great because I’ll tell you what my intention is though and it and it’s certainly there’s room for that to happen and sometimes it happens then in conversation if people respond to my work. So then we get into a conversation about it and it might be a social object in that way. But what I what I’m intending to do is invite people into a relationship with the unknown. Um.

16:11.50
Craig
1

16:23.82
Matthew
And so that’s where um, you know I talk about um use Nora Bateson this phrase ah restoring necessary. Blur um, and on one level is a reference to stochastic resonance which is a way in which you can add noise to increase the intelligibility of a low signal which is paradoxical. Ah, loves paradox and so um, yeah, ah, right right.

16:44.26
Craig
Yeah, yeah, you like ah please hide the patterns that aren’t really there right? That is what you’re really doing. Yeah, that’s good. Um I’m glad you noticed and I had forgotten that I noticed that you you actually mentioned that in I believe it’s your medium post and there’s a tagline somewhere that talked about that and I. Refrain from writing things down to be questions that I want to ask and that was something I like I hesitate I’ like oh I really should so I’m glad you got to that. So Can you just say it again. So We have the phrase like what what?? yes well because it it adds sok right.

17:11.28
Matthew
Which when necessary restoring necessary Blur or the stochastic. Yeah yeah, yes, stochastic resonance? Yeah yeah.

17:22.16
Craig
And yeah, so to make sure that’s interesting so people were like well you don’t have to remind or you can hear it twice. Um, that’s super interesting to me. Um, yeah now I’m wondering for me I often say when when if asked that the success my definition of success. For pod for my podcast is not per show. It’s per individual episode and it’s if 1 person listening to one of the things that I created goes and has a conversation with the person that I was talking to like ah to me, it’s like first order is me having conversations and second order is like all those other conversations and I can’t.

17:43.30
Matthew
Um.

17:58.54
Craig
Have all those. There’s too many of them. There’s not enough time and’s I I kind of think about it like each of these things I’m creating is meant to be a social object that people would then go engage around or communicate around I’m not not saying 10000 people will love this episode. But. If 1 person is going wait. What and they’re like searching frantically and taking notes I’m like and to talk to you not to me or so or to their friend. That’s what I like about like why people say why are you recording like want to just have cool conversations. Craig why press record because it makes everything so hard and my answer is because the thing that gets created.

18:26.98
Matthew
Um.

18:32.90
Craig
I can set it down and I can do 300 of them and set them all down and leave them like little easter eggs for the world. But that’s my dietar about social objects um anything else that’s rattling in your head in the less.

18:42.95
Matthew
Well, yeah I wanted to hearken I want to hearken back to something you had said about co-regulation that um so I appreciate what you’re saying about being able to record a podcast in person and how there’s something there when you’re when you’re co presentent in a space with someone someone. That’s not present online. However, um, in terms of what’s actually happening in the body as we’re like what the mechanisms of co-regulation are um, 2 really salient aspects of that are the muscles of the inner ear that allow us to and um understand human speech. Um, it’s what.

19:06.40
Craig
Um, mean.

19:19.45
Matthew
You know when you hear your name across a crowded room like that’s what’s happening you’re you’re attuned through that really precision. Um mechanism of of hearing and um, but prosody which is to say the melody of speech um, the musical aspects of speech um, that is what. Um, those are cues of safety when that prosody is present if you’ve got a monotone in a high pitch in a loud volume or a low pitch and a loud volume. That’s the opposite of prosody and your nervous system is going to respond to threat when you when you encounter that. but but ah but a conversation between people who are getting along is going to be prosodic. And likewise on a Zoom call which in a podcast you’re not getting the visual component but you and I even though we’re just recording audio can see each other and so we are our nervous systems are picking up on the reading the striated muscles of the face. The muscles that that generate expression.

20:03.18
Craig
Right.

20:14.40
Matthew
And you’re smiling as we talk, we’re we’re getting along and so I’m getting this feedback. We are. That’s where the co-regulation is happening and so then somebody who listens to our conversation is getting the advantage of our seeing each other’s faces even if they’re not because it’s coming through also through the prosody. It’s feeding into the prosody. Um, and so ah, my experience with podcasting originally was as a listener for a very long time starting in probably 2006 or something like that. Um, and through the years as I started going through um, healing from trauma. Um, and learning about how the nervous system works so that I could have a more resilient nervous system through getting into a relationship with my own nervous system consciously I have used podcasts as a way to um, it’s like sort of a positive distraction I tend to work alone. Um, and then.

21:04.50
Craig
Um.

21:09.77
Matthew
It’s easy if I get off if I get triggered then I can wind up in this perseveration cycle and I need to do something to keep to bring that back and if I’m listening to someone reading an audiobook even better having a conversation in a podcast I can participate in that. Relationship or my nervous system has access to the co-regulation of that relationship and I’m able to so to keep my my my nervous system as a result stays better regulated and so that’s one of the things I’m that I one of the hidden values of podcasting I think.

21:27.87
Craig
Um.

21:34.29
Craig
Which you couldn’t do by yourself. Yeah I find that super interesting because I often yap about the magic of 2 people having a conversation and there’s magic in audio and I think you’ve touched on and unpacked for me. The beauty of this is it’s recorded so I can listen to unpack from me a couple of like really concrete things that I can think about how does what I do cause or hamper those particular effects. Brilliant. Um, Matthew as much as I hate to say it with everybody. Um I think it’s a good place for us to stop today. So thank you very much for taking the time it was my pleasure.

22:14.48
Matthew
My pleasure as well. Really really enjoyed it today. Thanks Craig.