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The Family Tree

When podcast producer Dave Pickering is approached by his dad with a mystery from the life of a long-forgotten friend, he decides to investigate it in the only way he knows how: by having conversations. Mark Sullivan, who went missing 15 years ago, has been found dead. His body still has the arm he should have lost in a car accident and seems to have died eight years before he disappeared. In a series of 12 episodes, Dave tries to uncover this mystery through conversations with Mark’s family and friends. As he gets to know them, his questions lead to more questions… the mystery runs deeper than anyone imagined. The Family Tree is a magical realist drama about family, belonging, change and identity.
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The Family Tree
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Apr 22, 2018

In the final episode of Season 2, Melissa calls Dave and asks him to meet her and Ben at Paddington Station. They share a worrying plan with him, and when he gets home and listens to his voicemail, things get even worse.

The Family Tree is a magical realist dramatic fiction about family, belonging, change and identity.

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Apr 13, 2018

In the fifth Cutting of season 2, Dave tries to process recent developments on The Family Tree and get perspectives that will help with issues in his personal life by asking questions about how we deal with loss and with death.

Content Note: Death, bereavement, dementia, illness, suicide, euthanasia, violence, murder

The Family Tree's Cuttings discuss the real issues raised in the show with special guests from podcasting, journalism, religion and the arts.

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Find our Guests!

Imam Monawar Hussain: https://www.theoxfordfoundation.com

Reverend Azariah France-Williams: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/the-shapeshifters/id1100385786?mt=2

Rabbi Charley Baginsky: http://www.liberaljudaism.org

Wasi Daniju: http://wasidaniju.com/

Against Borders For Children: https://www.schoolsabc.net/

Shaun Attwood: http://shaunattwood.com/

Marlo Mack: http://www.howtobeagirlpodcast.com/

Tony Pickering: Pick-Art.com

Peter Wohlleben: https://www.waterstones.com/book/the-hidden-life-of-trees/peter-wohlleben/9780008218430

Peter Pickering: Dave's essays about his father: Down to a sunless sea: memories of my dad

 

Previously on The Family Tree Cuttings:

http://thefamilytreepodcast.co.uk/cuttings/cutting-6-the-big-questions/

 

Mar 27, 2018

In the aftermath of Nathan’s death, Reverend Beech comes to talk to Dave. Together, they share their grief and talk about an important change to Melissa’s understanding of herself as a changeling.

The Family Tree is a magical realist dramatic fiction about family, belonging, change and identity.

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Mar 22, 2018

An anonymous caller leaves a series of panicked messages for Dave. Is The Family Tree putting the Sullivan family in danger?

Content Note: This episode touches on issues around homophobia, rape and child sexual abuse

The Family Tree is a magical realist dramatic fiction about family, belonging, change and identity.

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Mar 11, 2018

After receiving some tragic news, Dave talks to Thought Adventures co-host, Nigel, about what has happened to Nathan.

The Family Tree is a magical realist dramatic fiction about family, belonging, change and identity.

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Feb 25, 2018

Dave meets Violita, who views it as a blessing to have become a changeling. She clearly has a lot more story to tell than she shares in this conversation, but nonetheless, her very particular lineage has a lot to tell us about what happens to someone when they take on the memories of other creatures.

The Family Tree is a magical realist dramatic fiction about family, belonging, change and identity.

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Feb 8, 2018

Dear Listeners,

David tells me that you like me writing to you, so it has come to feel very right that I accompany these recordings with a short note. I’m afraid I don’t know much about podcasting, so I’ve been leaving all the music to David, who has much more experience and has made the last two sound jolly good. Melanie and I should probably work on introducing ourselves properly; I’m afraid we just jump straight in again. However, I think regular listeners to The Family Tree might be very happy to hear the recording this time – Melanie is really beginning to remember a few things now, and is increasingly comfortable with trying to talk about it.

Thank you for listening. I hope you enjoy Episode 3 of ‘Conversations’.

Yours Faithfully,

Reverend Phillip Beech

P.S. We did think about calling the episode ‘Roger and Olaf’, but I think it’s best to keep it simple. Do write to David if you have any better suggestions for a name for us.

 

 

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The Family Tree is a magical realist dramatic fiction about family, belonging, change and identity

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Feb 4, 2018

Dave talks to Reverend Beech and Kora at Jane’s house before a special party for Mia to say goodbye to the oak tree: they’re going to plant a sapling grown from one of its acorns.

The Family Tree is a magical realist dramatic fiction about family, belonging, change and identity.

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Jan 26, 2018

Dear David (or should I say, Dear Listeners?),

I’m delighted that people enjoyed reading my email on your website last time. How funny! I’m not sure I can write anything that will live up to their expectations this time, I’m afraid. But anyway, I attach the latest recording of myself and Melanie talking about our experiences as changelings. Well, I say ‘our’; really it seems to be mostly mine again. Teenagers are very good at steering conversations, I find. As you will hear, we still haven’t come up with the right name for our podcast. Melanie doesn’t seem to think it’s very interesting, but we’ll stick with ‘Conversations’ for now. I should say, we didn’t really introduce it properly like you do: we were in the middle of discussing a book when we started recording, so listeners may want to know that the book we’re talking about is The Hidden Life of Trees, introduced to me by your fascinating Cuttings episode with the author, Peter Wohlleben. If I could trouble you to put some more music around our conversation again, that would be wonderful.

I hope your listeners enjoy our second episode.

Yours,

Phillip

 

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The Family Tree is a magical realist dramatic fiction about family, belonging, change and identity.

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Jan 21, 2018

Dear David,

Further to our chat about the possibility of you sharing my research with your listeners, I am sending you the first of my recordings with Melanie. She thinks we should be calling them a podcast, but I think that perhaps that’s more your domain. As you can see, we haven’t yet decided on a name for it… I was thinking maybe we should call it simply, ‘Conversations’. Until we settle on something more permanent, at least. I think to properly be a podcast, we’d really need some music, but I’m afraid we don’t have anything like that. Perhaps you would frame it nicely with a piece of the delightful music you use on The Family Tree.

Anyway, I hope your listeners will find it valuable. I’m afraid there’s rather more talk of me in there than I imagined there might be!

Yours,

Phillip

PS You can use this email if you need some text to go on the website in order to fit your format.

 

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The Family Tree is a magical realist dramatic fiction about family, belonging, change and identity.

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Jan 13, 2018

In this episode, Dave talks to Shajahan, a friend of a friend, who is considering the hypothesis that her late mother was a changeling. If what her mother told her is true, Shajahan may still have her mother with her after all.

The Family Tree is a magical realist dramatic fiction about family, belonging, change and identity.

 

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Dec 21, 2017

As a favour to Nathan, Dave is still putting out episodes of Nathan's podcast, Thought Adventures, on The Family Tree podcast feed.

*

We think it's important not to believe everything we're told without thinking about it from all angles, even the ones that might not work the way we think angles work. That's why we've created the new podcast, Thought Adventures. In Episode Four, we exchange seasonal gifts, discuss the interesting new developments that came out last week on The Family Tree, and compare the our attempts to be abducted by aliens. We also announce our most exciting investigation yet!

We do apologise for the severe delay in getting Episode Four out to you, Thought Adventurers. Nigel has promised that we'll be more frequent from now on. But fear not: now it’s time for a Thought Adventure! It's just like a thought experiment, but it's fun!

Festive wishes,

Nathan and Nigel

*

The Family Tree is a magical realist dramatic fiction about family, belonging, change and identity.

iTunes RSS

Help The Family Tree to grow by becoming a Patron.

Dec 19, 2017

In the fourth Cutting of season 2, Dave tries to make sense of recent developments on The Family Tree by talking to an Imam, a Priest and a Rabbi about death, change, transition, faith and belief.

The Family Tree's Cuttings discuss the real issues raised in the show with special guests from podcasting, journalism, religion and the arts.

iTunes RSS

Help The Family Tree to grow by becoming a Patron.

Find our Guests!

Imam Monawar Hussain: https://www.theoxfordfoundation.com

Reverend Azariah France-Williams: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/the-shapeshifters/id1100385786?mt=2

Rabbi Charley Baginsky: http://www.liberaljudaism.org

Previously on The Family Tree Cuttings:

http://thefamilytreepodcast.co.uk/cuttings/cutting-1-podcasts-and-priests/

http://thefamilytreepodcast.co.uk/cuttings/cutting-8-stories-and-more-stories/

 

Dec 14, 2017

Dave and Reverend Beech have returned after their trip to St James’s Park. There’s a lot of processing to do as they drink cocoa and go over the events of a very long night.

The Family Tree is a magical realist dramatic fiction about family, belonging, change and identity.

 

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Dec 11, 2017

Reverend Beech has a plan so drastic that Dave has decided to split this episode into two parts. In Part I, they discuss what they plan to do and why that will involve a drill, a sleeping bag and a freezer.

The Family Tree is a magical realist dramatic fiction about family, belonging, change and identity.

 

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Nov 30, 2017

Ben is eager to come on the show to talk about his new organisation, ‘Change of Heart’, dedicated to researching and protecting changelings. Accompanied again by Kora, Dave begins to see tensions within their relationship. Meanwhile, the threat posed by information disappearing online looms ever-larger.

The Family Tree is a magical realist dramatic fiction about family, belonging, change and identity.

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Nov 23, 2017

***CONTENT NOTE: This episode generally deals with interpersonal, systemic and state violence but the section from 9.29 min to 26.10 min involves the experience of living in prison and includes graphic descriptions of violence.***

In the third Cutting of season 2, Dave looks at the ways that systems and structures hurt people considered different, other or lesser, in order to contextualise the ways that society might treat Changelings.

We hear from Schools ABC about their work fighting to keep immigration checks out of UK schools (1.55-9.29); from writer, activist and ex-prisoner Shaun Attwood about his experience in the Arizona Prison system (9.29-26.10); from intersectional feminist, therapist and equality consultant, Guilaine Kinouani, who reflects on how the mental health system operates for marginalised people (26.10-48.33); and from Marlo Mack from the How to Be A Girl podcast, who considers how being a parent of a transgender child feels in Trump’s America (48.33).

The Family Tree's Cuttings discuss the real issues raised in the show with special guests from podcasting, journalism, religion and the arts.

iTunes RSS

Help The Family Tree to grow by becoming a Patron.

Find our Guests!

Against Borders For Children: https://www.schoolsabc.net/

Schools ABC crowdfunder: https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/againstbordersforchildren

Wasi Daniju: http://wasidaniju.com/

Shaun Attwood: http://shaunattwood.com/

Guilaine Kinouani: https://racereflections.co.uk

https://twitter.com/KGuilaine

Marlo Mack: http://www.howtobeagirlpodcast.com/

On Getting Better Acquainted:

https://soundcloud.com/gettingbetteracquainted/gba-314-wasi

https://soundcloud.com/gettingbetteracquainted/gba-218-shaun-attwood

https://soundcloud.com/gettingbetteracquainted/gba-274-guilaine-kinouani

Previously on The Family Tree Cuttings:

http://thefamilytreepodcast.co.uk/cuttings/the-family-tree-season-2-cuttings-1-flesh-and-blood-bark-and-seed/

 

Nov 19, 2017

Many years ago, Mark recorded stories for Ben and Nathan to listen to on a car journey. The cassette has turned up in Jane’s loft. But perhaps there’s more to these stories than the family ever realised: from what Melanie has revealed about her pre-Mark history, it would seem that in one of them, Mark may have been subtly telling his family what had happened to him.

The Family Tree is a magical realist dramatic fiction about family, belonging, change and identity.

 

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Oct 30, 2017

In the second Cutting of season 2, Dave talks to his dad about living with dementia, his brother about making art about diagnosis, and with true storyteller Radcliffe Royds about addiction, past lives and what it's like to come back from the dead. These conversations explore the kinds of human experiences that might help us to understand the experiences of Changelings.

The Family Tree's Cuttings discuss the real issues raised in the show with special guests from podcasting, journalism, religion and the arts.

iTunes RSS

Help The Family Tree to grow by becoming a Patron.

Find our Guests!

Tony Pickering: Pick-Art.com

Radcliffe Royds: The Radcliffe Episodes

Peter Pickering: Dave's essays about his father: Down to a sunless sea: memories of my dad

Oct 26, 2017

Dave is currently gathering new material for Season 2 of The Family Tree. But as a favour to Nathan, he's also putting out episodes of Nathan's new podcast, Thought Adventures, on The Family Tree podcast feed.

*

We think it's important not to believe everything we're told without thinking about it from all angles, even the ones that might not work the way we think angles work. That's why we've created the new podcast, Thought Adventures. In Episode Three, we discuss how Mum and Jocelyn are WRONG, reflect on the hypothesis that a humming bird is a broken egg, learn about how the very act of comprehending infinity breaks it, and compare the results of our time travel experiments. We also set up our next investigation: can we attract aliens to abduct us?

We do apologise for the severe delay in getting Episode Three out to you, Thought Adventurers. But fear not: now it’s time for a Thought Adventure! It's just like a thought experiment, but it's fun!

Best wishes,

Nathan and Nigel

*

The Family Tree is a magical realist dramatic fiction about family, belonging, change and identity.

iTunes RSS

Help The Family Tree to grow by becoming a Patron.

Oct 21, 2017

Melissa co-hosts her second episode with Dave, this time talking to her mum, Jane, about what she thinks and how she feels about the changelings and potential changelings in her family. Jane agreed to come on the show after a family argument; this episode is at times tense, but ultimately it contains more love than anger.

The Family Tree is a magical realist dramatic fiction about family, belonging, change and identity.

 

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Oct 12, 2017

Dave finds himself back in the Sullivan family home, talking to twins Melissa and Melanie. This episode is co-hosted by Melissa, whose idea it was talk to her sister on mic about what it’s like to be a changeling.

The Family Tree is a magical realist dramatic fiction about family, belonging, change and identity.

 

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Help The Family Tree to grow by becoming a Patron.

Sep 24, 2017

In the first Cutting of season 2, Dave talks to Marlo Mack about her podcast How to Be a Girl and to Peter Wohlleben about his book The Hidden Life of Trees. From Marlo, he looks for guidance on balancing telling important true stories with protecting the lives of the people whose stories you're telling. And from Peter, he finds out how trees feel and communicate, and considers whether there is precedent for humans and trees communicating with each other.

The Family Tree's Cuttings discuss the real issues raised in the show with special guests from podcasting, journalism, religion and the arts.

iTunes RSS

Help The Family Tree to grow by becoming a Patron.

Find our Guests!

Marlo Mack:

How to Be a Girl

A little update from Marlo

Peter Wohlleben:

The Hidden Life of Trees

"The man who thinks trees can talk to each other"

Sep 12, 2017

With information going missing online, some of it now completely untraceable, Dave has decided to release episodes as they happen. As well as filling us in on the Sullivan family news, in this episode, he talks to Jocelyn, who has a remarkable story to tell. As it turns out, Melanie isn’t the only human changeling.

The Family Tree is a magical realist dramatic fiction about family, belonging, change and identity.

 

iTunes RSS

Help The Family Tree to grow by becoming a Patron.

Aug 24, 2017

Dave is currently gathering new material for Season 2 of The Family Tree. But as a favour to Nathan, he's also putting out episodes of Nathan's new podcast, Thought Adventures, on The Family Tree podcast feed.

*

We think it's important not to believe everything we're told without thinking about it from all angles, even the ones that might not work the way we think angles work. That's why we've created the new podcast, Thought Adventures. In Episode Two, we discuss time travel (and plan how we intend to do it ourselves), reflect on ‘dark maths’, lay down some proper changeling facts, and catch up with the results of last week’s brainwashing experiments.

We’re glad you’re back with us, Thought Adventurers. It’s time for a Thought Adventure! It's just like a thought experiment, but it's fun!

Best wishes,

Nathan and Nigel

*

The Family Tree is a magical realist dramatic fiction about family, belonging, change and identity.

iTunes RSS

Help The Family Tree to grow by becoming a Patron.

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