Caught by the River


6th July 2017

Simon Fisher Turner reflects on time spent with the novelist, painter and poet John Berger, who died earlier this year

My mate Tilda Swinton invited me to go on a little trip to see her friend John Berger, ensconced in his village house in Quincy. He was actually in Paris though, so we went to see him there instead. I was to be the roving sound recordist which happens to be my hobby. We filmed in his back garden and he told tales of sounds and vision and didn’t stop talking all afternoon.

John, though, still wanted us to film in his house and village, so we hightailed it down to Geneva, hired a van which was too small for the 9 of us, and spent three days filming in Quincy. They filmed, and I wandered about like a lost chicken.

This programme of sound is really a diary of the trip — albeit manipulated occasionally — and of some of the soundworlds John lived in for over 50 years, in his tiny village below the Alpage in deepest southern France.

Cars, cows, milking sheds, Boule, rattles and bees, bells, goats, chickens, and uncle John Berger and all.


Simon Fisher Turner presents Bergeresque live on the Caught by the River stage at Port Eliot Festival on Sunday 30 July. See our full stage lineup here.