The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra is delighted to host a special podcast series with partners and collaborators Seven Hills: Journeys of Discovery.

The podcast series coincides with our Journeys of Discovery London season, which takes audiences on a journey through the facets of the human character with music as a guide. Asking: what does it mean to be human? What is our place in the world? What are we dreaming of? All fundamental issues humans have pondered for centuries, and composers have attempted to answer through music.

To add another dimension to the season, the Orchestra is partnering with Change Makers, a podcast for people with a passion to delve into what makes them tick and the joy, difference and contribution that empowers them to bring to the world. Over the course of nine conversations, we explore fundamental questions about what it means to be human that accompany nine incredible concerts.

Episode one: Awakening

The first theme of the season is Awakening. Wagner, Grieg and Strauss provide the soundtrack, as host Michael Hayman is joined by Kamal Ahmed, Co-Founder and Editor-in-chief, The News Movement, to offer the commentary.

Hear Kamal’s words of reflection there from his outstanding memoir, The Life and Times of a Very British Man, and a very personal take on his own journey of discovery.

 Episode two: Redemption and Freedom

We are excited to bring you the second episode of Journeys of Discovery, Redemption and Freedom, the latest in Change Makers' collaborative series with the Royal Philharmonic Orchesta. Over the course of these interviews, Michael explores fundamental questions about what it means to be human that accompany nine incredible concerts.

As Founding Director of Fine Cell Work, Katy speaks to Michael about how she is helping to transform the lives of prisoners and ex-prisoners through needlework.

Prisons can be "places of soul, spirit and connection", says Katy. Rather than carrying out their sentences "full of rage and self hate", prisoners should be permitted to embark on a journey of "self understanding and self acceptance". Through needlework, Fine Cell Work is opening one of the few doors of opportunity available to prisoners – allowing them both a glimpse of freedom, and a chance for redemption.

 Episode three: George Clarke

Journeys of Discovery podcast host Michael is joined by George Clarke, the architect, TV presenter, lecturer and writer, best known for his work with Channel 4, including The Restoration Man and George Clarke's Amazing Spaces.

Growing up on a Sunderland council estate, George was inspired to become an architect, spending summers on building sites with his grandfather. While studying at Newcastle University School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape, and London’s Bartlett School of Architecture, George supported himself by renovating people’s homes in his spare time, before turning his attention to TV and programmes that demonstrate the opportunity of space and the vital importance of the home.

With special thanks to our audio partners at RØDE whose equipment was used to record this podcast. Visit their website below to find out more:

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Thank you to the BBC for providing the soundtrack, Strauss’ Also Sprach Zarathustra performed by the RPO and Vasily Petrenko and recorded live in London at Southbank Centre's Royal Festival Hall.

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