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Although February may seem like a lifetime ago for many, it was for Alissa Carroll the beginning of what would become her first podcast in a series call Alcôve. Over these past pandemic months, I’ve had the privilege of working remotely with Alissa as she honed the audio edit into this evocative piece that transports us to an entirely different world, in another time and place.

As she describes the series; In sacred space—a temple, an artist’s room, a scholar’s library—we feel atmosphere: the presence of the devotion and art, study and ritual, that have taken place within it over decades or centuries, and whose traces now permeate its walls. On Alcôve, we enter into auratic places to explore aesthetics, spirituality, history, magic—those qualities we perceive in sacred space, and which open up that space within us. By talking with their keepers, descending into their foundations, and researching their objects and texts, we try to understand what is in the atmosphere of these extraordinary places.

The first episode of Alcôve enters into Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature | Museum of Hunting and Nature, one of the most transportive spaces in Paris. Dedicated, uniquely, both to art and conservation, it is an aesthetic exploration of our relationship to nature and the wild. The episode features an immersive interview with the visionary at the center of the museum, former director and curator Claude d’Anthenaise. From 1998 to 2019, he shaped a space where ancient and modern breathe the same air, and where artists and musicians, ecologists and witches gather to explore ideas inspired by the natural world.

Alcôve was created by writer Alisa Carroll as an immersive exploration of rare and hidden spaces that still radiate quietly in the modern world.