Conversations Late at Night

A podcast about creativity in a chaotic world.

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Deep chats between long-distance creative collaborators Cody Ellingham and Simon James French who first met whilst living in Tokyo, Japan.

We talk with guests from all over the world including fellow wanderers, explorers, and creators pursuing projects that inspire them.

Conversations Late at Night features long-format discussions about approaches and processes to creating artistic work in this world of noise and chaos.

Along the way we share our inspirations, ideas, and hard-learned lessons for keeping our passion going.

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Take the long way home

Conversations Late at Night

Take the long way home

Thank you for joining us for episode 24 of Conversations Late at Night, the podcast where we discuss creativity in a chaotic world. This week's conversation touches on the psychological immune system (and it was William B. Irvine that Simon was trying to remember the name of!), becoming more politically engaged once things start affecting you personally, getting started with donating to charity by helping just one person, using the term 'brother' more and how good it feels to be genuinely friendly to hospitality staff you meet.

Cody also throws in some ideas he's currently working on with something he's tentatively calling the Wander Diary.

And sometimes we need to take the long way home so that we can open ourselves up to new experiences and joy.

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Recent Episodes

#VanLife with Patricia Danielle Tan

#VanLife with Patricia Danielle Tan

August 25, 2022

In this conversation, we’re joined by Patricia Danielle Tan; a fascinating multi-disciplinary artist who recently travelled around the south island of New Zealand for an extended period of time in a van with not much guiding her except a strong desire for the freedom to roam and an aim to rediscover the sense of agency she felt she lost during the pandemic.

We talk about what it means to create art as a medium agnostic, journaling whilst on the road, nostalgia for places we’ve never been and giving yourself over to the guiding forces of the universe when travelling.

Find more about Patricia’s adventures on Instagram.

A glass bottle of memories

A glass bottle of memories

August 11, 2022

Episode 22 of Conversations Late at Night. In this episode, we talk about reflecting on the day that's just passed with a journal, #VanLife and whether we can live without posting our lives to social media, the guilt we feel when we don't return people's messages or emails immediately and Simon tells a story about how a gong can change your life. Cody also reads us his story A Glass Bottle of Memories from his DERIVE Wander Magazine #8.

Finding joy in small moments

Finding joy in small moments

July 28, 2022

In this episode, we have a deep conversation that covers a range of topics; the novel that Cody is currently writing, work and why we do what we do, what it means to float through life, and finding comfort in just being.

Cycling through the city at midnight

Cycling through the city at midnight

July 8, 2022

Episode 20 of Conversations Late at Night is here and it's our first journey into recording video. This is just the beginning, look out for more visuals, photography, videos and recordings in future episodes. In this episode we have a conversation about how cycling through the city at night is a far better experience at clearing your head, how taking a walk whilst actively thinking is important, what it means to leave a legacy, and how we could all do with paying more attention to our local community.

Curating compassion

Curating compassion

June 16, 2022

Episode 19 of Conversations Late at Night sees Simon back on the narrowboat in London after a trip to Japan and Cody in his new podcasting space. In this conversation, we talk about Simon's travels in Kyoto & Tokyo, the importance of compassion, how we should stayed focused on making gradual improvements in everything we do and Cody talks about the book he's currently reading—The Fourth Turning.

Returning to Japan

Returning to Japan

May 20, 2022

Welcome to episode 18 of Conversations Late at Night, Returning to Japan. In this conversation, we talk about Simon's upcoming trip to Japan, how Plato's Republic is necessary reading, the paralysis of choice, and how YouTube comments can sometimes be artistic and beautiful.

12 principles for creativity with Taylor Deupree

 12 principles for creativity with Taylor Deupree

April 28, 2022

In this episode of Conversations Late at Night we're joined by Taylor Deupree—musician, photographer, mastering engineer and the founder of 12k; a music label based out of New York. We've long been fascinated with 12k due to the distinct organic and natural sound of the music its musicians create. In this conversation, we go into detail about Taylor's connection to Japan, the history of 12k, the twelve principles underpinning everything the label creates, and the community he's been building since the label's inception.

Lessons from Ojiichan

Lessons from Ojiichan

April 14, 2022

Welcome to episode 16 of Conversations Late at Night, Lessons from Ojiichan. We start this chat off by diving into what nostalgia means for us and then things progress from there. We hear SJF's favourite poem by Mary Oliver; Wild Geese, talk about Kaitiaki - the Māori term for the concept of guardianship - and about the lessons we can learn from generations that came before us.

Wander the Night Japan

Wander the Night Japan

April 1, 2022

Join us as we dive into the details behind our collaboration Wander the Night Japan; a Kickstarter campaign that will see the release of a limited-edition 12” vinyl of the Wander the Night Japan album with music by Simon James French (SJF) and photography by Cody Ellingham.

In a time when so many of us couldn't get out and explore the world, the original Wander the Night website aimed to recreate that magical feeling of your first night in a new city. Now we’re releasing the Japanese tracks as a gorgeous heavyweight 12” vinyl that will interest even non-collectors of the medium.

Read more about the campaign, and the story behind it, over on Kickstarter.

We’ve previously recorded an episode of Conversations Late at Night where we talked deeply about one of the tracks featured on the album: Kyoto. Please check that out here: Wander the Night: Kyoto and our relationship to that beautiful city.

The concert pianist and the musician – creativity from struggle with Greg Kozakiewicz

The concert pianist and the musician – creativity from struggle with Greg Kozakiewicz

February 18, 2022

We're back for episode 14 of Conversations Late at Night. For this late night conversation we were joined by musician and all-round creative, Greg Kozakiewicz. Currently living in Edinburgh but originally from Poland, Greg shared some incredible stories with us about growing up in Poland and how this had a profound effect on his creativity. He also opened up about his journey til now which took him to several different countries and what gives him inspiration. Please enjoy this wonderful chat.

Creating our best work in difficult times

Creating our best work in difficult times

January 18, 2022

In this episode, the first of 2022, we talk all about SJF's new album Motion, paring your life and possessions back to become lighter, our plans for this year, the desire to live a self-sustaining lifestyle and how the pandemic inspired us to create our best work. We also riff on the idea of sending hand-printed newsletters/stories out to people - something we'd like to do in 2022. The latest album, Motion, by SJF will be released on the 4th of February.

75 years and 5000 years of Korea, with Colin Marshall

75 years and 5000 years of Korea, with Colin Marshall

December 18, 2021

Welcome to Conversations Late at Night, episode twelve. In this episode we chat with Colin Marshall, a broadcaster and essayist who writes about languages, culture and cities. Colin has a particular interest in Los Angeles and Seoul, the latter being the city he's called home for the past six years. We riffed on many ideas and topics including the subject of whether you can have culture without cities, the history of Korean cinema, and the question to ponder when exploring South Korea: "Are you wandering through a place that is 5000 years old or 75 years old?". Please enjoy.

Sharing Your Last Packet of Noodles

Sharing Your Last Packet of Noodles

December 6, 2021

Episode eleven of Conversations Late at Night. In this episode we question whether the country we grew up in is the same now as it was back then, "The Poet's Death", how the art world might respond to the pandemic and what it means to share your last packet of noodles atop a mountain. As Marcus Aurelius writes: "The pain which is intolerable carries us off; but that which lasts a long time is tolerable; and the mind maintains its own tranquility by retiring into itself, and the ruling faculty is not made worse. But the parts which are harmed by pain, let them, if they can, give their opinion about it." That is what we call art.

Climbing the mountain, with Fernando Gros

Climbing the mountain, with Fernando Gros

November 20, 2021

Episode ten of Conversations Late at Night. This episode welcomes our first guest, Fernando Gros. We talk to Fernando about his journey of being a writer, musician, and an overall prolific creator. Not one to be lumped in any boxes, his Twitter bio reads "Made in Chile, grown in Australia, polished in Japan". He's currently living in London and we talk to him about life in the city, finding moments of joy in the small things, how to use Twitter in a positive way, what it means to be a creator vs a consumer on social media and looking for a healthy way to consume news in a world where the negative so easily floats to the top.

Ever-shortening attention spans, the current state of the world and dealing with loneliness

Ever-shortening attention spans, the current state of the world and dealing with loneliness

October 11, 2021

Episode nine of Conversations Late at Night. A lot of stuff in this episode, we talk about how the attention span of modern culture is getting shorter and shorter, the current state of the world after enduring lockdowns, how we like to pack when travelling and how to deal with loneliness and what it was like to be lonely in Japan.

FOMO, being nostalgic for an old you, travelling America, Fragments and DERIVE Wanderer 10

FOMO, being nostalgic for an old you, travelling America, Fragments and DERIVE Wanderer 10

September 13, 2021

Life seems to be returning back to normal in the UK post-lockdown but it's still difficult for many countries right now, especially New Zealand where Cody is right now. We chatted a bit about this in today's episode and also the feeling of FOMO or Fear of Missing Out, being nostalgic for an old you, the dream we both have of travelling America one day, SJF's new album Fragments that was just released and Cody's upcoming DERIVE Wanderer 10 magazine.

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, de-Googling and de-Facebooking life

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, de-Googling and de-Facebooking life

August 23, 2021

Episode seven of Conversations Late at Night is a bit of a multi-topic episode but should make for an interesting listen. We talk about the brilliant Meditations from Marcus Aurelius and how to use it in your life, how to release social media's control over your life and the ways that Covid has inspired everyone to become a little bit more creative.

Wander the Night: Kyoto and our relationship to that beautiful city

Wander the Night: Kyoto and our relationship to that beautiful city

July 25, 2021

In this episode we talk about the latest city in our Wander the Night series; Kyoto. To experience Wander the Night for yourself please head over to www.wanderthenight.com. During lockdown we were both itching to get out and explore the world so this is what we made to remedy that. A beautiful collaboration of photography and music.

Zooming out on Life, new music from SJF, Wander the Night, HOPE and post-pandemic DERIVE

Zooming out on Life, new music from SJF, Wander the Night, HOPE and post-pandemic DERIVE

July 6, 2021

The fifth episode of Conversations Late at Night takes a meandering, but deep, journey through the recent work of artists Cody Ellingham and Simon James French. In this episode we hear a new track from SJF and talk about original DERIVE and how it was affected by COVID.

NFTs, the Metaverse, The Hacker Ethos, Commune Living and Artist Retreats

NFTs, the Metaverse, The Hacker Ethos, Commune Living and Artist Retreats

June 5, 2021

The fourth episode of Conversations Late at Night from artists Cody Ellingham and Simon James French. In this episode we talk all about dipping our toes into the NFT world, The Metaverse, The Hacker Ethos as a way of life, living on a commune and hosting an artist retreat.

Life on a narrowboat, moving to a (new) old city, New Zealand Nocturnes and personal development

Life on a narrowboat, moving to a (new) old city, New Zealand Nocturnes and personal development

May 29, 2021

The long awaited Episode 3. In this conversation we explore boat life, moving to a (new) old city, New Zealand Nocturnes, personal development and more.

Reconnecting with your senses and late night drives

Reconnecting with your senses and late night drives

February 13, 2021

In this episode we talked about Cody's recent trip to Auckland, his late night drives with photographer Murray Cammick, my upcoming projects, art residencies in Iran and connecting with your senses again.

The creativity process, late night wandering & the difficulty of keeping long-running projects alive

The creativity process, late night wandering & the difficulty of keeping long-running projects alive

January 17, 2021

Listen to Cody Ellingham and Simon James French on a conversation that takes a journey through the creativity process, late night wandering in unfamiliar cities, returning home after years away and how to keep the magic of a long-running project alive.

Show Hosts

Simon James French profile

Simon James French

Simon is a sound artist.

Cody Ellingham profile

Cody Ellingham

Cody is a photographer.

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Drop us an Email

We are always interested in hearing from listeners of the show, feel free to drop us an email at:

conversationslateatnight@pm.me