Dan spoke about how he often considers his own software as "rooms" - fixed structures with recognizable characteristics of audio behaviour.
This reminded me of Nia's take on the nature of "place", and the timeless energy of any particular place - although the true nature of a place can be distorted, it seems to have a set of characteristics - an essential, unchanging core.
Side by side, these viewpoints are so valuable. Nia's life and research are deeply intertwined with the land, while Dan described himself as being uncomfortable in the country. I feel there is a great truth both in the essential nature of the land, and in the fact that most of the time, as human beings, we inhabit rooms or buildings that may have their own characteristics, that may be completely incongruous with the land they're on.
A synthesis of these ideas brings me to the allegory of Where the Wild Things are, where Max's room gradually transforms into a forest. When I undertake any creative work there is some kind of inner vision that guides me, that allows me to intuit a way forward. This is like the forest - brimming with natural life and not denying the shadows.
Nonetheless, I always start where I am - in my room, in my body, in the world, however that needs to be. If I have escaped to the forest, if I have retreated from the world, I am absent, the physical aspect is lacking. If the forest is with me where I am, I am present, and the vision is clear. This is the middle-ground, the in-between stage, where Max is at once both in his room, and in the forest.