Something Like #25: Hag Lore feat. Anchoress, Beth Collar, Elif Saydam, & Rochelle Goldberg
Female ascetics, hermits, wise women, and witches, and the lore that circles around this archetype is what we will be exploring in this episode. 3 December 2020


Female ascetics, hermits, wise women, and witches, and the lore that circles around this archetype is what we will be exploring in the 25th episode of Something Like: Hag Lore. I’m very pleased to be sharing this episode with some wonderful friends and artists who share my fascination with this archetype. We’re going to listen to a reading by the Canadian artist Rochelle Goldberg, a reading from Don Quixote by the Canadian Berlin-based artist Elif Saydam, sound recordings by the British Berlin-based artist and music from the Berlin based artist and musician Anchoress (Anna-Lucia Nissen & Alex Rathborne). And so we’re going to also look at female-identifying characters who chose a life of seclusion, who removed themselves from the material world: the Desert Mothers, the anchoresses of medieval christianity, and perhaps even some contemporary evolutions of this type. We’ll delve into what is behind the fascination with the notion of female recluses.


  • As always, Something Like’s intro jingle comes courtesy of my main bud Roger 3000
  • Big thanks to Anna-Lucia Nissen, Beth Collar, Elif Saydam, and Rochelle Goldberg for their invaluable contributions to this episode!
  • Check out Chris Newby’s 1993 film Anchoress here.
  • Learn more about Rochelle Goldberg’s Born in a Beam of Light here.
  • A useful resource in relation to the themes picked up in this episode is of course, The Caliban and the Witch: Women, the Body, and Primitive Accumulation, by Silvia Federici.



Adult Fantasies, Under A Steelplate Sky, Towers of Silence, 2020, originally from the album For the Time Being, 1989

Rochelle Goldberg feat. Veit Laurent Kurz & Yanik Soland, Born in a Beam of Light, 2020

Wilburn Burchette, Birth of a Witch, Guitar Grimoire, 1973

Beth Collar Reads the Civil wars: A Tree is Best Measured When it is Down (David Byrne, Gavin Bryars, and Philip Glass and Robert Wilson), 1984

Keeley Forsyth, Glass, Photograph EP, 2020

Okkyung Lee, The Longest Morning, Yeo-Neun, 2020

Stevie Nicks, Rhiannon (Piano version), Enchanted, 1998

Nailah Hunter, Ruins, Spells, 2020

Anchoress, Eternal, In Times Where Eyes are Low, 2020

Kassia (University of King’s College Chapel Choir), Hymn of Kassia, 2009

Alanis Obomsawin, Bush Lady Part II, Bush Lady, 2018

Ana Roxanne, Take the Thorn, Leave the Rose, Because of a Flower, 2020

Elif Saydam Reads Cervantes’ Don Quixote, Chapters 12 & 14

Silvia Tarozzi, Hai nella bocca un silenzio, Mi Specchio e Refletto, 2020

Kenneth Anger, Hermit, Puce Moments, 1949

Kay Gardner, Wise Woman, Moon Circles, 1975