Q & A: 1 Giant Leap, musicians and filmmakers

1 Giant Leap - Jamie Catto and Duncan Bridgeman
Jamie Catto and Duncan Bridgeman on music, insanity and saying 'YES'

In their latest film 'What About Me,' 1 Giant Leap (aka Duncan Bridgeman and Jamie Catto) address universal subjects such as God, death, money, consumer culture, TV and sex.

The project took them to 50 locations as they explore through music, the complexities of human nature on a global scale. Collaborators include Noam Chomsky, Bob Geldof and Eckhart Tolle. It aims to reveal how we all united through beliefs, creativity but most of all through 'our collective insanity'...

What inspired the making of ‘What About Me’? 

DB: My life has consistently led me in the right direction. By not putting up too much of a fight and generally saying YES to people I created the opportunity for 1 Giant Leap to happen. It’s a culmination of many years of listening...

JC: I guess it's all about what inspires us most at the time as people.  For me, life is a constant game and battle to stay aware in the forest hooks created by our crazy minds; pain avoidance, shadow denial, over-thinking mind, insatiable desire, death fear... It's not a group of subjects that we as artists often tackle directly yet it's the core experience of most Westerner's lives.

In your manifesto for the film you say that ‘we need to collectively acknowledge our insanity… that we’re not fine, we’re not confident and balanced and good, that we turn up to work every day pretending we’re not neurotic and obsessed and insatiable and full of doubt.’  What, in your view, is the key to sanity in an increasingly insane world?

DB: Firstly of course to be aware. To really be present with the reality of this moment. the first thing everyone realises when they sit to meditate is how much they are thinking. How much of the time we transport ourselves somewhere else. As Erkhart Tolle says in our film, 'There is nowhere else there's only this moment. When the future comes it comes disguised as now!'

JC: Awareness.  We can't quiet the demons but we can remember they are demons nevertheless.  When we sit and observe our mind thinking we soon have an experience which convinces us beyond any doubt that we are not our thoughts.  We are awareness.  Our thoughts are the wonderful organ 'the mind' working away.  It's a supreme servant but a terrible Master.  Another key is to confess to yourself and other's what's going on and laugh at yourself all the time.

Where are you most happy?

DB: Creating music either live or even more in a darkened room with beautiful speakers and my creations blaring out... 

JC: I'm most happy anywhere when I'm not forgetting the above.  When I am my simple loving self, not plagued by all the nonsense, then whether I am working, playing with the kids, cooking, walking around by myself or in a crowded train, I'm generally very content.

What one book or film would you recommend all politicians should read?

JC: The Power Of Now by Eckhart Tolle (non-fiction) and Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin (fiction)

What makes you angry? 

DB: Thinking that I've fucked up. Most of all with a girlfriend. My anger is so automatic. without wanting to sound like an Eckhart Tolle Devotee, his description of the pain body works for me. When my pain body is awakened (and it doesn't take much) it’s not me anymore... Awareness has to follow...

JC: Many things. Cruelty. Disrespect. Bullies. Especially not eating :)

You’ve spent many months traveling the world - what is the most important lesson your travels have taught you?

DB: Wherever I am, however beautiful, however inspiring the people you're with are it’s always me that is the witness and all I have to do is surrender to perfection of that moment and I will be rewarded an incredible gift which sometimes feels like a miracle...

JC:  Don't be rude to people.

Where do you live and why?

JC: I am moving back to UK from 4 years in Spain to be closer to my tribe.

DB: I have no home. I like to stay with people. Having late night and early morning moments with friends takes the bonding that much further. I have to keep my couch karma clean though. I've over-stayed a couple of times and lost dear friends... 

Can you describe a typical day?

DB: No. But often it starts with worrying. When I'm feeling good I exercise, breath, pray. When I'm down I drink coffee and get online... I'm learning how to manage the swings between the two. And accept them both...

JC: 7am Children get in our bed; 7.30 Me and Jess make them cereal, get them ready for school, play; 8.45 We take them to school; 9.30 – 12.30 Create; 1pm Get Memphis from Teeny Tiny school, make her lunch, put her down for nap; 2.30pm Get Lola from school, make her lunch; 3pm-6pm Create; 6pm - 8.30pm We do Kids supper, play, dance, bath, bed; 9pm Collapse in each others arms.

What’s your favorite meal – cooked by whom? 

JC: So many: Steak and chips, Thai food, shepherds pie, steamed veggies, chicken soup, spagetti, risotto, roast chicken/roast potatoes/veggies, P'Am Boli (cured sheeps cheese/local Bread/olive oil/radishes/tomatoes/jamon etc), chocolate mousse

DB: Beetroot stew by my girlfriend Ginny 

What project(s) have you got lined up next? 

DB: I wanna to know what love is...

JC: A thing called I AM NOT SORRY TV a youth series designed to  educate, entertain and activate UK's youth on issues of Human rights, Environment and above all encourage participation in 'the process' that creates their own future. I’m also doing a series called DEAR AMERICA, a six part documentary series highlighting and exposing, in an entertaining and intimate ‘on-the –road’ way, the six most backward aspects of American society/culture today. Subjects covered include the Death Penalty, Human Rights and Energy Consumption, Right wing Christianity.

What environmental or social movements/campaigns do you most actively support?

JC: More social than environmental - Free Angola 3, Free Burma, Free American Slaves in USA Prison Sweat Shop Empire...

DB: If I can be at peace that’s the best gift I can give to the world. I did a lot for Save the Rhino though. Not sure why but as you already know I like to say YES.


Laura Sevier is the Ecologist’s Green Living Editor.

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