Liam Byrne's String Theories

Episodes

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Broadcast
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01Motion and suspension20200412A three-part series exploring strong voices in string playing across a range of time periods and genres, hosted by viola da gamba player Liam Byrne.

The viola da gamba became virtually extinct at the end of the 18th century and as such the aural lineage of performers has been severed. Part of Liam’s practice is to listen to a wide variety of string voices that do have that historical continuity, from Appalachian folk to Indian classical music.

Across this series, Liam shares his favourite discoveries with each episode focusing on a common energy, vibe or mood. In this opening episode it’s the feeling of motion and suspension, featuring a 17th-century Italian dance played on period instruments; a traditional Irish sean-nós song rearranged for cello with haunting concertina-like harmonics; and the fiddle player Martin Hayes playing a fast jig with exquisite and effortless sweetness.

Produced by Rebecca Gaskell
A Reduced Listening production for BBC Radio 3

Pieces that dance, pieces that float and some that do both.

Series exploring strong voices in string playing across a range of time periods and genres

02Bounce And Shimmer20200419Percussive gestures, short springy bow strokes and light bubbly effervescence.

Series exploring strong voices in string playing across a range of time periods and genres

Viola da gamba player Liam Byrne shares his favourite music for string instruments across a range of genres and time periods, drawing out threads of connection where we don’t usually expect to find them. Liam’s work as a performer encompasses everything from Renaissance to folk music, exploratory electronics and noise but it’s the similarities between these worlds that he finds most interesting.

Episode two focuses on pieces that bounce and shimmer, two actions that come naturally to a system of strings, wood and hair under tension. Liam searches out the percussive gestures, short springy bow strokes and light bubbly effervescence of his favourite players including the powerful ricochets of Barry Guy’s double bass and the virtuosic fluidity of the Indian Carnatic violin player Gopalakrishnan.

Produced by Rebecca Gaskell
A Reduced Listening production for BBC Radio 3

02Bounce and shimmer20200419Viola da gamba player Liam Byrne shares his favourite music for string instruments across a range of genres and time periods, drawing out threads of connection where we don’t usually expect to find them. Liam’s work as a performer encompasses everything from Renaissance to folk music, exploratory electronics and noise but it’s the similarities between these worlds that he finds most interesting.

Episode two focuses on pieces that bounce and shimmer, two actions that come naturally to a system of strings, wood and hair under tension. Liam searches out the percussive gestures, short springy bow strokes and light bubbly effervescence of his favourite players including the powerful ricochets of Barry Guy’s double bass and the virtuosic fluidity of the Indian Carnatic violin player Gopalakrishnan.

Produced by Rebecca Gaskell
A Reduced Listening production for BBC Radio 3

Percussive gestures, short springy bow strokes and light bubbly effervescence.

Series exploring strong voices in string playing across a range of time periods and genres

02Motion and suspension2020040520200412 (R3)A three-part series exploring strong voices in string playing across a range of time periods and genres, hosted by viola da gamba player Liam Byrne.

The viola da gamba became virtually extinct at the end of the 18th century and as such the aural lineage of performers has been severed. Part of Liam’s practice is to listen to a wide variety of string voices that do have that historical continuity, from Appalachian folk to Indian classical music.

Across this series, Liam shares his favourite discoveries with each episode focusing on a common energy, vibe or mood. In this opening episode it’s the feeling of motion and suspension, featuring a 17th-century Italian dance played on period instruments; a traditional Irish sean-nós song rearranged for cello with haunting concertina-like harmonics; and the fiddle player Martin Hayes playing a fast jig with exquisite and effortless sweetness.

Produced by Rebecca Gaskell
A Reduced Listening production for BBC Radio 3

Pieces that dance, pieces that float and some that do both.

Series exploring strong voices in string playing across a range of time periods and genres

03Friction20200426Juicy dissonances and the magical interactions between multiple string instruments.

Series exploring strong voices in string playing across a range of time periods and genres

Viola da gamba player Liam Byrne selects his favourite music for strings, drawing out threads of connectivity in unusual places. This final episode looks at interactions between multiple string instruments and the magical friction that occurs when two voices rub up against each other. Featuring traditional Swedish music for nyckelharpa, a jangly assemblage of bowed and sympathetic strings and wooden keys; a multi-tracked cello that sounds like a synthesised organ; and repetitive yearning semitone figures for a 10-stringed fiddle.

Produced by Rebecca Gaskell
A Reduced Listening production for BBC Radio 3

03Friction20200426Viola da gamba player Liam Byrne selects his favourite music for strings, drawing out threads of connectivity in unusual places. This final episode looks at interactions between multiple string instruments and the magical friction that occurs when two voices rub up against each other. Featuring traditional Swedish music for nyckelharpa, a jangly assemblage of bowed and sympathetic strings and wooden keys; a multi-tracked cello that sounds like a synthesised organ; and repetitive yearning semitone figures for a 10-stringed fiddle.

Produced by Rebecca Gaskell
A Reduced Listening production for BBC Radio 3

Juicy dissonances and the magical interactions between multiple string instruments.

Series exploring strong voices in string playing across a range of time periods and genres