My Life In Music [The Essay]

Episodes

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01The Lamb by John Tavener20200113

Away from the concert platform, five musicians write about the music that has shaped their personal lives.

Folk singer-songwriter Kitty Macfarlane recalls multiple visits made over time to a bird hide on the Steart Marshes. High up, overlooking panoramic views of the Bridgwater Bay, Kitty always had Tavener’s haunting song The Lamb playing as a soundtrack in her mind. The meeting of the natural world of the bay and the man-made intervention of Hinkley Point nuclear power station was mirrored by the juxtaposition of innocence and experience in William Blake’s words to this song. Tavener’s music accompanied Kitty’s coming-of-age acceptance of the duality of life.

Producer: Rosie Boulton
A Must Try Softer Production

Visits to a bird hide are accompanied by this song for singer-songwriter Kitty Macfarlane.

Essays from leading writers on arts, history, philosophy, science, religion and beyond.

02Rockin' in Rhythm by Duke Ellington sung by Ella Fitzgerald20200114

Away from the concert platform, five musicians write about the music that has shaped their personal lives.

When saxophonist Soweto Kinch has an airhead moment, he needs Duke Ellington’s sonic reminder that “If joy isn’t at the core of the music or your life it’s easy to get lost in a sea of negativity.”

Producer: Rosie Boulton
A Must Try Softer Production

In an airhead moment Soweto Kinch needs Ellington\u2019s sonic reminder that joy is essential.

Essays from leading writers on arts, history, philosophy, science, religion and beyond.

03Disko Partizani by Shantel20200115

Composer Roxanna Panufnik discovers an earworm in duty free at Tel Aviv airport.

Essays from leading writers on arts, history, philosophy, science, religion and beyond.

04The Protecting Veil By John Tavener20200116

Cellist Steven Isserlis recalls the impact of this commission and his unfolding and lasting friendship with its composer. He remembers tentative first encounters; evenings in Indian restaurants with friends; the shared nerves of premiering the music; mixed reactions of audiences including a spectacular punch-up at a concert in the States and finally the hope that John is still sending messages to Steven from beyond the grave.

Producer: Rosie Boulton
A Must Try Softer Production

Steven Isserlis recalls the impact of a commission and his friendship with its composer.

Essays from leading writers on arts, history, philosophy, science, religion and beyond.

05Now, Oh Now I Needs Must Part By John Dowland Arranged By Percy Grainger20200117

Away from the concert platform, five musicians write about the music that has shaped their personal lives.

Pianist Kenneth Hamilton explores the idea that some music is too potent to bear because of the memories it evokes. He considers the role of music for elegy and shares how his mind was filled with Dowland’s song of parting at his mother’s recent death

Producer: Rosie Boulton
A Must Try Softer Production

Kenneth Hamilton's mind is filled with Dowland's song of parting at his mother's death.

Essays from leading writers on arts, history, philosophy, science, religion and beyond.