My Life In Music [The Essay]

Episodes

EpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
Comments
01O Come, O Come Emmanuel20180430

Away from the concert platform, five musicians write about the music that has shaped their personal lives.
Folk singer/song-writer Chris Wood was a boy chorister at Canterbury Cathedral. The build-up at Christmas time to a performance of the hymn O Come, O Come Emmanuel had both a profound and mundane effect on this eight-year-old child.

Folk singer Chris Wood remembers singing in Canterbury Cathedral as a child.

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

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.

02Cage Sonatas And Hancock's Head Hunters20180501

Away from the concert platform, five musicians write about the music that has shaped their personal lives.
Composer Kerry Andrew met bassist and heavy metal enthusiast Andrew online. On meeting in the flesh, she discovered that amongst their vast individual CD collections, they had two discs in common: John Cage's Sonatas and Interludes, played by Boris Berman, and Head Hunters by Herbie Hancock. Would this overlap in musical taste be an indicator of a successful partnership for life?

Composer Kerry Andrew discovered she had two CDs in common with her boyfriend.

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's sonic reminder that joy is essential.

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

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.”

03Craigie Hill20180502

On the eve of her Grampa's funeral, Karine Polwart received a song.

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.

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.

04The Silver Swan20180503

Oboist George Caird wonders if he has the courage for a swan song of his own.

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.

05Shostakovich's Second Piano Trio20180504

Away from the concert platform, five musicians write about the music that has shaped their personal lives.
Composer and viola player Sally Beamish talks about her violinist mother's fascination with Shostakovich - and explores the Second Piano Trio, looking at the influence it had on her own work. She describes her mother's gradual decline into dementia, and their complex and intense relationship.

Composer Sally Beamish remembers her mother's love of Shostakovich's Trio.

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