Episodes

SeriesTitleFirst
Broadcast
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01Kathryn Williams On Sylvia Plath2016082220170515 (R4)Singer-songwriter Kathryn Williams describes how Sylvia Plath inspired an entire album.

Series in which artists describe the artists that inspire them.

01Lemn Sissay On Bob Marley2016082920170516 (R4)Poet Lemn Sissay explains why Bob Marley is his artistic, personal and political muse.

Series in which artists describe the artists that inspire them.

01Lisa Dwan On Samuel Beckett2016090520170517 (R4)Lisa Dwan, renowned performer of works by Samuel Beckett, on Beckett, Dante and exile.

Series in which artists describe the artists that inspire them.

02Lynne Truss On Joni Mitchell2017091820201004 (R4)
20201010 (R4)
Journalist and author Lynne Truss on why Joni Mitchell is her Muse.

Series in which artists describe the artists that inspire them.

Not everyone appreciates the tonalities, lyrics or even the shrieky voice of Canadian artist and musician Joni Mitchell but in a dusty class room in 1971 Lynne Truss decided she loved the writer of Woodstock, Big Yellow Taxi and Both Sides Now. It was a bond forged in the face of the frosty indifference of fellow pupils in Miss Cheverton's music class at the Tiffin Girls School in Kingston Upon Thames.

Even Lynne is slightly mystified when she was asked who was her muse that, as a person mostly famous for writing a book on punctuation, she replied; Joni Mitchell. Lynne explores why a series of albums from Ladies of the Canyon to Heijra taking in Blue, Court and Spark and The Hissing of Summer lawns' has wrought such influence over so many.

For her aficionados Joni Mitchell is more than a song writer. Lynne observes that for some the attachment goes beyond the personal; its a complete identification with the struggles of dealing with high emotion and how to cope.

In the programme she speaks to the poet and playwright Liz Lochhead, the author Linda Grant, Elbow's front man Guy Garvey, her latest biographer the Syracuse University academic David Yaffe and Gina Foster the singer with the UK act Joni's Soul, which she insists is not a tribute but a celebration act.

Lynne contends that despite at the time being overshadowed in favour of Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Paul Simon and others Joni Mitchell will come to be regarded as the greatest exponent of the art of singer-song writer from that era and concludes that what makes her a muse can be found less in the brilliant lyrical summations of eternal questions like love, loss and freedom but more in her absolute commitment never to compromise her art - to remain true, above all else, to her own muse.

Journalist and author Lynne Truss on why Joni Mitchell is her Muse.

Not everyone appreciates the tonalities, lyrics or even the shrieky voice of Canadian artist and musician Joni Mitchell but in a dusty class room in 1971 Lynne Truss decided she loved the writer of Woodstock, Big Yellow Taxi and Both Sides Now. It was a bond forged in the face of the frosty indifference of fellow pupils in Miss Cheverton's music class at the Tiffin Girls School in Kingston Upon Thames.

Even Lynne is slightly mystified when she was asked who was her muse that, as a person mostly famous for writing a book on punctuation, she replied; Joni Mitchell. Lynne explores why a series of albums from Ladies of the Canyon to Heijra taking in Blue, Court and Spark and The Hissing of Summer lawns' has wrought such influence over so many.

For her aficionados Joni Mitchell is more than a song writer. Lynne observes that for some the attachment goes beyond the personal; its a complete identification with the struggles of dealing with high emotion and how to cope.

In the programme she speaks to the poet and playwright Liz Lochhead, the author Linda Grant, Elbow's front man Guy Garvey, her latest biographer the Syracuse University academic David Yaffe and Gina Foster the singer with the UK act Joni's Soul, which she insists is not a tribute but a celebration act.

Lynne contends that despite at the time being overshadowed in favour of Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Paul Simon and others Joni Mitchell will come to be regarded as the greatest exponent of the art of singer-song writer from that era and concludes that what makes her a muse can be found less in the brilliant lyrical summations of eternal questions like love, loss and freedom but more in her absolute commitment never to compromise her art - to remain true, above all else, to her own muse.

02Mark Billingham on Hank Williams2017092520201024 (R4)

The crime novelist Mark Billingham believes there's more to the country icon Hank Williams than catchy melodies and a white suit.

Recorded on location during a promotional tour of the UK, Mark has chosen Hank as his muse because he believes the singer confronted an eternal artistic dilemma head on: how do you please a crowd and still please yourself? As the author of a popular, long-running crime series, it's a question which fascinates him. Crime fiction fans demand a book a year - but the challenge for any artist is to keep pushing their own creativity - so how did Hank manage it?

Mark meets Michael Weston-King of the band My Darling Clementine to discuss how the country singer's raw, brutal lyrics mined his own tumultuous life. He asks fellow crime novelist Christopher Brookmyre how he manages to balance the demands of commerce with the need to enjoy writing. And there are insights from the author MJ Hyland about the dangerous route taken by authors who decide to make a radical change in their writing. There's an unexpected detour into artistic motivation with Mark Radcliffe on 6Music and a chat on the streets of Liverpool about the dangers of "series fatigue" with the author Luca Veste. Having explored the real-life conflicts and tragedies which became fuel for Hank's art - Mark explores a step taken by Hank which is as radical as any by David Bowie or Bob Dylan - he became someone else - developing his Luke the Drifter alter ego which spurred him on to even greater creativity.

On a publicity dash across the UK - our presenter hears of the obsessions which made his muse a unique - if short-lived legend. As Mark Billingham discovers - Hank Williams can change your creative life.

Presenter: Mark Billingham
Producer: Kev Core.

Crime writer Mark Billingham chooses country singer Hank Williams as his muse.

Series in which artists describe the artists that inspire them.

02Mark Billingham On Hank Williams2017092520201018 (R4)Crime writer Mark Billingham chooses country singer Hank Williams as his muse.

Series in which artists describe the artists that inspire them.

The crime novelist Mark Billingham believes there's more to the country icon Hank Williams than catchy melodies and a white suit.

Recorded on location during a promotional tour of the UK, Mark has chosen Hank as his muse because he believes the singer confronted an eternal artistic dilemma head on: how do you please a crowd and still please yourself? As the author of a popular, long-running crime series, it's a question which fascinates him. Crime fiction fans demand a book a year - but the challenge for any artist is to keep pushing their own creativity - so how did Hank manage it?

Mark meets Michael Weston-King of the band My Darling Clementine to discuss how the country singer's raw, brutal lyrics mined his own tumultuous life. He asks fellow crime novelist Christopher Brookmyre how he manages to balance the demands of commerce with the need to enjoy writing. And there are insights from the author MJ Hyland about the dangerous route taken by authors who decide to make a radical change in their writing. There's an unexpected detour into artistic motivation with Mark Radcliffe on 6Music and a chat on the streets of Liverpool about the dangers of "series fatigue" with the author Luca Veste. Having explored the real-life conflicts and tragedies which became fuel for Hank's art - Mark explores a step taken by Hank which is as radical as any by David Bowie or Bob Dylan - he became someone else - developing his Luke the Drifter alter ego which spurred him on to even greater creativity.

On a publicity dash across the UK - our presenter hears of the obsessions which made his muse a unique - if short-lived legend. As Mark Billingham discovers - Hank Williams can change your creative life.

Presenter: Mark Billingham
Producer: Kev Core.

02The Young'uns on Graeme Miles2017100220201108 (R4)"The terraced streets were my Grand Canyons, the shipyard cranes my redwood trees, those steelwork tips were my mountain ranges and the brickyard ponds were my seven seas".

These are the words of the songwriter Graeme Miles that inspired Sean Cooney, David Eagle and Michael Hughes of the Teesside folk group The Young'uns - Radio 2's Folk Band of the Year Award winners in 2015 & 2016. Stumbling across a folk club at the age of 17, school friends Sean, David & Michael first heard the songs of Graeme Miles - songs about their local area - songs that resonated. They realised that there was beauty to be found in a place they had been brought up to believe was "deprived" and "unromantic", and that Graeme's songs instilled a sense of pride.

For years now the band have been singing Graeme's songs, and, in this programme, they find out more about the man and his work. Featuring interviews with Graeme's widow Annie, and discussion and performances from esteemed musicians from the folk world, including the critically-acclaimed band The Unthanks, this programme highlights some of Graeme's finest songs. From an emotive performance of 'Waiting For The Ferry' on the banks of the River Tees, to a stirring rendition of 'Ring of Iron' accompanied by the legendary Billingham group The Wilson Family, The Young'uns discover more about their muse, and present the programme in their unique and humorous way.

Produced by Elizabeth Foster.

Award-winning folk group The Young'uns discuss the north-east songwriter Graeme Miles.

Series in which artists describe the artists that inspire them.

02The Young'uns on Graeme Miles2017100220201114 (R4)"The terraced streets were my Grand Canyons, the shipyard cranes my redwood trees, those steelwork tips were my mountain ranges and the brickyard ponds were my seven seas".

These are the words of the songwriter Graeme Miles that inspired Sean Cooney, David Eagle and Michael Hughes of the Teesside folk group The Young'uns - Radio 2's Folk Band of the Year Award winners in 2015 & 2016. Stumbling across a folk club at the age of 17, school friends Sean, David & Michael first heard the songs of Graeme Miles - songs about their local area - songs that resonated. They realised that there was beauty to be found in a place they had been brought up to believe was "deprived" and "unromantic", and that Graeme's songs instilled a sense of pride.

For years now the band have been singing Graeme's songs, and, in this programme, they find out more about the man and his work. Featuring interviews with Graeme's widow Annie, and discussion and performances from esteemed musicians from the folk world, including the critically-acclaimed band The Unthanks, this programme highlights some of Graeme's finest songs. From an emotive performance of 'Waiting For The Ferry' on the banks of the River Tees, to a stirring rendition of 'Ring of Iron' accompanied by the legendary Billingham group The Wilson Family, The Young'uns discover more about their muse, and present the programme in their unique and humorous way.

Produced by Elizabeth Foster.

Award-winning folk group The Young'uns discuss the north-east songwriter Graeme Miles.

Series in which artists describe the artists that inspire them.

02The Young'uns On Graeme Miles20171002Award-winning folk group The Young'uns discuss the north-east songwriter Graeme Miles.

Series in which artists describe the artists that inspire them.