Under The Influence, Under The Influence


01Jon Boden20110328

is a folk musician who loves post-apocalyptic literature, works such as 'The Changes Trilogy' by Peter Dickinson, in which the people of England develop a dread of technology, Russell Hoban's 'Riddley Walker', set in the aftermath of such destruction that even the language has fragmented and Cormac McCarthy's 'The Road', in which a father and his son desperately push a cart with their few possessions, some tins of food and a pistol through a devastated land.

He thought this was at odds with his work as a performer of traditional English song, music that sometimes celebrates a bucolic idyll.

But, after becoming a father, he began to consider the implications of contemporary geo-politics.

With the end of an oil dependent economy, would reality and the world depicted in the literature he enjoys coincide? Or might this lead to a world closer to that described in traditional song, and the kind of society that produced that music?

Producer: Julian May.

Jon Boden on the influence of apocalyptic science-fiction on him as a folk singer.

02Emma Rice20110329

Emma Rice is associated with Kneehigh, the Cornish theatre company renowned for its epic outside productions, and tours of tiny village halls.

Her vivid stagings of 'The Red Shoes' and 'The Wooden Frock' explore the violence, sexual undercurrents and power structures of traditional tales.

She has re-imagined film and recreated it as live theatre.

The physical theatricality of her shows have struck a chord with audiences, and taken her work from Bodmin to Broadway.

In this essay she steps back from the stage and the rehearsal room to reflect on the influences that have shaped her work.

Produer: Julian May.

Emma Rice reveals the influences that stamp her work as a theatre director.

03Kei Miller20110330

The poems of Kei Miller are rich and languorous.

Their language reflects the speech of his native Jamaica and has a heightened, sometimes Biblical aspect.

It sounds almost as if it were written for performance rather than to be read.Yet this is rigorous and literary work.

In this essay Miller reflects on his upbringing and travels - he was born in 1978, grew up in Kingston, has lived in Canada and now works in Glasgow - and how his experience finds expression in language, image and narrative.

Producer: Julian May.

Jamaican writer Kei Miller reflects on influences shaping his poems and novels.

04Tom Hunter20110331

Tom Hunter's most famous image is of a young woman by a window, reading a letter.

An infant in a bright red pullover lies nearby.

It is called 'Woman reading a Possession Order'.

Anyone who who has seen Vermeer's 'A Girl Reading at an Open Window' will recognise the composition immediately.

It shares something of Vermeer's stillness and light, too.

Yet Hunter's picture is that rare thing, a work of art that has caused something to happen.

Or, rather, caused something not to happen.

The young woman was a neighbour living in a squat, who had received an eviction order.

The response to Hunter's photograph was so strong that the eviction did not take place.

In this essay Hunter considers how his art, influenced by the old master Vermeer, can focus on real people and the issues affecting their lives.

Producer: Julian May.

Photographer and artist Tom Hunter on the impact that Vermeer has had on his work.

05 LASTShobana Jeyasingh20110401

Born in Chennai, India and now living in London, Shobana Jeyasingh founded the Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Company in 1988.

She is renowned for innovative work that draws on classical, modern and Asian dance traditions.

Much of her choreography is made not for the theare but sites beyond it.

So, '2Step' was a piece for twenty dancers on the steps of St Paul's cathedral.

Another was for Greenwich Borough Hall, but involved a live web cast from Bangalore.

Shobana Jeyasingh turns from dance to words to consider the influences that find expression in her choreography.

Producer: Julian May.

Indian-born choreographer Shobana Jeyasingh reflects on the influences shaping her dances.