The Voices Of

Episodes

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02Andy Partridge20170523

An intimate portrait of the songwriter, singer and frontman of the new wave rock band XTC.

An intimate portrait of the songwriter, singer and frontman of the new wave rock band XTC, Andy Partridge.

Brought up on a council estate in Swindon, Andy Partridge's escape from the poverty of his working class upbringing followed a classic path - art and music. At 15, he enrolled in what he calls the 'art floor' of the local college - Swindon didn't boast an actual art college. Then, he discovered the magnetic power of carrying around his Dad's old guitar. He didn't even have to play it to find himself the centre of attention.

In the years that followed - and in the wake of the punk explosion - he tasted celebrity and success with his band XTC. His curious vocal style and angular compositions were distinctive and influential. XTC built a cult status with songs such as Making Plans for Nigel and Senses Working Overtime, as well as albums including the acclaimed Skylarking.

But Swindon didn't lose Andy for long, despite the lure of London and New York. He lives there still, now with his American partner. And he's still writing songs - including for the recent album by the reformed Monkees.

In this programme, he talks about the trajectory of his career and the 'art blood' that has consistently flowed through his veins.

Produced by Alan Hall
A Falling Tree production for BBC Radio 4.

An intimate portrait of the songwriter, singer and frontman of the new wave rock band XTC, Andy Partridge.

Brought up on a council estate in Swindon, Andy Partridge's escape from the poverty of his working class upbringing followed a classic path - art and music. At 15, he enrolled in what he calls the 'art floor' of the local college - Swindon didn't boast an actual art college. Then, he discovered the magnetic power of carrying around his Dad's old guitar. He didn't even have to play it to find himself the centre of attention.

In the years that followed - and in the wake of the punk explosion - he tasted celebrity and success with his band XTC. His curious vocal style and angular compositions were distinctive and influential. XTC built a cult status with songs such as Making Plans for Nigel and Senses Working Overtime, as well as albums including the acclaimed Skylarking.

But Swindon didn't lose Andy for long, despite the lure of London and New York. He lives there still, now with his American partner. And he's still writing songs - including for the recent album by the reformed Monkees.

In this programme, he talks about the trajectory of his career and the 'art blood' that has consistently flowed through his veins.

Produced by Alan Hall
A Falling Tree production for BBC Radio 4

[Photo courtesy of Kevin Nixon, Prog Magazine].

02Andy Partridge20170731

An intimate portrait of the songwriter, singer and frontman of XTC, Andy Partridge.

An intimate portrait of the songwriter, singer and frontman of the new wave rock band XTC, Andy Partridge.

Brought up on a council estate in Swindon, Andy Partridge's escape from the poverty of his working class upbringing followed a classic path - art and music. At 15, he enrolled in what he calls the 'art floor' of the local college - Swindon didn't boast an actual art college. Then, he discovered the magnetic power of carrying around his Dad's old guitar. He didn't even have to play it to find himself the centre of attention.

In the years that followed - and in the wake of the punk explosion - he tasted celebrity and success with his band XTC. His curious vocal style and angular compositions were distinctive and influential. XTC built a cult status with songs such as Making Plans for Nigel and Senses Working Overtime, as well as albums including the acclaimed Skylarking.

But Swindon didn't lose Andy for long, despite the lure of London and New York. He lives there still, now with his American partner. And he's still writing songs - including for the recent album by the reformed Monkees.

In this programme, he talks about the trajectory of his career and the 'art blood' that has consistently flowed through his veins.

Produced by Alan Hall
A Falling Tree production for BBC Radio 4

[Photo courtesy of Kevin Nixon, Prog Magazine].

02Andy Partridge20170731

An intimate portrait of the songwriter, singer and frontman of XTC, Andy Partridge.

An intimate portrait of the songwriter, singer and frontman of the new wave rock band XTC, Andy Partridge.

Brought up on a council estate in Swindon, Andy Partridge's escape from the poverty of his working class upbringing followed a classic path - art and music. At 15, he enrolled in what he calls the 'art floor' of the local college - Swindon didn't boast an actual art college. Then, he discovered the magnetic power of carrying around his Dad's old guitar. He didn't even have to play it to find himself the centre of attention.

In the years that followed - and in the wake of the punk explosion - he tasted celebrity and success with his band XTC. His curious vocal style and angular compositions were distinctive and influential. XTC built a cult status with songs such as Making Plans for Nigel and Senses Working Overtime, as well as albums including the acclaimed Skylarking.

But Swindon didn't lose Andy for long, despite the lure of London and New York. He lives there still, now with his American partner. And he's still writing songs - including for the recent album by the reformed Monkees.

In this programme, he talks about the trajectory of his career and the 'art blood' that has consistently flowed through his veins.

Produced by Alan Hall
A Falling Tree production for BBC Radio 4

[Photo courtesy of Kevin Nixon, Prog Magazine].

02Ane Brun20170606

Norwegian singer Ane Brun talks about her life in music.

The Norwegian singer Ane Brun talks about her life in music.

Ane Brun has lived and worked in Stockholm for most of her professional life. Much of her music is sung in English - collaborating with British and American artists such as Peter Gabriel and Ron Sexsmith, or re-imagining songs by Beyonce and the music of Monteverdi and Purcell. It's as if she spends her life in a kind of musical translation, between artists and languages, cultures and history.

But her solo albums - including A Temporary Dive and It All Starts With One - reveal an artist rooted in her own sense of musical expression, alternately melancholy and playful. As she muses in Changing of the Seasons, "I guess I'm too Scandinavian."

Alan Hall visits Ane Brun at her studio in Stockholm and shares a walk through the old city, discussing Shakespeare, her family at home in Norway and the particular qualities of her distinctive voice.

Produced by Alan Hall
A Falling Tree production for BBC Radio 4.

02Ane Brun20170814

Norwegian singer Ane Brun talks about her life in music.

The Norwegian singer Ane Brun talks about her life in music.

Ane Brun has lived and worked in Stockholm for most of her professional life. Much of her music is sung in English - collaborating with British and American artists such as Peter Gabriel and Ron Sexsmith, or re-imagining songs by Beyonce and the music of Monteverdi and Purcell. It's as if she spends her life in a kind of musical translation, between artists and languages, cultures and history.

But her solo albums - including A Temporary Dive and It All Starts With One - reveal an artist rooted in her own sense of musical expression, alternately melancholy and playful. As she muses in Changing of the Seasons, "I guess I'm too Scandinavian."

Alan Hall visits Ane Brun at her studio in Stockholm and shares a walk through the old city, discussing Shakespeare, her family at home in Norway and the particular qualities of her distinctive voice.

Produced by Alan Hall
A Falling Tree production for BBC Radio 4.

02Ane Brun20170814

Norwegian singer Ane Brun talks about her life in music.

The Norwegian singer Ane Brun talks about her life in music.

Ane Brun has lived and worked in Stockholm for most of her professional life. Much of her music is sung in English - collaborating with British and American artists such as Peter Gabriel and Ron Sexsmith, or re-imagining songs by Beyonce and the music of Monteverdi and Purcell. It's as if she spends her life in a kind of musical translation, between artists and languages, cultures and history.

But her solo albums - including A Temporary Dive and It All Starts With One - reveal an artist rooted in her own sense of musical expression, alternately melancholy and playful. As she muses in Changing of the Seasons, "I guess I'm too Scandinavian."

Alan Hall visits Ane Brun at her studio in Stockholm and shares a walk through the old city, discussing Shakespeare, her family at home in Norway and the particular qualities of her distinctive voice.

Produced by Alan Hall
A Falling Tree production for BBC Radio 4.

02Christopher Robson20170530

Countertenor Christopher Robson reflects on his life in music.

Countertenor Christopher Robson reflects on his life in music - from playing in a Salvation Army band, via the stage of the Coliseum singing Handel, to working with Damon Albarn.

Christopher Robson found his voice by chance during a singing lesson as a teenager. Up to that point he had proved himself a musical child, playing cornet in a Salvation Army band and singing during services, sometimes reluctantly and often with his brother Nigel. But from the moment he discovered falsetto - the ability to soar above the usual range of the male voice - his ambitions led in a different direction. What followed resembles, at times, the life of a rock star rather than an opera singer.

In this intimate portrait, recorded at the London Coliseum, Christopher looks back on his rocky route into the music business, roles in iconic productions, such as Nicholas Hytner's Xerxes, his life in Germany and collaborating with Damon Albarn on his opera Dr Dee.

Produced by Alan Hall
A Falling Tree production for BBC Radio 4.

02Christopher Robson20170807
02Christopher Robson20170807

Countertenor Christopher Robson reflects on his life in music.

Countertenor Christopher Robson reflects on his life in music - from playing in a Salvation Army band, via the stage of the Coliseum singing Handel, to working with Damon Albarn.

Christopher Robson found his voice by chance during a singing lesson as a teenager. Up to that point he had proved himself a musical child, playing cornet in a Salvation Army band and singing during services, sometimes reluctantly and often with his brother Nigel. But from the moment he discovered falsetto - the ability to soar above the usual range of the male voice - his ambitions led in a different direction. What followed resembles, at times, the life of a rock star rather than an opera singer.

In this intimate portrait, recorded at the London Coliseum, Christopher looks back on his rocky route into the music business, roles in iconic productions, such as Nicholas Hytner's Xerxes, his life in Germany and collaborating with Damon Albarn on his opera Dr Dee.

Produced by Alan Hall
A Falling Tree production for BBC Radio 4.