Music: February 2010 Archives

Jonny Greenwood - Doghouse

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Alan Turing - Blue Plaque
(This photo has nothing to do with the concert, but I took it down the road from the BBC's Maida Vale studios).

I'd never been to the BBC's Maida Vale studios. But this evening I was off to them to see the BBC Concert Orchestra playing the world premiere of Jonny Greenwood's new piece as Composer-in-Association (not Residence as the notes claimed) - Doghouse.

A deluge of rain gave a nice soaking to the hundred and fifty or so people queuing outside the studios just before we were let in.

There was a full programme recorded live with a Radio 3 presenter - Sara Mohr-Pietsch - introducing pieces or back announcing them as we heard them. Conducting was Robert Ziegler who I think has worked a little with Greenwood on this.

The selection of other music we heard was eclectic to say the least. It's probably a fair reflection of the kind of music that the BBC Concert Orchestra plays regularly. So we heard some 40s and 50s pieces with their soaring strings from films of that period. But we jumped around quite a lot. So we heard Bernard Herrmann's Vertigo, a piece from Angelo Badalamenti's Blue Velvet, an extract from the score to Limelight, apparently composed by Charlie Chaplin himself, and a piece featuring extracts from Frank Waxman's score to Rebecca. There were also pieces by Robert Farnon and Angela Morley.

Before Doghouse, Mohr-Pietsch interviewed Greenwood and Ziegler about the genesis of the piece, and its meaning. Then we heard the 20 minute or so piece which I felt was somewhat different to the other pieces we'd heard. Trying to describe it here would be difficult, but if you're familiar with Popcorn Superhet Receiver, which would become part of the awesome soundtrack to There Will Be Blood, will give you an idea. This is more challenging fare. Indeed it seems that this piece will inform the soundtrack to a forthcoming Japanese film, Norwegian Wood, based on the novel by Murakami.

Anyway, in a couple of weeks, you'll be able to hear as it's broadcast on Afternoon on 3 on Friday 19 March at 2pm.

Amy MacDonald

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Amy MacDonald-1

Amy MacDonald played a set in London's Hard Rock Café for Absolute Radio earlier this evening. The set, promoting a new album, was great and should be going out on-air next Monday.

In the meantime, even though I wasn't right at the front, I'm pretty happy with some of the photos I took. As well as the above shot, there's more here.

Transatlantic Sessions

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Transatlantic Sessions-3

Transatlantic Sessions is one of those TV programmes which you may have seen if you spend any time watching BBC Four, BBC Alba, or (I guess) BBC Scotland.

Jerry Douglas hosts a variety of musicians from Scotland, Ireland, the US and elsewhere as they record - well, sessions - which are then broadcast in a very lush manner. Anyone and everyone seems to get involved.

As Celtic Connections has just taken place in Glasgow, a Transatlantic Sessions "band" was put together and last night in the Royal Festival Hall was the last night of their short tour. I got a late ticket when they put the Choir seats on sale. As is obvious from the picture above (and below), that meant I was sitting behind the band. Fortunately, the sound was fine with the RFH thoughtfully placing some speakers pointing backwards.

The set-up was fun in that rarely were all 17 singers and musicians playing simultaneously, so there were a couple of sofas just below where I was sitting for everyone not playing in a particular song to "hang out."

So who else was there? Well lots of people.

Cara Dillon; fresh from winning the Best Album award at the BBC Folk Awards.
Dan Tyminski; the "voice" of George Clooney in O Brother Where Art Thou, and who is part of Alison Krauss and Union Station (when it's not on "hiatus").
Sara Watkins; part of Nickel Creek who I once saw play live at work, and now performing solo.
Eddi Reader; once of Fairground Attraction fame.

And plenty more.

Lots of original work and more than a few covers. I fear that I'll be looking out a few CDs in the coming weeks.

Transatlantic Sessions-4

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Music category from February 2010.

Music: September 2009 is the previous archive.

Music: June 2010 is the next archive.

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