Month: January 2018

  •  The Lasting Impression of Hugh Masekela

    As tributes pour in for the legendary South African trumpeter, vocalist, composer and arranger uBab’uHugh Ramopolo Masekela, the world reflects on his global contribution to music, his role in the anti-apartheid movement, and his advocacy for civil rights and heritage restoration in Africa. During a recording career spanning 60 years he reached audiences worldwide with […]

  • Words and Music 13 – Il Cor Tristo

    Words and Music 13 – Il Cor Tristo

    In the late nineties I was producer for the Naxos Audiobook recordings of Dante’s The Divine Comedy in a new English translation by Benedict Flynn.  The reader was the extraordinary Heathcote Williams who died in July 2017. I knew nothing at the time about Heathcote, his poetry, his political writing or his acting; but I […]

  • Mementos

    Mementos   [originally written for Aurora Orchestra blog] but see the mud is on our shoulders Edoardo Sanguineti … No listener, no performer, no composer can escape their personal musical histories and engage an ‘innocent ear’.  We hear through a bespoke hall of mirrors that transforms fluctuating air pressure into something rich and meaningful. We […]

  • Message in a bottle

    It was Bernard Rands, my composition teacher, who in 1971 introduced my family to the Italian aperitif Punt e Mes, a dark vermouth with a slightly bitter taste.  It became a favourite in our house for a few years, and a kind of family secret because in London at that time (and still today) it was not a well-known drink.  At the start of our relationship in the late eighties, Anna (now my wife) and I, rediscovered Punt e Mes and would always have a bottle in the house.  When in 1987 I was asked to take part in a live radio chat during the interval of a BBC concert which included the London premiere of Berio’s orchestral work Formazioni, I asked Anna to give me a word or phrase to slip into the discussion as a secret message across the airwaves: something challenging.  Yes I was that unprofessional.  Anna immediately suggested ‘Punt e Mes’.