Soul Music

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Series about pieces of music with a powerful emotional impact

115 épisodes

31 juillet 2019 - 00:01710
Personal stories about Farewell to Stromness, by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies. Written in 1980 as a protest against uranium mining in Orkney, the music has touched and changed people's lives. The Orkney landscape which inspired Max's music is described by his partner Tim Morrison. We hear from Rosalind Newton, for whom the music provided peace after the death of her grandmother. Conductor Christopher Warren-Green recalls his performance of the music at the wedding of the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall. In Stromness we discover a community coming together to face the threat of uranium mining. Guitarist Sean Shibe and writer Ivan Hewett consider why this simple piece is so subtle and affective. And we hear from Jeana Leslie how the music, with its quiet melancholy inspired by folk music, has became traditional , and was a favourite for Peter Maxwell Davies to perform to visitors at his remote island home.Producer: Melvin Rickarby
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24 juillet 2019 - 00:01709
“I follow the Moskva, down to Gorky Park… listening to the wind of change.”The German rock band Scorpions’ lead singer Klaus Meine was inspired to write Wind of Change at a rock festival in Moscow in the summer of 1989. Politics were rapidly shifting in the Soviet Union at the time as a result of Mikhail Gorbachev’s reforms. Recalling the peaceful yet revolutionary atmosphere at the concerts, Klaus said “there was a whole new generation of Russian kids that said the Cold War would be over soon - we could literally feel the world changing in front of our eyes”.No one had any idea that the Berlin wall would come down only a few months later. Wind of Change was released in 1990, and has since become an unofficial anthem for the end of the Cold War and the reunification of Germany in 1991. The power ballad is one the best-selling singles in history, and popular all over the world.Featuring interviews with lead singer of the Scorpions Klaus Meine, Russian rock musician Stas Namin, and true stories of what the song means to people who lived in the former USSR.Producer: Sophie Anton
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17 juillet 2019 - 00:01675
50 years after it was first recorded, Ralph McTell and others discuss a song that was written for a heroin addict, became an anthem against homelessness, and transcended the folk genre to become an enduring classic.Ralph McTell says he’s thought constantly about the “blip in my graph” that is Streets of London. People say to him “50 years. One hit. You think you’d have given up by now”. But, Ralph says, that’s not why he writes songs. And, of course, he’s written many. Many that he considers far better than Streets of London. But this remains his best known, best loved, and most played track. It was first recorded 50 years ago, in 1969, for his album Spiral Staircase although it wasn’t released as a single until 1974.Taking part in Soul Music, alongside Ralph, with their stories and memories connected to Streets of London, are:Jerry Playle, a music producer. His first ever public performance as a teenage guitarist was of Streets of London. The guitar part went well, but when he opened his mouth to sing, he realised - to his horror - that he couldn't...Gwen Ever, a DJ. He became homeless in the 1980s. It’s the unlikely punk version of Streets of London by the Anti Nowhere League that reminds him of this time.Maria Bentley-Dingwall, the daughter of Iris Bentley. Iris was the sister of Derek Bentley who was hanged for a murder he did not commit. Iris spent her life campaigning for his conviction to be quashed. Ralph McTell grew up knowing this story, became a friend of the family, wrote a song about the case, and sang Streets of London at Iris Bentley’s funeral.Producer: Karen Gregor
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10 juillet 2019 - 00:01717
Amy Winehouse died in July 2011 aged just 27. Back to Black the title track of her second and final album is a torch song to tragic love, addiction and loss. People who loved her and her music talk about how she helped them cope with their own struggles. Lesley Jamison is now a successful writer but at 27 she was an alcoholic. She stopped drinking the same year that Amy died. Lesley reflects on how her own life could have followed the same path had she gone further into the darkness or the black of drinking and self destruction. Daisy Buchanan tells her story of addictive love and how Back to Black helped her break free. Umaru Saidu was a vulnerable teenager with mental health issues who lost a dear childhood friend when he was 17. He later trained at the Amy's Yard programme and is grateful for the inspiration she gave him. As a young teenager Amy Charles too identified with the pain expressed in Back to Black and says it helped her deal with depression brought on by a spinal injury. Donald Brackett is the author of Back to Black: Amy Winehouse's Only Masterpiece and believes performing the song may have become traumatic for her in the end as it forced her to relive the emotional pain. Elizabeth Kesses was visiting her terminally ill father at the same hospital where Amy Winehouse was being treated. She recalls seeing her there and hoping she would recover. Sadly it was not to be. But these stories reveal a legacy that goes beyond the music.Producer: Maggie Ayre
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23 janvier 2019 - 00:01649
The story of how a song from a classic 80’s movie became an inspirational anthem for a 21st Century generation.Carly Simon’s ‘Let the River Run’ was originally conceived as the title track for the 1988 movie ‘Working Girl. It went on to win the Academy Award for Best Original Song. It also went on to win the affection of people around the world.Initially thought of as a ‘hymn for New York’, ‘Let the River Run’ encapsulates the spirit of striving for a better life. As Carly Simon puts it herself, “I wanted it to be large, I wanted it to be vast – it’s about bringing forth a common desire into the world”. In more recent years it has become an anthem for Woman's Rights Movements and global initiatives aimed at making a better life for all.Featuring interviews with: Carly Simon, Ginny Suss (music producer and part of the team who organised the Women’s March on Washington), Ultra Marathon Runner Elisabet Barnes, Nina Ritzen and music from The Resistance Revival Chorus.Produced by Nicola Humphries
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23 janvier 2019 - 00:01649
The story of how a song from a classic 80’s movie became an inspirational anthem for a 21st Century generation.Carly Simon’s ‘Let the River Run’ was originally conceived as the title track for the 1988 movie ‘Working Girl. It went on to win the Academy Award for Best Original Song. It also went on to win the affection of people around the world.Initially thought of as a ‘hymn for New York’, ‘Let the River Run’ encapsulates the spirit of striving for a better life. As Carly Simon puts it herself, “I wanted it to be large, I wanted it to be vast – it’s about bringing forth a common desire into the world”. In more recent years it has become an anthem for Woman's Rights Movements and global initiatives aimed at making a better life for all.Featuring interviews with: Carly Simon, Ginny Suss (music producer and part of the team who organised the Women’s March on Washington), Ultra Marathon Runner Elisabet Barnes, Nina Ritzen and music from The Resistance Revival Chorus.Produced by Nicola Humphries
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17 janvier 2019 - 00:01665
The music was written by Charlie Chaplin in 1935 for the film 'Modern Times', but the lyrics were only added thirty years later. Chris Philips tells the story of how his grandfather was inspired to write the words when he left his father at boarding school; Gemma Lowery talks about how her son Bradley loved the song; writer Bryony Rheam describes why she associates the song with her grandmother; Marine Lucas remembers flying to Michael Jackson's memorial on hearing the news of his death and author Bob Williams remembers after his father died, his mother sitting on the floor listening to the Nat King Cole version and crying when he came home from school.
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16 janvier 2019 - 00:01665
This classic tune was written by Charlie Chaplin for the film 'Modern Times.'
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9 janvier 2019 - 00:01651
The B-Flat Piano Sonata D960, which Schubert completed two months before his death, in 1828, is a vast and complex work. It’s the last of a triptych of piano sonatas that Schubert wrote, possibly in response to the death of his hero Beethoven the year before. Schubert had been a pallbearer at Beethoven’s funeral.In this programme, pianists Imogen Cooper, Steven Osborne and James Lisney consider what it’s like to play this work. And Andrea Avery and Pamela Rose describe ways in which this sonata has marked and shaped their lives.Producer: Rosie Boulton
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26 décembre 2018 - 00:01669
Shine On You Crazy Diamond discussed by voices including David Gilmour of Pink Floyd.Understood to have been written about Syd Barrett, their former band member, it’s both a tribute, and a call for him to ‘shine on’ despite suffering serious mental health issues.In this edition of Soul Music, David Gilmour of Pink Floyd recalls the legendary day that Syd Barrett unexpectedly appeared in the studio where they were recording Wish You Were Here, the album bookended by Shine On. Nobody recognised Syd at first; once handsome and slender, he'd gained weight and shaved his head and eyebrows.Another contributor to the programme, Anna Gascoigne, talks about the pain of losing her son, Jay. He was a gentle boy, a talented musician, who eventually succumbed to the multiple mental health problems he had battled for years. Shine On You Crazy Diamond, for Anna, speaks directly to her of Jay; he loved Pink Floyd and Shine On was played at his memorial service. Anna, herself, was driven to the brink of suicide by her son’s death. It was the support of her family – including her brother, Paul Gascoigne - that helped her to carry on.Ed Steelefox, a DJ based in Worcester, describes a New Year’s Eve house-party of a few years ago: as the guests gradually fell asleep he chose to slip out the door leaving a non-stop playlist of different, live, versions of Shine On You Crazy Diamond to penetrate their dreams.And Professor Allan Moore, a regular Soul Music contributor, takes to the grand piano to play and talk about what it is in the track that is so directly reminiscent of Syd Barrett.NB: Details of organisations offering information and support are available at bbc.co.uk/actionline, or you can call for free, at any time to hear recorded information on 08000 566 065. Please scroll further down this page to 'Related Links' for direct links to actionline, and for more information about Jay's story.Producer: Karen Gregor
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26 décembre 2018 - 00:01669
Shine On You Crazy Diamond discussed by voices including David Gilmour of Pink Floyd.Understood to have been written about Syd Barrett, their former band member, it’s both a tribute, and a call for him to ‘shine on’ despite suffering serious mental health issues.In this edition of Soul Music, David Gilmour of Pink Floyd recalls the legendary day that Syd Barrett unexpectedly appeared in the studio where they were recording Wish You Were Here, the album bookended by Shine On. Nobody recognised Syd at first; once handsome and slender, he'd gained weight and shaved his head and eyebrows.Another contributor to the programme, Anna Gascoigne, talks about the pain of losing her son, Jay. He was a gentle boy, a talented musician, who eventually succumbed to the multiple mental health problems he had battled for years. Shine On You Crazy Diamond, for Anna, speaks directly to her of Jay; he loved Pink Floyd and Shine On was played at his memorial service. Anna, herself, was driven to the brink of suicide by her son’s death. It was the support of her family – including her brother, Paul Gascoigne - that helped her to carry on.Ed Steelefox, a DJ based in Worcester, describes a New Year’s Eve house-party of a few years ago: as the guests gradually fell asleep he chose to slip out the door leaving a non-stop playlist of different, live, versions of Shine On You Crazy Diamond to penetrate their dreams.And Professor Allan Moore, a regular Soul Music contributor, takes to the grand piano to play and talk about what it is in the track that is so directly reminiscent of Syd Barrett.NB: Details of organisations offering information and support are available at bbc.co.uk/actionline, or you can call for free, at any time to hear recorded information on 08000 566 065. Please scroll further down this page to 'Related Links' for direct links to actionline, and for more information about Jay's story.Producer: Karen Gregor
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19 décembre 2018 - 00:01669
A new series of Soul Music begins with stories of Joni Mitchell's 'River', from her iconic 1971 album Blue. A song about the breakdown of a relationship and of a longing to be elsewhere that has become a melancholy Christmas anthem.It's coming on Christmas / They're cutting down trees / They're putting up reindeer / And singing songs of joy and peace / Oh I wish I had a river / I could skate away on....Emotional true stories of what the song means to different people, including comedian Chris Forbes, who lost his father on Christmas Day; Isobel, who fell sick far from home and understands the longing to be elsewhere captured in the song; Laura, who heard the song while pregnant at Christmastime; writer Rob Crossan, who will forever associate the song with his first love; Canadian poet Lorna Crozier who describes the frozen rivers of her and Joni's Saskatchewan childhood; and from Joni Mitchell's biographer David Yaffe.Includes a rare live recording of 'River' from a BBC Concert in 1970, hosted by John Peel. The other versions of the song are by (in order of appearance) Joni Mitchell (Blue, 1971), Scott Matthews (Live Session for BBC 6 Music, 2011), Béla Fleck and the Flecktones (Jingle All the Way, 2008) and the Belgian indie choir Scala & Kolacny Brothers (Live Session for BBC 6 Music, 2011).Producer: Mair Bosworth
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19 décembre 2018 - 00:01669
A new series of Soul Music begins with stories of Joni Mitchell's 'River', from her iconic 1971 album Blue. A song about the breakdown of a relationship and of a longing to be elsewhere that has become a melancholy Christmas anthem.It's coming on Christmas / They're cutting down trees / They're putting up reindeer / And singing songs of joy and peace / Oh I wish I had a river / I could skate away on....Emotional true stories of what the song means to different people, including comedian Chris Forbes, who lost his father on Christmas Day; Isobel, who fell sick far from home and understands the longing to be elsewhere captured in the song; Laura, who heard the song while pregnant at Christmastime; writer Rob Crossan, who will forever associate the song with his first love; Canadian poet Lorna Crozier who describes the frozen rivers of her and Joni's Saskatchewan childhood; and from Joni Mitchell's biographer David Yaffe.Includes a rare live recording of 'River' from a BBC Concert in 1970, hosted by John Peel. The other versions of the song are by (in order of appearance) Joni Mitchell (Blue, 1971), Scott Matthews (Live Session for BBC 6 Music, 2011), Béla Fleck and the Flecktones (Jingle All the Way, 2008) and the Belgian indie choir Scala & Kolacny Brothers (Live Session for BBC 6 Music, 2011).Producer: Mair Bosworth
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2 mai 2018 - 00:01672
"Your true colors...are beautiful, like a rainbow..."Billy Steinberg's lyrics were originally inspired by his mother but his song writing partner Tom Kelly recognised it's universal appeal and with a slight re-write, it became the song that Cyndi Lauper made famous the world over.Growing up in a small town in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Ken Kidd could never truly be himself. Watching Cyndi Lauper perform True Colors on MTV showed him that it was OK to be his authentic self. Years later he describes his pride at watching the Rainbow Flag being raised above the Stonewall National Monument as he and other LGBTQ campaigners sang that same song.Lesley Pyne learnt to sing 'True Colors' with her local choir. It's a song that resonated with her more than she had ever expected. After six attempts at IVF, Lesley had had to come to terms with the knowledge that she wouldn't be able to have children. It wasn't easy. It has taken years of digging deep to work through the grief but now she helps others to find their true colours and firmly believes that they can be beautiful, like a rainbow.And in 1999, Caroline Paige, a jet and helicopter navigator in the Royal Air Force, became the first ever openly serving transgender officer in the British military. She rose above the extraordinary challenges placed before her to show her 'True Colors' whilst serving her country on the front line in the war on terror.Featuring songwriter Billy Steinberg and music from The Rock ChoirProduced by Nicola Humphries.
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2 mai 2018 - 00:01672
"Your true colors...are beautiful, like a rainbow..."Billy Steinberg's lyrics were originally inspired by his mother but his song writing partner Tom Kelly recognised it's universal appeal and with a slight re-write, it became the song that Cyndi Lauper made famous the world over.Growing up in a small town in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Ken Kidd could never truly be himself. Watching Cyndi Lauper perform True Colors on MTV showed him that it was OK to be his authentic self. Years later he describes his pride at watching the Rainbow Flag being raised above the Stonewall National Monument as he and other LGBTQ campaigners sang that same song.Lesley Pyne learnt to sing 'True Colors' with her local choir. It's a song that resonated with her more than she had ever expected. After six attempts at IVF, Lesley had had to come to terms with the knowledge that she wouldn't be able to have children. It wasn't easy. It has taken years of digging deep to work through the grief but now she helps others to find their true colours and firmly believes that they can be beautiful, like a rainbow.And in 1999, Caroline Paige, a jet and helicopter navigator in the Royal Air Force, became the first ever openly serving transgender officer in the British military. She rose above the extraordinary challenges placed before her to show her 'True Colors' whilst serving her country on the front line in the war on terror.Featuring songwriter Billy Steinberg and music from The Rock ChoirProduced by Nicola Humphries.
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25 avril 2018 - 00:01648
"God only knows what I'd be without you"For artist Kim Lynch God Only Knows is a song that she has carried with her from the moment her father played it to her mother back in their 1960's London home and it's the song that resonated throughout her parents 65 years together.Meanwhile in land locked Burundi, another couple are bought together from two very different cultures. Sharing the same hopes and prayers, they began their married life by blending a traditional wedding ceremony with the Californian song that spans decades - and continents - to touch souls wherever it's played.And across the ocean, Erin Prewitt tells her love story and describes how tragic and unexpected circumstances meant she has had to learn to live out those iconic lyrics and discover what it means to be without the person you love.With reflections from musician Al Kooper and author Barry Miles.Produced By Nicola Humphries.
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25 avril 2018 - 00:01648
"God only knows what I'd be without you"For artist Kim Lynch God Only Knows is a song that she has carried with her from the moment her father played it to her mother back in their 1960's London home and it's the song that resonated throughout her parents 65 years together.Meanwhile in land locked Burundi, another couple are bought together from two very different cultures. Sharing the same hopes and prayers, they began their married life by blending a traditional wedding ceremony with the Californian song that spans decades - and continents - to touch souls wherever it's played.And across the ocean, Erin Prewitt tells her love story and describes how tragic and unexpected circumstances meant she has had to learn to live out those iconic lyrics and discover what it means to be without the person you love.With reflections from musician Al Kooper and author Barry Miles.Produced By Nicola Humphries.
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18 avril 2018 - 00:01653
Claude Debussy's Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun speaks to artists of different kinds. Jamaican poet Ishion Hutchinson recalls hearing it through an open window in Kingston Jamaica and being mesmerised by its beauty, but not knowing what it was, setting off on a quest to find out and to write a poem that captured his feelings about the piece. Babak Kazemi was training to be a doctor in his home city of Tehran when he heard it for the first time. The piece changed his life and led him to abandon his medical studies in Iran to move to the UK to become a professional conductor and composer. Artist Fiona Robinson specialises in interpreting Debussy's works on paper. She explains how she has been moved to visualise the Prelude, while Debussy's biographer Paul Roberts credits it with having changed classical music forever. Katya Jezzard-Puyraud recalls how the music lifted her out of a difficult time after the birth of her first son and how she uses it now to help people with anxiety and stress to relax.Producer: Maggie Ayre.
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18 avril 2018 - 00:01653
Claude Debussy's Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun speaks to artists of different kinds. Jamaican poet Ishion Hutchinson recalls hearing it through an open window in Kingston Jamaica and being mesmerised by its beauty, but not knowing what it was, setting off on a quest to find out and to write a poem that captured his feelings about the piece. Babak Kazemi was training to be a doctor in his home city of Tehran when he heard it for the first time. The piece changed his life and led him to abandon his medical studies in Iran to move to the UK to become a professional conductor and composer. Artist Fiona Robinson specialises in interpreting Debussy's works on paper. She explains how she has been moved to visualise the Prelude, while Debussy's biographer Paul Roberts credits it with having changed classical music forever. Katya Jezzard-Puyraud recalls how the music lifted her out of a difficult time after the birth of her first son and how she uses it now to help people with anxiety and stress to relax.Producer: Maggie Ayre.
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11 avril 2018 - 00:01664
A Whiter Shade of Pale by Procol Harum: Why has this surreal track remained enduringly popular for over 50 years? Soul Music hears the stories and memories of those who love it.Released in May 1967, A Whiter Shade of Pale was Procol Harum's first single. It went to No. 1 in the UK, and stayed there for six weeks.Contributors:Musicologist, Allan Moore, deconstructs the track and dismisses the almost universally accepted idea that it mimics Bach's Air on a G String.Film-maker, Chris Rodley, remembers the impact it had on him when he heard it for the first time, in the dead of the night, on Radio Caroline.Musician, James Pollard, explains how he created a wedding march for a friend using this track as inspiration.Thriller writer, Nelson DeMille, describes his year in Vietnam as 'the year without music', but A Whiter Shade of Pale is the one song that reminds him of his time there.Singer, Sarah Collins, suffered a brain tumour shortly after the birth of her second child. Making the decision to sing again was fundamental to her healing process. As her Dad, Phil, explains 'Whiter Shade' is his favourite song. He was very moved when she decided to record it for her YouTube channel.Produced in Bristol by Karen Gregor.
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