Title: A Poet's Song BBC Radio 4
Post by Kevin Cryan on Today at 08:59
Can I recommend with reservations BBC Radio 4's A Poet's Song (http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/arts/pip/2oiy0/ ), broadcast on Sunday the 6th of January, repeated on Saturday 12th of January and available on the internet "replay" for a limited period of time.
The programme, described in the Radio Times failed to deliver anything quite as interesting as "an exploration of the differences between poetry and song" promised by the Radio Times, but that's not to say that it was a complete washout.
The idea behind the was that two respected contemporary poets, Paul Farley (http://www.contemporarywriters.com/authors/profile/?p=auth02A15H405712626433) and Jo Sapcott (http://www.contemporarywriters.com/authors/?p=auth152) would write lyrics which two contemporary musicians Doc Brown (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doc_Brown_(rapper)) and Jamie Cullum (http://www.jamiecullum.com/) would then to set to music.
Although I'm less of an expert on rapping than I am in what it is that Jamie Cullum does -and, to be honest I cannot say that I'm an "expert" there either - it did seem to me that Brown had much greater difficulty in getting the lyrics which Farley tried to tailor for him to work than Cullum had in finding an appropriate (Johnny Mandel (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnny_Mandel)ish, Pete?) setting for Sapcott's lyric.
The whole excercise would have been much more interesting, had it been presented by someone like Russell Davies rather than by one of the participants (Farley), someone detached enough to see what had been achieved what had not been achieved, had it been a half an hour longer – it runs for a paltry 30 minutes – and had the participants been given enough time to explore more fully why it was neither poet had come up with a wholly satisfactory pop song.
Still, anyone interested in song-writing -that probably means anyone who reads this - should find that the 30 minutes spent listening is by no means 30 minutes ill spent.
PS. I think that Jamie Cullum might right for Fat Cat. (see elsewhere in these pages)
Title: Re: A Poet's Song BBC Radio 4
Post by Kevin Cryan on Today at 13:19
On hopes that this is more nourishing fare than A Poet's Song.
How Pop Songs Work Wed, 9 January, 10pm (http://www.bbc.co.uk/musictv/pop/howpopsongswork/)
About the Programme
Conductor Charles Hazlewood explores the mechanics of the pop song aided by contributions from a cast of talented pop writers, producers and arrangers.
Charles breaks down the pop song into six key areas - melody, song structure, lyrics, production, arrangement and performance - and uses classic pop tunes to explore each. He looks at the classic pop melody of John Lennon's Imagine, the groundbreaking production of The Beatles' Tomorrow Never Knows, the hypnotic song structure of Amy Winehouse's Back to Black, amongst others.
Title: Re: A Poet's Song BBC Radio 4
Post by Kevin Cryan on 09.01.08 at 07:28
The Guardian (http://www.guardian.co.uk/) Saturday January 5 2008
Top of the boffs
Thought pop music was brainless? Conductor Charles Hazelwood reckons it follows the same rules as classical music. He explains the science behind the songs to Johnny Dee
Saturday January 5, 2008
The Guardian (http://www.guardian.co.uk/)
Despite the billions it earns Great Britain in tax revenue, pop music continues to be treated as trivial nonsense by the establishment -from judges who don't know who Oasis are to politicians pathetically pretending to like David Bowie. It's the same with art snobs who view pop as trash.
Congratulations, then, to BBC Four whose Pop! What Is It Good For? season this month treats British pop with the same reverence you'd associate with programmes studying the Ancient Greeks or Mozart's operas. Pop On Trial sees Stuart Maconie debating the best musical decade, Pop Britannia reveals the inner workings of the managers and producers behind our greatest bands and in How Pop Songs Work the classical conductor Charles Hazlewood explores the mechanics of a hit song.......Article continues (http://music.guardian.co.uk/pop/story/0,,2235466,00.html)
· How Pop Songs Work, Wed, 10pm, BBC4. For info on Pop! What Is It Good For? visit bbc.co.uk/pop
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