Listen to our Audience Playlist and find out what our audience members, supporters and Turner Sims Friends are listening to during lockdown to stay inspired, motivated and connected.
Turner Sims Friend Dr Nick Hayes introduces the playlist and tells us a little more about his choices…
Here’s a first selection of our contributors with their musical treats…
‘It might not be the most important thing in the word but I let out a massive ‘Oh no’ the other day when I realised that the cancellations would be mean that Flook (pictured) would not be playing Turner Sims. Flook are the most incredibly talented and lovely musicians who create wonderfully intricate music that always makes me smile and jiggle.’
During the ‘lock-down’ I’ve been listening to a bit more music on radio than usual, often having BBC Sounds on in the background while also doing something else on my computer. When the invitation to contribute to this playlist came through I’d just been listening to a recorded Radio 3 concert with several piano works performed by Mariam Batsashvili; I was ‘transported’ by her beautiful playing in the two pieces I’ve selected. (First two items from a live concert at Wigmore Hall, broadcast several times on BBC Radio 3, most recently at 1pm on Sunday 29 March). Along with ‘anything by Bach, Vivaldi, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven’, British and American folk/traditional has long been my other musical love. I’ve been catching up with Seth Lakeman’s 4-part Folk Map of the British Isles on Radio 2. Early in the first episode (on Scotland) he played Dick Gaughan’s version of Robert Burns’ Now Westlin Winds (3rd item played, BBC Radio 2, 9pm, Sat 1 Feb 2020), which for some reason always moves me deeply.
(As the Bach and Haydn works performed by Mariam Batsashvili are not available on Spotify, these pieces are instead played by Gyorgy Sandor and Veronika Reznikovskaya in the playlist)
‘In part, the choice That ain’t it is said to be a comment by the great man (Miles Davis) himself to a drummer during an audition. A typically undiplomatic brush-off. Leastways, that’s the way the drummer of Get The Blessing told it during the gig. (That was another great evening at Turner Sims, by the way. Two terrific sets and the band even spent the interval in the foyer, chatting and signing.) The Get The Blessing album with the track is All is Yes. Really worth checking out.’
‘I’ve been listening a lot lately to Charles Lloyd, Requiem etc. I was amazed
that he’s still playing and with such sensitivity and expression. He’s supposed to
be playing at the *Love Supreme Festival in Sussex around the beginning of July if
we’ve been unlocked by then. I saw him play, in my younger days, at The Concorde.’
Otherwise it’s got to be Gwilym Simcock in any disguise but love the Impossible
Gentlemen (pictured), who I’ve seen a couple of times at Turner Sims. I was also really looking forward to seeing Tim Garland’s concert but that’s not happening, so some tracks from him would be great.’
*[Sadly Love Supreme 2020 has now been postponed but will return in 2021]
‘I’d like to hear Alfred Brendel (pictured) playing Schubert impromptu No 3 in G flat D899 please. My cousin used to play it for me when I visited her in North Wales many years ago. Thinking about her and her piano (now in the Music Dept , University of North Wales) inspired me to contribute to the Piano Fund used to buy your beautiful Steinway, which I think Alfred Brendel has played on.
Also Tom Lehrer In Old Mexico. Reminds me of days as a student nurse – someone in our flat had a Dansette, but the only records we had were Tom Lehrer and Sgt Pepper – I know them awfully well – I did enjoy Harvey Brough’s Sgt P.
And Louis Armstrong – What a Wonderful World – more appropriate! When I lived in Toronto, my flatmates had it played on the local radio station for my birthday.’
‘We’re all ‘new here’ when it comes to living life in lockdown. I love the hazy, giddy sound of this track, with the harp, guitar and vibes playing gently around Gil’s world-weary and instantly-recognisable voice. I was lucky enough to see bassist Junius Paul playing at Turner Sims last year with Marquis Hill’s Blacktet.
I am smitten by Heloise Le Tissier of Christine and the Queens, and not just because she shares a surname with my Southampton idol! I love her incredible loose-limbed dancing as much as her passionate singing – particularly when she drops back into French. While this summery track is great, check out her performance of IT at Glastonbury 2016 when she ‘fights’ with the rain.’
‘I chose these based on 2 recent Turner Sims gigs! I first saw Portico a few years back at the Arts Centre in Norwich (near where we used to live). Still my favourite music venue anywhere. My wife and I moved this way last year and were very, very pleased to discover Turner Sims.’
‘Vieux Farka Touré (pictured) has played concerts at Turner Sims that I’ve attended and demonstrates the broad geographical reach that its programmes achieve.’
‘Martinu String Quartet No 7 Finale is characteristic and cheerful – the latter not always guaranteed in Martinu. Stravinsky Ragtime for Eleven Instruments – simply inspired fun. Hindemith (this really is the title – I am not making this up!) ‘Overture to the Flying Dutchman as played at sight by a second-rate orchestra at the village well at 7 o’clock in the morning, for string quartet’ – this is one of the funniest pieces in the chamber repertoire.’
‘Elgar’s Sospiri, Op 70 is a work which was written for strings and harp in February 1914 and first performed at the Proms a few weeks after the outbreak of WW1. It is a very poignant piece and I think portrays Elgar’s feelings at the time; perhaps of despair for the world situation. Strangely, although there are quite a number of recordings, it is rarely performed live but that is not because of a lack of quality and eloquence. To my mind, the best of the recordings is its inclusion in the album English String Music: Barbirolli/New Philharmonia Orchestra.
Another piece that I am very fond of is Down to the river to pray, a gospel song used in the 2000 film O Brother, Where Art Thou?. Sung by Alison Krauss, it was nominated for Country Music Association Award for ‘Vocal Event of the Year’. This is a really lovely and moving work, beautifully sung. In fact, there are a number of great songs on the soundtrack CD associated with the film including one of the best versions of You are My Sunshine I have heard, sung by Norman Blake.
Finally, if you are willing consider a longer work may I suggest William Alwyn’s Pastoral Fantasia for Viola and String Orchestra, which is 13 minutes long. My reason is that the viola is the ‘Cinderella’ of the strings and rarely has an ‘outing’ of its own. This piece really portrays what a beautiful instrument it is. The recording on Spotify is Richard Hickox/City of London Sinfonia.’
‘Bruce Springsteen at his melancholy best.’
‘I am really enjoying the playlist of everyones favourites and missing the live performances. Many a happy evening has been spent at Turner Sims and cant wait to attend future events.
In the meantime I have a few suggestions for the playlist of tunes I regularly listen to. One of which, The Unthanks, I particularly remember from their wonderful Parlour Room set which was only a few months after losing my late wife of 40 years and brought back some wonderful memories.