Desert Island Discs: Music and Memories
Tuesday 5 November 2013, 6.00pm - 7.15pm followed by a reception
Venue: The British Academy 10-11 Carlton House Terrace London SW1Y 5AH
Chaired by Professor Stephen Cottrell, City University London
We invited you to join a panel of musicians who have appeared over the years on one of the UK's most popular radio programmes, BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs. As the panel journeyed through their experiences of selecting their castaway recordings, this event explored the fascinating relationship between music and autobiography. Chaired by City University's Professor of Music, Stephen Cottrell, this event gave a unique insight into why music has such a deep connection to our everyday lives and memories.
Chair: Stephen Cottrell
Stephen Cottrell is Professor of Music and Head of Department at City University London. Before moving into higher education he enjoyed a freelance musical career spanning nearly two decades, during which he earned an international reputation as a saxophonist performing contemporary music, particularly as leader of the Delta Saxophone Quartet. His research interests fall into three inter-related areas: ethnographic approaches to musicians and music-making, particularly within the Western art music tradition; the study of musical instruments, especially the saxophone; and the study and analysis of musical performance.
Gavin Bryars studied philosophy but became a jazz bassist and pioneer of free improvisation with Derek Bailey and Tony Oxley. Early iconic pieces The Sinking of the Titanic and Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet achieved great popular success. Works include four operas, a large body of chamber music, several concertos and much vocal music (Hilliard Ensemble, Trio Mediaeval, Red Byrd, Latvian Radio Choir, Estonian National Male Choir, Iarla O'Lionaird, Singer Pur).
He has collaborated widely with visual artists (Juan Muñoz, Bruce McLean), choreographers (William Forsythe, Merce Cunningham, Edouard Lock, David Dawson Carolyn Carlson), theatre directors (Robert Wilson, Atom Egoyan), as well as writing music for the films of his wife Anna Tchernakova. Since 1986 he has performed, toured and recorded with the Gavin Bryars Ensemble, which, from 2002, includes singers Anna Maria Friman and John Potter. Has made many recordings for ECM, Point, Philips, Naxos, Decca, and his own label GB Records. www.gavinbryars.com
Martin Carthy MBE
For more than 40 years Martin Carthy has been one of folk music's greatest innovators, one of its best loved, most enthusiastic and, at times, most quietly controversial of figures. His skill, stage presence and natural charm have won him many admirers, not only from within the folk scene, but also far beyond it.
Trailblazing musical partnerships with, amongst others, Steeleye Span, Dave Swarbrick and his award-winning wife (Norma Waterson) and daughter Eliza Carthy have resulted in more than 40 albums, but Martin has only recorded 10 solo albums, of which the much anticipated Waiting for Angels (Topic TSCD527) was the latest. Whether in the folk clubs (which he continues to champion), on the concert stage or making TV appearances (he was the subject of the acclaimed `Originals' music documentary strand on BBC 2) - there are few roles that Martin Carthy hasn't played.
He's a ballad singer, a ground-breaking acoustic and electric-guitarist and an authoritative interpreter of newly composed material. He always prefers to follow an insatiable musical curiosity rather than cash in on his unrivalled position. Perhaps, most significant of all, are his settings of traditional songs with guitar, which have influenced a generation of artists, including Bob Dylan and Paul Simon, on both sides of the Atlantic.
'Arguably the greatest English folk song performer, writer, collector and editor of them all' Q Magazine
Acclaimed worldwide for his technique and musicianship, British cellist Steven Isserlis enjoys a distinguished career as a soloist, chamber musician, educator and author.
In addition to playing with most of the major orchestras of the world, and giving regular recitals, Steven Isserlis loves to programme chamber music series, in which he performs with his many musician friends. Steven Isserlis takes a strong interest in authentic performance, is a keen exponent of contemporary music, and enjoys playing for children. As a prolific recording artist, future releases on the Hyperion label include the Dvorak Concertos with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra under Daniel Harding in Autumn 2013, and Beethoven's complete music for cello and fortepiano, with Robert Levin, early in 2014. He has also written two books for children about the lives of the great composers, and gives frequent masterclasses all around the world. For the past sixteen years he has been Artistic Director of the International Musicians' Seminar at Prussia Cove in Cornwall.
This event was held in connection with the British Academy Conference on Desert Island Discs and the discographic self