Sunday March 20th 2020 – 16km run. Home, Greenwich Park, Limehouse Basin and back.
Sixteenth and 21st century timelines colliding. The Queen’s House. The ever-expanding Canary Wharf, wealth rising upwards towards the heavens.
It’s a world which seems faster, harder, more negative than ever with relentless 24 hour news cycles priming us to fight and flight and panic.
Running and raving helps me cope. First of all to 21 Years with Groove Armada Disc 1, celebrating the weekend, the sunshine, harness and project positive energy in a world full of painful contradictions.
And then the iconic, soul shredding house classic Junk Science by Deep Dish for the trip back home. This album circles back to zero point with its shuddering deep bass lines reaching deep into my brain and out into space.
Timeless, floating, endlessly resonating from its launch in 1998 to now:
‘Mohammed is Jesus is Buddha is love is the way I see it.’
‘Stranded in your American dream/ Of a Polaroid lie I have never seen/ I’m living…‘
Music, mirror, reality slide.
‘The future of the future will still contain the past. Time goes slow and time goes fast…’
The final kilometre home was my fatest – the hypnotic house beasts of Sushi giving new life to tired legs.
Beats dropped in the right place at the right time connecting and unlocking hidden energy.
4 1/2 years ago, back in a world that feels at once both distant and close, 8 hours of live music was broadcast overnight from the British Library, scoring the soundtrack to a nation’s dreams as they slept.
As a producer, I’m used to being on one side of the microphone. But during the course of BBC Music Get Playing, an opportunity presented itself for me to do a live radio interview.
I met Miranda Rae through Sound Women. Miranda presents her own show called The Word on Ujima Radio in Bristol. Her programme goes out live every Friday from 1400 to 1600 and is a wonderfully varied mix of art, culture and music.
The Virtual Orchestra deadline was fast approaching and I was trying to get as many people as possible to upload their videos of themselves playing Bizet’s Toreador Song. Miranda asked me if I’d like to go onto the programme to invite her listeners to join the Virtual Orchestra.
At first, I must confess I was was tempted to ask for a pre-recorded interview but soon decided to go for it.
Miranda has interviewed many people during her career including Massive Attack, Roni Size, Neneh Cherry…and now me.
I really enjoyed my first live radio experience and you can hear the interview here.
And you can follow Miranda on Mixcloud and hear more interviews here.
Last night, I went on a spellbinding trip to the moon – while staying in South East London.
I was sat inside the lovely old theatre The Coronet, watching Woman in the Moon (Frau im Mond, Fritz Lang’s futuristic silent movie from 1929) while listening to techno DJ Jeff Mills live mixing his stunning soundtrack.
It was an incredible fusion of the past, the present and the future. Women in the Moon was produced 40 years before the moon landings, and the rocket launch sequences were eerily prescient. Jeff Mills’ sound track underscored the shifting dynamics between the characters as well as underlining the dangers that lie in the overwhelming love of money.
From January 2017, another beautiful venue will be lost in London. The Coronet has been in the Elephant and Castle since 1879 – but will be disappearing next year as the developers move in.
While I understand the need for progress, I wish gentrification didn’t so often signify the destroying of history, of buildings that made an area special, the universal conformity that seems to follow inevitably in its wake. Look to your left, there’s your luxury new developments. Look to your right – whether you are in Elephant or Castle or Ealing- there’s your Pret, your Starbucks, your Pizza Express.
Woman in the Moon at the Coronet – a nod towards the future and another ending.
Savages, John Grant and Laura Marling were just some of my personal highlights from the 6 Music Festival in Bristol.
I spent a great weekend working with the web team back in London. I was photo-editing, deciding which images should be used where on the website – including the single track image, 30 minute set image and the main promotional hero image. I also curated article pages, selecting the best photos which I then used to produce the Highlights article page in Isite2 -for example, Sunday Night’s Best Photos.
The Monday after the 6 Music Festival, I was in the Pop Hub (which covers Radio 1, 1Xtra, 2, 6 Music and the Asian Network).
I wrote my first article for Radio 1 – One Love at Radio 1 – which included dating advice from A-List celebrities Rebel Wilson, Dakota Johnson and Ryan Reynolds.
On Friday, Ant and Dec were on the Radio 1 Breakfast Show. I listened to the broadcast then selected the most shareable clip. As The BRITS are next Wednesday, I chose Ant and Dec’s memories of The BRITS 2015 – which included missing Madonna falling off the stage. I put Ant and Dec’s clip in the Radio 1 Guests Collection and got it featured on the BBC Homepage on Sunday 21 February.
From midnight until 8am, I was huddled under the duvet as haunting strings and deep bass (so deep I felt rather than heard it) scored my subconscious thoughts.
As I drifted between sleep and wakefulness, it felt like a real shared experience. I thought of everybody else listening in the same way and of the musicians creating the nocturnal magic. Then I was asleep – but I could still hear the music throughout.
I woke at 8am to the sunshine streaming through the window, feeling very emotional. Last night had been a real journey for me – I felt like I had lived many lives in 8 hours.
SLEEP is the centrepiece of the BBC’s Why Music weekend and is a wonderfully reflective counterpoint to a frantic world.
Max Richter says, “I think of SLEEP as an experiment into how music and the mind can interact in this other state of consciousness, one we all spend decades of our lives completely immersed in, but which is so far rather poorly understood. I consulted with the neuroscientist David Eagleman on how music can relate to the sleep state and have incorporated our conversations in the compositional process of the work.”
One of the new digital platforms is mixital. Aimed at teenagers, mixital provides the tools and the users the imagination. EastEnders, Doctor Who and Strictly Come Dancing are just some of the big BBC brands waiting to see what people will create.
BBC Introducing and Vizii
Vizii is the music strand of mixital where users produce their own music videos.
I helped Jon Howard, Executive Producer of the team behind mixital and Manish Pradhan, Senior Content Producer, Radio Multiplatform with the final touches.
BBC Introducing specially selected the tracks they thought would work the best and I managed the relationships with the bands, checking they were happy to be involved and collecting their biographies, assets and logos that they wanted to be included.
BBC Introducing have set down this week’s challenge: ‘Make some visuals that feel like a live gig’.
It’s fantastic to see so much creativity in such a short space of time and I’m looking forward to seeing how it develops over the next few months.