rhythmaning: (Default)
The jazz writer and educator Stuart Nicholson wrote in the latest print issue of Jazzwise that
2009 was not a good year for the BBC. Take its attitude towards jazz... the corporation seems bereft of any coherent policy towards the music. ...in March the corporation made a decision to axe the Jazz Awards... Both [Radio3 programmes] Jazz on 3 and Jazz Line-Up were marginalised to graveyard slots... Jazz on BBC1 and BBC2 [tv] remains an oxymoron while on BBC4 jazz was screened so infrequently...
(Sorry – I can't find the article online.)

Nicholson is leading a discussion on the subject of jazz and the Beeb in January.

He has argued before – in the now-defunkt JazzReview, I think (again, I can't find the article online – nor in my extensive collection of JazzReview back issues!) - that jazz is poorly served by the BBC. Last year, they cancelled the BBC Jazz Awards. (Bizarrely, the BBC still has the webpage for the 2008 awards up, like some taunting zombie: “We've left it here for reference”.)

He is right. BBC radio broadly categorises its output by popular (R2), culture (R3), spoken word (R4) and “alternative” (6Music). Each of these broadcasting ghettoes plays some jazz: R2 has Big Band Special and features programmes on jazz by musicians such as Clare Teal, Guy Barker and Courtney Pine, either in specific series or one-off specials. R3 has the evergreen Jazz Record Requests, Jazz Library, Jazz LineUp [Edit: I've deleted my ranting aside when someone pointed out I'd got confused...] and Jazz on 3 – these last two recently purged from the mainstream to late, midnight slots which no person with a regular job could stay awake for. (Jazz on 3 has more risky, experimental improvised music: perhaps this actually keeps a lot of people awake at night...) Even R4 gets in on the act with Ken Clarke's excellent occasional series, Jazz Greats.

You have to search for this music. It isn't something you are likely to stumble across. There are two exceptions: 6Music, which has lots of edgy music in the Freakzone, and R3's Late Junction, the only places where they really seem mix up genres and assume that people might have open ears.

I like to listen to jazz on the radio, and I actively seek out the music, knowing when to go from R2 to R4 to R3. For the late night offerings, I have to restrict myself to iPlayer.

One of Nicholson's ideas in, I think, his JazzReview piece was that the Beeb could now devote some of its digital frequency to a jazz-based radio station. I like this idea, of course – all the BBC's jazz radio shows in one place.

And think of the archive they must have! Proms and London Jazz Festival concerts going back several years; a rich seam of their own programming to mine (all those Jazz Library shows; and think of the market for Humph's “Best of Jazz”). Frankly, they must have so much material that they could fill hours and hours of programming; I can think of concerts broadcast twenty years ago which should be languishing somewhere in their vaults – Carla Bley's big band, Andy Sheppard's Soft on the Inside band, Wynton Marsalis at the Proms, Keith Tippett and the Georgian Ensemble, and Gil Evan's big band all spring to mind. (And if the Beeb no longer have the tapes, I may have copies somewhere. For my own, personal use only, you understand!)

A BBC jazz station would be an exciting prospect.

But then... But then of course we would have created a complete musical ghetto. There would be no serendipidity: people couldn't just happen across the music after, say, The Organist Entertains. Jazz radio in the UK seems to play to the converted.

So whilst I would really, really like a BBC jazz station, it may not be the right thing to do.

Nicholson has also attacked the BBC for the lack of jazz in its tv schedules. Here is again right – aside from the occasional jazz week on BBC4 (Jazz Britannia a couple of years ago, and a sequence of jazz programmes early in 2009), there is little jazz on tv. But I don't believe this matters: I don't think music works well on tv. Despite jazz musicians generally being interesting characters and are commonly photogenic, music generally and jazz specifically doesn't work well on tv. The medium isn't right: people playing instruments don't look good on the screen. Jazz on tv can work well for analsysis, criticism and documentary – but that's people talking, rather than the music itself.

The BBC has a lot of ways in which it could serve jazz – and British jazz – better. It should really try and do something about it. And then it needs to get it right.

Music...

Oct. 27th, 2009 03:44 pm
rhythmaning: (Default)
There was a programme on the radio this afternoon in which Pete Townsend extolled the virtues of Purcell. I thought it was a strange combination too! But an interesting programme.

Which got me wanting to play - "Quadraphenia", which I don't have and which I couldn't get Last.fm to play except track by track. So instead I'm playing "Who's Next" - a classic album.

Brilliant, too.

So here's Baba O'Reilly and here's Won't Get Fooled Again.

All together now - teenage wasteland, it's a teenage wasteland...!

Oh, and if anyone can remind me how to play whole LPs on Last.fm instead of just single tracks, I'd appreciate it!
rhythmaning: (violin)
The daily book on Radio 4 is the story of Jane Austen's writing, "Jane's Fame by Claire Harman - 9.45am each morning, repeated at half past midnight. You can also catch it on iPlayer.

I thought you might like to know...
rhythmaning: (violin)
I have written before how written before how I "starred" in a short movie set in 1960s London. (Irritatingly the film credits spelt my name wrong - and they couldn't afford to correct it! So IMDB gets it wrong, too... I played Johnny!)

I was a little surprised to hear the film being discussed on Radio4.

I didn't get a name check - though they did describe it as a charming story...

In the bath

Feb. 8th, 2009 12:03 pm
rhythmaning: (sunset)
As I lay in the bath this morning, I was listening to Broadcasting House.

One of the guests they had on was Brian Patten. he was meant to be reviewing the papers - which he did do - but he also included a couple of his own poems.

One, which was called (I think!) "I Remember Snow", was a lovely evocation of a child looking at the beauty of snow for the first time - it seemed particularly relevant this week. (I looked but I cannot find it on the internet; his reading of it might be included in the BH podcast, or you can use iPlayer to hear it - it must have been about 40 or 45 minutes in).

Another was called "The Minister for Exams", also about childhood - the endless imagination of children, and how education tries to crush it.

I don't like reading poetry, but hearing it read - especially whilst I was soaking in a hot bath - was rather lovely.

In the bath

Feb. 8th, 2009 12:03 pm
rhythmaning: (sunset)
As I lay in the bath this morning, I was listening to Broadcasting House.

One of the guests they had on was Brian Patten. he was meant to be reviewing the papers - which he did do - but he also included a couple of his own poems.

One, which was called (I think!) "I Remember Snow", was a lovely evocation of a child looking at the beauty of snow for the first time - it seemed particularly relevant this week. (I looked but I cannot find it on the internet; his reading of it might be included in the BH podcast, or you can use iPlayer to hear it - it must have been about 40 or 45 minutes in).

Another was called "The Minister for Exams", also about childhood - the endless imagination of children, and how education tries to crush it.

I don't like reading poetry, but hearing it read - especially whilst I was soaking in a hot bath - was rather lovely.

Archery

Jan. 19th, 2009 07:17 pm
rhythmaning: (whisky)
Brian Aldridge - a businessman you can trust!

PS I think Radio 3 must have their evening concerts timed by the the Archers on Radio 4: switching over after the Archers and it is the applause between pieces in the evening concert.

Archery

Jan. 19th, 2009 07:17 pm
rhythmaning: (whisky)
Brian Aldridge - a businessman you can trust!

PS I think Radio 3 must have their evening concerts timed by the the Archers on Radio 4: switching over after the Archers and it is the applause between pieces in the evening concert.
rhythmaning: (cat)
I was listening to Sanjeev Bhaskar on Desert Island Discs, and he chose Monty Python signing "Look On the Bright Side of Life", which made me smile.

And then I read in yesterday's Guardian that whilst in the last year the value of my shares in MegaBank have lost over 80% of their value (and, in the last week, lost more than half of their value!), and the UK stockmarket lost 41%, the Iraqi stockmarket is up 40% in the last month. Indeed, the chart in the Grauniad shows only the Iraqi stockmarket increasing in value.

And this too made me smile!

Incidentally, the upmarket version of Desert Island Discs, Private Passions, is on just now, featuring Nick Clegg.
rhythmaning: (cat)
I was listening to Sanjeev Bhaskar on Desert Island Discs, and he chose Monty Python signing "Look On the Bright Side of Life", which made me smile.

And then I read in yesterday's Guardian that whilst in the last year the value of my shares in MegaBank have lost over 80% of their value (and, in the last week, lost more than half of their value!), and the UK stockmarket lost 41%, the Iraqi stockmarket is up 40% in the last month. Indeed, the chart in the Grauniad shows only the Iraqi stockmarket increasing in value.

And this too made me smile!

Incidentally, the upmarket version of Desert Island Discs, Private Passions, is on just now, featuring Nick Clegg.

Archery

Sep. 8th, 2008 07:14 pm
rhythmaning: (cat)
...I love Lillian...

...And Jennifer is really making me laugh!

Archery

Sep. 8th, 2008 07:14 pm
rhythmaning: (cat)
...I love Lillian...

...And Jennifer is really making me laugh!
rhythmaning: (Armed Forces)
Jazz Line-Up is one of four regular jazz shows on Radio 3; it, like Jazz Record Requests (where you can request jazz records - simple, really), is on Saturday afternoons; the other two shows are for insomniacs only - Jazz Library is 10.30pm on Fridays, and it is followed at 11.30pm by Jazz on 3.

(The BBC clearly needs to make sure that anyone browsing the listings knows they have come across a jazz programme: I can't imagine what the Radio 3 schedule would look like if they signposted all their classical music programming so clearly).

Hosting the current show - on now - Julian Joseph has said that they are moving to a new time. 11.30pm on Monday nights.

So one of the few chances to listen to a jazz broadcast at a reasonable hour - rather than either recording it or relying on the iPlayer (both of which I frequently do) - has been thrown out.

Frankly, this is completely fucking useless.

The BBC continues to drive listeners to the internet - and if I have to go to iPlayer to hear jazz on the radio, I might as well go to radio stations in San Francisco, or New York, or Sydney.

For the first time in ages, I feel angry about having to give the BBC my licence fee.

ETA: at the end of JRR, they explained that Jazz Library would be swapping with Jazz Line Up, taking the Saturday afternoon slot. This might actually be an improvement for me. I'll wait and see!
rhythmaning: (Armed Forces)
Jazz Line-Up is one of four regular jazz shows on Radio 3; it, like Jazz Record Requests (where you can request jazz records - simple, really), is on Saturday afternoons; the other two shows are for insomniacs only - Jazz Library is 10.30pm on Fridays, and it is followed at 11.30pm by Jazz on 3.

(The BBC clearly needs to make sure that anyone browsing the listings knows they have come across a jazz programme: I can't imagine what the Radio 3 schedule would look like if they signposted all their classical music programming so clearly).

Hosting the current show - on now - Julian Joseph has said that they are moving to a new time. 11.30pm on Monday nights.

So one of the few chances to listen to a jazz broadcast at a reasonable hour - rather than either recording it or relying on the iPlayer (both of which I frequently do) - has been thrown out.

Frankly, this is completely fucking useless.

The BBC continues to drive listeners to the internet - and if I have to go to iPlayer to hear jazz on the radio, I might as well go to radio stations in San Francisco, or New York, or Sydney.

For the first time in ages, I feel angry about having to give the BBC my licence fee.

ETA: at the end of JRR, they explained that Jazz Library would be swapping with Jazz Line Up, taking the Saturday afternoon slot. This might actually be an improvement for me. I'll wait and see!
rhythmaning: (on the beat)
I have been listening to s lot of the Proms this year. I have enjoyed the focus on Vaughan Williams - there have been some beautiful concerts - though the concentration of Messaien has left me a bit cold.

The past couple of days has had some excellent concerts. On Saturday, the Crouch End Festival Chorus - and friends - were excellent in Verdi's Requiem - powerful stuff.

Last night I listened to the Berliner Phil under Simon Rattle perform Wagner's Prelude and Liebestode from Tristan and Isolde, which was lovely - it reminded me of listening with a friend last year. Lovely, romantic stuff. The Messaien that followed it was better (for me) than the other of his pieces I have heard - I didn't want to turn it off...

But tonight's concert I realy, really love. I didn't know that I knew Brahms' 3rd Symphony; know I know what I know. It was brilliant, BIG music. I was dancing.

And now I am listening to Shostokovich Symphony 3. And again, it is brilliant; complex stuff. And I wish I were there.

Still, at least here I have a Caol Isla in my hand.



And the music is great.
rhythmaning: (on the beat)
I have been listening to s lot of the Proms this year. I have enjoyed the focus on Vaughan Williams - there have been some beautiful concerts - though the concentration of Messaien has left me a bit cold.

The past couple of days has had some excellent concerts. On Saturday, the Crouch End Festival Chorus - and friends - were excellent in Verdi's Requiem - powerful stuff.

Last night I listened to the Berliner Phil under Simon Rattle perform Wagner's Prelude and Liebestode from Tristan and Isolde, which was lovely - it reminded me of listening with a friend last year. Lovely, romantic stuff. The Messaien that followed it was better (for me) than the other of his pieces I have heard - I didn't want to turn it off...

But tonight's concert I realy, really love. I didn't know that I knew Brahms' 3rd Symphony; know I know what I know. It was brilliant, BIG music. I was dancing.

And now I am listening to Shostokovich Symphony 3. And again, it is brilliant; complex stuff. And I wish I were there.

Still, at least here I have a Caol Isla in my hand.



And the music is great.
rhythmaning: (on the beat)
I listened to two radio programmes on the BBC iPlayer this afternoon.

The first was the second part of Ben Goldacre’s investigation into the placebo effect. This series has been really fascinating – in this programme, Goldacre considers the ethics of placebos and their place in contemporary and alternative medicine. You can hear the programme here until next Monday evening (1 September 2008).

By chance – because the BBC leaves a little bit of the continuity announcer after the main programme when it transfer them to iPlayer – I was prompted to listen to the next programme on Radio 4 last Monday, by about the Stanford prison experiment. This is quite a famous – and controversial – psychology experiment in which students were given roles as “prisoners” and “guards” in a mock prison. This investigation talks to the many of the people involved in the experiment and the effect it had. You can hear the programme here until next Monday evening (1 September 2008).
rhythmaning: (on the beat)
I listened to two radio programmes on the BBC iPlayer this afternoon.

The first was the second part of Ben Goldacre’s investigation into the placebo effect. This series has been really fascinating – in this programme, Goldacre considers the ethics of placebos and their place in contemporary and alternative medicine. You can hear the programme here until next Monday evening (1 September 2008).

By chance – because the BBC leaves a little bit of the continuity announcer after the main programme when it transfer them to iPlayer – I was prompted to listen to the next programme on Radio 4 last Monday, by about the Stanford prison experiment. This is quite a famous – and controversial – psychology experiment in which students were given roles as “prisoners” and “guards” in a mock prison. This investigation talks to the many of the people involved in the experiment and the effect it had. You can hear the programme here until next Monday evening (1 September 2008).
rhythmaning: (bottle)
Ben Goldacre, who writes the Bad Science website and the column of the same name in the Grauniad, has a series on BBC Radio 4 about the effect of placebos. The first was on Monday night - you can listen to it here until next Monday.

Goldacre has also written about how expensive placebos work better than cheaper ones; the radio programme has a similar example whereby a placebo marked "apririn" works, but not as well as an identical placebo marked with a highly advertised brand name.

So maybe advertising works!
rhythmaning: (bottle)
Ben Goldacre, who writes the Bad Science website and the column of the same name in the Grauniad, has a series on BBC Radio 4 about the effect of placebos. The first was on Monday night - you can listen to it here until next Monday.

Goldacre has also written about how expensive placebos work better than cheaper ones; the radio programme has a similar example whereby a placebo marked "apririn" works, but not as well as an identical placebo marked with a highly advertised brand name.

So maybe advertising works!

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