Research: BBC radio 4 series – ‘Playing the Skyline’
This was a fascinating series of three programmes by Tim Burton for radio 4 in which musicians responded to the view of the land meeting the sky, through music. At Cumnock and Ben Wyvis, musician James MacMillan and Gaelic singer Julie Fowlis played the skyline in the highlands. In Newcastle and Gateshead, piper Kathryn Tickell and jazz trombonist Hannabiell Sanders play the skyline as they look over the view of Newcastle. In Ireland, composer laureate Brian Irvine and Rachael Boyd on fiddle play the skyline in Belfast. This was the second group the three programmes in the series.
Hearing these programmes came at just the right time for me as I had just completed the section of the Drawing module on drawing in response to music – doing the reverse of these programmes. The musicians were able to describe their immediate responses in words to what their eyes were seeing and then to express this through their music. It was fascinating to see the many different responses.
I enjoyed these programmes enormously. I emphasised to me the inseparability of music, art, poetry in the creative process and that they are each the mechanism for artists to process and make sense of the world around us. The music which was created was beautiful and highly expressive. It has opened up new ideas for exploring this theme. It has also opened up new inspiration on the theme of place and space which I’ve been researching.