Friday, 26 March 2021

A Life In Music: Sid Peacock and Ruth Angell - two music worlds collide

Well, lockdown screwed things up for us all... but there are ways around it.

This third series of Lives in Music Podcast doesn't just concentrate on peoples' music journeys.

It also has a consistent thread running through everyone's lives: Covid 19, the resultant 
lockdown, and the effect it's had on people's activities. 

That said, this has been a springboard to a range of different takes on lockdown creativity. The podcast is out now. You can listen to it here, or scroll down the post - it's embedded below.  

Lockdown grief

I recorded this talk for podcast some eleven months ago, just as Sid Peacock's Surge in Spring festival at Cannon Hill, the Midlands Arts Centre, was cancelled as lockdown came down on all our music activities.

Much later, I settled down to edit our chat. Sid and Ruth Angell, who make a formidable 
musical team, about what might still be relevant, or even taking place. And it turns out there is a lot. That's because they are, truth be told, absolutely monster musicians, who spend a huge amount of time working across different music genres.

But what shoots though this episode is the to and fro between the two of them: two very different musicians, with very different personalities, and even more different backgrounds, and how they collaborate. It also opens up a fascinating perspective on how some of the musicians in our town work together: it's a veritable list of great players. Over and above that, there is the sweet story of how two contrasting and brilliant people met, hung out, and fell in love. 

Two different backgrounds; new music worlds

Peaceful, settled Derbyshire; stressed and troubled Northern Ireland. Different backgrounds, different cultures. Music thrives and continues to emerge from both places. But the conditions that allow music to flourish are dependent on whether you are actually allowed to create. Sid has a lot to say on this issue. 

Music pulled these two together, physically at the Birmingham Conservatoire, and much more powerfully and independent from the Conservatoire, creatively. Both Sid and Ruth are contributors to each other's work. The trick is trying to define the range of music they work across  - because they cover so much ground.

There's a sample of new work from Ruth at the end of the podcast, and here's an example of what Sid can get up to with his Surge orchestra, from 2019:

Sid's Surge Orchestra 
Sid and Ruths' band Peacock Angell 

The Podcast: Sid and Ruth on Lives in Music   

The Lives in Music Podcast series   

I've been doing these for about two years now. These are interviews with local 
musicians and music enablers, looking at how music has shaped them throughout 
their lives. Series 3 also looks hard at how lockdown has had an impact. 

There are some lovely stories. To see who's in the list of artists, here's a link to 
review every episode.
One further footnote: the intro and outro guitar flourishes I'm using in this series of Lives in Music podcast come from Vo Fletcher, who is also featured, with Loz Lozwold (aka Kingsley), in a podcast in this series. I asked Vo for a bit of live impro, and this was the result.  

The Radio To Go blog

This blog has been going since 2007. I started it to focus mainly on radio stories, as the industry went through convulsive changes. Those changes aren't over yet, not by a long chalk. I then expanded the range of topics to cover local music, another subject close to my heart. I think it was a Destroyers gig that pulled me in that direction. I've banged out several hundred posts since then, and of course deleted quite a few. But if you're interested in thoughts on the local scene and/or radio futures, by all means visit the full topic index on the Radio To Go blog.

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