Perhaps you remember Henryk Górecki's Symphony No. 3 "Symphony Of Sorrowful Songs", which became a surprise international hit after a BBC DJ played its haunting first movement in its entirety one day, shocking and surprising everyone with its slowly building fugue of energy that peaked with the entrance of Dawn Upshaw's soprano voice and then slowly ebbed back down into nothingness again like a musical palindrome. Well, now for something completely different: NPR brings us the a First Listen to the posthumously completed (by his son, from a piano score with notes for orchestration) Symphony No. 4, "Tansman Episodes", which NPR says "pounds, growls, swaggers and confounds."
Mining the veritable delights of Radio 4 I stumbled across the delights of 'A Point of View' - 'A weekly reflection on a topical issue' - with commute friendly 10 to 15 minute bite size pieces from Clive James, Simon Schama, Joan Bakewell, John Gray, Mary Beard, David Cannadine and my favourites Alain de Botton & Will Self. [more inside]
BBC Streams has rekindled my love of all things BBC Radio 4, now I can listen to The Today Programme on my iPhone whilst on my commute.
"Early morning April 4..." Memphis. 1968. Life reveals the aftermath of the assassination Of Dr. Martin Luther King in photos never before revealed and not an easy click. MLK May your dreams be realized. [more inside]
Too polished? Too clean? Too much of a run of the mill action movie for my liking. But hey, I guess its only the first trailer....
In Our Time Faced with a wet weekend indoors, I realised it's time to dig into the archive of In Our Time, the most unashamedly intellectual radio discussion series every produced. Broadcast on BBC Radio 4, and hosted by Melvyn Bragg (sorry, make that Lord Bragg), the show's format is simple: Take a topic that's shaped our world, invite a handful of academics who specialize in that field, and chat. But remember: Commercially suicidal program(me)s like this wouldn't be possible if it wasn't for the unique way the BBC is funded.
British comedian Linda Smith dies of cancer. Linda Smith, president of the Humanist society and a regular on BBC Radio 4's flagship comedy shows such as The News Quiz and Just A Minute, plus her own A Brief History of Timewasting, her wonderfully deadpan style and the ability to transform moaning into an art form will be missed by many.
The answer to Life, The Universe and Everything is 42. Just kidding. In fact scientists say the answer is 4.
Superstition ain't the way. A new study confirms that you can actually be scared to death. They found a 13% increase in cardiac related deaths of Chinese and Japanese Americans on the fourth day of each month. In Mandarin, Cantonese and Japanese, the pronounciation of the word 'four' (shi) is the same as the word for death. So be careful where you aim those fireworks the next 4th of July.