As I start working on one of these shows, the playlist is usually around six hours long; turning this into a two hour show takes a couple of days. There will be a few things that I feel like have to be on the playlist – things I am just really excited about or pieces of music with a pertinence in terms of their release or their wider relevance. I will start to hang other things off of these. It is usually a fragmented process, I will bounce around a lot finding pockets of things that work nicely together.
There will inevitably be a point where I am creating more questions than finding answers, this is often the morning before I broadcast or record, and so is usually a bit unnerving and fraught. Conversely, one of the most enjoyable things is when the music decides things for itself. No moment has this been as inspiring an experience as the afternoon I before I was due to record together this February show.
I had got to know Pete Rogers music because of his album The Stubborn Light of Things, which was also the soundtrack to Melissa Harrisonhttps://web.whatsapp.com/x nature podcast that he produced, and that featured on the show last July. I have spoken about the podcast at length before. The music, as well as the care taken over the sound of the podcast were a large part of what made is special, so I was excited to see more music from Rogers called in my Bandcamp feed – a two track release called At Hawthorn time was another musical accompaniment to work by Melissa Harrison – this time an accompaniment to her novel of the same name. Listening to The Boundway I could hear a space open up for something from the Wardown album which I had been wanting to play for months. The two connected really nicely texturally and this also allowed me to place some other pieces that had not yet felt settled.
Later, when I was reading up on some of the music for the show that I found out that Wardown is a Pete Rogers project. I also read about Simon Scott making Apart, a piece of work made following the loss of his father to Covid-19. In the sleeve notes he talks about how he had, whilst was walking in a nature reserve in the Fens thought about some writing from another nature writer Helen Macdonald. He discusses her words about losing her father, and how in the process of deep grieving we are “clinging to a world already gone”.
I described the process of the show coming together above as ‘the music deciding things for itself’ – partly because I was trying to add something whimsical into what was feeling like quite a tiresome passage about putting together a playlist, but also because I think often we like to feel like music is some kind of saving presence. But the music only exists because we make it; the music is us. In some respects it exists between us – loose threads or bits of ideas that are released, found and pieced together.
There are a lot of people going through a lot of things right now – a lot to understand and a lot that is hard to express and to get to grips with, whilst it is comforting to see music as something we can rely on, it is powerful to think that in making and listening, we are talking to each other.
Richard Skelton – I
Sunshine Life Emulator – Xamblot
Ka Baird, Brian Close, Bryce Hackford – Preparatory Rising
DF – Slow Burn
cktrl – Will the Feelings Leave
Moor Mother & Billy Woods – Guinness
Homeboy Sandman – Stress
Chance The Rapper – Paranoia (Live)
Lateef The Truth Speaker – The Wreckoning
Mike Slott – Simple Dreams Of Simple Days (Cid Rim Remix)
First Circle – Shout
Duckett – Illegal House Parties By Police Division
Destiny 71z – J Terminal99
Sophie – Elle
Distance – Crimson
Zha – Tunnels
L U C Y – Redrum
XXXX – Lessons
Dunman – Glue (Dunman Refix)
Dunman – Glue (Mez Vocal)
Shaytaan – Debug BGM
Novelist – Billionaire Boys
Heathered Pearls feat. santpoort, Shigeto & Krzysztof Wodiczko – Life Out Of Balance
Simon Scott – Apart E
Peter Rogers – The Boundway
Wardown – Thanks for Coming
Lilt Elision – Arlo
OUIEA – Programa 19