Everyone is Music

Musical explorations in conversations

I'm your host, Michael Fry and on this show I'll be discussing this beautiful stuff called Music; what is it, what is its role in the world, how do we relate to it and why?Through my 38 year career in commercial music, c

Ep 05 MAC Makes Music - with Holly Radford-James

Ep. 5
In this week's episode I talk with Holly Radford-James, Producer with MAC Makes Music. Based at The Midland Arts Centre, MAC Makes Music are a truly inclusive arts organisation and one of their strategic consultants and trainers is Phil Mullen, who is featured in episode 2.Holly begins by taking us on a mini tour of the arts centre before talking about the award winning program that is MAC Makes Music, its inception and development.The total commitment to a young person centred approach is so inspiring and through our conversation I come to view MMM as a Music "Super" Hub, offering a blueprint to the future of inclusive music making and education in England and beyond.Holly talks about working through lockdowns and their relationship with the organisation, Soundabout and how together they have developed online choirs and the community that those choirs are providing.Holly describes for us the many groups being engaged by MMM and the wealth of genres of music being made by the choices of the young people.We talk about Open Mic nights and how these sometimes lead to larger live music performances. We return to discussing online activity and how vital this has become to the musical landscape.Our conversation moves on to music playing such a role in social and personal development as well as musical development of course and Holly tells us how important this is in the work of MAC Makes Music.The MAC Makes Music program is inspiring, inclusive and driven by the needs of the young people being engaged. Follow the links for more.MAC Makes Music websiteFacebookTwitterEternal GuitarsAll My Links

Ep 04 Dr Rod Paton

Ep. 4
In this episode I talk with Dr Rod Paton, musician, writer, composer, educator and creator of the Lifemusic method.We chatted in my car after meeting for lunch the day after I attended one of Rod's Lifemusic workshops.I start the conversation by asking Rod about Lifemusic [4:10] and Rod talks about how he came to begin its development via some time researching community choirs in Germany. Rod talks about the folk song tradition in Germany at that time, playing in a community ensemble there and his realisation about a way of making music that bypasses commercial and traditional classical music models.Rod talks about grade teaching [7:18] and particularly singing traditions and deciding that he wanted to explore improvisation and its inherently inclusive properties.Improvisation [7:53] is, as I say in the intro, at the heart of Rod's work and we talk more about this.Rod discusses notation [9.43] and the different parts of the brain being used and what can happen when you take it away creating "risks" [10:41] and the freedom that can be found.I then ask Rod about "rules" and "holding forms" [12:23] and how he came to create them. The term Holding form comes from a book by Robert Witkin , The intelligence of Feeling.We discuss recording our work [16:18] and recorded music in general and what a recent phenomena it is within the history of music. Rod equates it to the the Observer Effect [17.43] (we both confused it with the uncertainty principle! We meant that when you observe a thing it changes from a wave to a particle) in that when you know that you are being recorded you will move into "performer" mode rather than pure "feeling" mode. Rod talks about the industry of recorded music and how we may look back on this period as a mere blip within music history.Rod talks about his love of and relationship with Moravian folk music [21:43] and with the Czech Rebublic.Rod then mentions his Tedx Talk and how he discussed that sometimes consumed music can feel like a drug [24:23] and because we have so much recorded music, like inflation, it becomes devalued and does not meet music's real function [27:48]Rod then talks about his love of Bach [28:18] and how he developed a workshop piece out of this.Finally Rod expands our knowledge of the Lifemusic Holding Forms [31:07]Lifemusic websiteRod's Tedx TalkEternal GuitarsMy linksOpen Mic Improvisation - NB as we talk about in the show, recording Lifemusic sessions changes the dynamic. This improvisation was made in a performance context and therefore is not an example of a Lifemusic session but certainly a good example of improvised music making. I mention the musician Keith Sutton in the intro, however his performing name is "Drone in the Woods"

Ep 01 Sam Brown

Ep. 1
In this Episode I talk with singer-songwriter, Sam Brown who had a massive hit all across Europe and the UK with the song, 'Stop!'.The sub-title of this episode is 'In the beginning ...' because it was close to the start of my own career in music that I worked as a tape op on Sam's debut album.Sam talks very openly about her career, her departure from her record company and a move to making the music that she really wanted to make.Sam says that all of the promotion of 'Stop!' became a full time job in and of itself and took her away from the thing she loved most; making music.Sam has had an amazing career as a singer, not only as a solo artist but also as a highly praised backing singer, working and touring with Pink Floyd and of course, her stunning work with Jools Holland's Rhythm and Blues Orchestra.Sam talks about the devastation of losing her mum, Vicki, to cancer and how it shaped the music she was writing at the time.Then, Sam mysteriously lost her voice and has still not discovered how or why and talks of the emotional pain of this loss and how her hopes have risen and fallen with each attempt with a coach or therapist to bring back that amazing voice.Sam has beautifully given her time and expertise in coaching others by running Ukulele groups both in person and over the internet and has a myriad of stories to tell about her wonderful students and her relationships with them.A new album is also on the way; a very different approach because of Sam's vocal restrictions but a delight is certainly in waiting for our ears.All my linksEternal Guitars