Back onto Zoom to assist with NMC’s Debut Discs 3 launch. This groundbreaking series which began in 2012 has covered a brilliant generation of British and Irish composers. These carefully curated discs are a vital guide to what has been happening over the last decade, and continue to be. Launched on this occasion, Linda Buckley new disc From Ocean’s Floor is a gorgeous listen, featuring unusual soloists duetting with Linda’s own electronic performances. It’s in effect the product, Linda told us, of twenty years’ work, and a record of her musical friendships over that period. A really important reason for a CD to be made.
Next up for Debut Disc stardom will be Freya Waley-Cohen, whose excellent website is already full of performances on many media, from film to EP, even. Given all this recorded material already freely accessible, I asked Freya why a CD release would be a desirable avenue for her. She replied that it would be possible to create an extended themed collection for NMC’s disc – it was the lengthiness of the format that seemed to appeal to her. I asked what she thought about us all continuing to collect these little plastic and metal CD packages – I’m very conflicted about whether it’s more earth-friendly just to download, despite the attractiveness of NMC’s production (the helpful liner notes are anyway downloadable.) But from the NMC listeners’ massive came the opinion that hard copies can have a long afterlife, for instance as gifts or in second hand stores.
In the later part of our broadcast, we quickly zoomed round the UK, meeting future NMC-composers Ryan Latimer, Martin Suckling and Richard Baker. It was lovely to see these hardworking people in their workspaces, and inspiring to hear what they had been doing. I moan sometimes about my Zoom hours, who doesn’t, but a new music catchup around the country like this wouldn’t have happened otherwise. And dare I say, it might be a better way of getting the news around than a cramped London reception with wine and nibbles, tight little knots of people and inaudible acoustics.
Pictured – cover art by Craig Carry for Linda Buckley’s new NMC disc.