Here goes… My tracks and treats if I was stranded on a desert island- with a brief context!
1) Teddy Bear’s picnic
As a child/teenager I spent every Saturday and Sunday evening at a local working men’s social club with my parents. They had a live band every weekend and I would just dance, dance, dance! Tree rue was one particular band on a Sunday evening who would play this one and we would all skip up and down the dance floor!
2) Des Irae from Verdi’s Requiem
I was awarded a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music when I was about 15. Every Saturday morning I would go to Baker Street and have lessons in their Junior Department. I had instrumental lessons and played in ensembles but the most informative experience was joining the choir. I remember being overawed with the sound of people singing together.
This particular track was memorable as for anyone who knows it, it starts with the most enormous bang- I wasn’t expecting it and surprise surprise I nearly jumped out of my skin. The sound was truly magnificent.
3) oh what a night by Frankie Valle
As a teenager I absolutely loved music from the 60’s… And I think this one is one of my faves. Also it is an example of all the special friendships I have. I went to stay with some friend after she had just got married. Her new husband made a compilation disk for me and this was the first track on the disc… Happy times.
4) Schumann Romance in F # minor for piano.
I spent most of my time at music college feeling utterly inadequate- I had only started playing the piano when I was about 13 and at college I was surrounded by people from a totally different social class to my own and most if not all had been playing since they were about 6. I struggled with the tensions of that environment married with going to the pub every weekend and dancing to Frankie Valle. However, this piece was something I played well and I loved it.
5) God save the people from Godspell
I love musicals!!!! Really love them! They combine stories, emotion and beautiful melodies- I love them. I chose this track as Godspell was the first musical I directed and produced. It at my special church in south london- happy memories. I’ve works on other musicals since but that one will always have a special place in my heart.
6) papa can you hear me- Barbara Striesand soundtrack from Yentl
I used to listen to this soundtrack for hours on hours as a teenager. I love female diva voices- Shirley Bassey and Whitney Houston could equally have been included. But this one is not only a fantastic piece of music, incredibly sung. I can relate to the story of Yentl. A young woman wanting to be different to what was expected.
7)heart of worship by Matt Redman
There are so many beautiful worship songs… I chose this one as it was one of the first that I began to sing as a solo. I’ve had the joy of singing at many friends weddings and christenings and I feel grateful that my singing has always been encouraged and supported by my friends.
8)Don’t stop me now by Queen
When I became a Christian I culled my music collection. I literally threw out music that at that time I didn’t feel was going to be helpful for my spiritual growth. I didn’t have any regrets-but I really missed my best of queen album!!!! I haven’t re-bought it, but I still love it. This one in particular- a message and tunes that you just can’t stay still listening to!
This last track would be the one I kept out of all of them. I could dance the hours away.
Book: ‘to Kill a Mocking Bird’ by Harper Lee
This remains the book that has had most influence on me. I read it at secondary school and I still remember it often. The shock that people could be so cruel to each other was palpable to me- but also that brave people could challenge that. Incredible.
Luxury: a huge bag of good old builders tea! I would hang them out and keep re-using them. Life can be tough- but a cup of tea always helps!
Thanks for listening. Would love to know what your tracks would be!