Mud, glorious mud!
One of the musicians of COMBÉ playing at Latitude 2012. Photo: Danielle Peck/BBC
With multi coloured sheep, majestic snowy owls circling the site each evening and, frankly biblical weather, the past four days at the Latitude Festival have seen the Late Junction production team communing with nature in muddy Henham Park in Suffolk.
Nestled in a spruce wood by a lake, Max Reinhardt presented three nights of Late Junction-curated artists in a space called the 'Lavish Lounge', a cosy wallpapered living room with a canopy of trees, where each night rapt audiences would crowd the leather sofas, to see how Late Junction's trademark 'whatever musical gem will they play next- style of late-night radio would transfer to a festival stage.
What they got was a programme that skipped through musical genres like a game of hopscotch, the first night alone taking in Ornette Coleman, Xenakis and Congolese Soukous. Whether it was rising stars such as Sam Lee or Tanya Auclair, big names such as Baloji and Laetitia Sadier, the audience kept coming back to have new musical worlds brought to life under the stars.
For me it was amazing to see how the artists who came from across the world to play, were discovering eachother's music and making connections they hadn't before - Baloji's congolese musicians singing along to Aisha Orazbayeva soundchecking Steve Reich's violin phase, or Tanya Auclair dancing in her wellies to the Afro-Colombian roots of Cumbé.
All the recordings are now being rushed back to Broadcasting House, where the mud will be shaken off and highlights from three nights of festival music- making will be distilled into three episodes of late junction. If you listen carefully you can almost hear the sun coming out.
Peter Meanwell is a producer for BBC Radio 3.
Max Reinhardt presents highlights from Latitude 2012 on Late Junction on Tuesday 16 July (11pm), Wednesday 17 July (11.45pm) and Thursday 18 July (11.15pm). Find details on the Late Junction home page.
Tanya Auclair. Photo: Danielle Peck/BBC