Paul McCartney writing music for ballet

By Natalie Jamieson
Newsbeat entertainment reporter

image source, PA

Sir Paul McCartney has revealed that he's been commissioned to write the music for a ballet.

Details still need to be fleshed out but he's already started work on the score and says he's "enthusiastic" about it.

"I'm interested in doing things I haven't done before," he said.

"That offer came up and I love writing music, the two went together and I said, 'Yeah,' so I just accept things before I even know what I'm doing."

There's no set deadline yet and when asked what the ballet would be about, McCartney admitted it was early days.

"I don't really know that much about it yet," he admitted. "I'm just writing music for it, but it's a switch!"

Obama performance

The former Beatle has written classical music before.

His first orchestral score was 1991's Liverpool Oratorio and more recently McCartney released Ecce Cor Meum (Behold My Heart).

Earlier this month McCartney became the third person to receive America's Gershwin Prize, awarded for a lifetime contribution to popular music.

It involved a ceremony at the White House where Sir Paul performed for President Obama and his family, cheekily playing the Beatles' classic Michelle, for Michelle Obama.

It went down well though, as Sir Paul recalled: "I start singing Michelle, and he (Barack Obama) starts singing it to her."

"It's great, I couldn't believe it, he's singing the French bits, he's leaning over to his kids and going, 'This is about mum!'"

Dave Grohl, Jack White, Stevie Wonder and Elvis Costello were also at the 2 June event.

McCartney says he also got the Jonas Brothers invited to liven up the ceremony for Obama's young daughters Sasha and Malia.

'I love Wales'

After closing the Isle of Wight Festival last Sunday (13 June), this weekend marks the first time in 20 years that Sir Paul will play in Scotland, with a gig at Glasgow's Hampden Park.

He admits he's surprised it's been that long but says it wasn't "by design".

image source, AP
image captionPaul McCartney headlined the Sunday night at the Isle of Wight Festival

Then on 26 June he performs at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium, ending a 35-year gap from playing in Wales

"It sounds bad, doesn't it?" McCartney admitted. "Truth is I don't think of it like that.

"I don't look at the world like that, 'How long is it since I was there?'

"It's actually just a case of your promoter saying, 'Would you like to play Cardiff? We can get the hall on that night,' and I go, 'Oh, I'd love to!'"

Sir Paul is pleased with the venue though.

"Actually I have been trying to do Millennium Stadium for a little while," he admitted. "I love Wales, we used to hitch-hike there when we were kids. It's a great place."

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