Gemma Arterton and Rufus Sewell read extracts on the subject of Time, a theme which has always been popular with authors, poets and composers. From the mourning of the passing of time in poems by Shakespeare, DH Lawrence and John Milton, to the writers who play with the very concept of time. Lewis Carroll's Mad Hatter has bargained with Time for it to always be teatime, while in Kurt Vonnegut's Tralfamadore, moments in the past and future are as permanent as in the present. Martin Amis takes the idea to the extreme by writing the narrative of his novel Time's Arrow backwards! There's also time travel, from Scrooge's nocturnal visit to his past, to HG Wells's Time Machine disappearing into the future. Many composers from the classical, jazz and pop worlds have experimented with unusual or constantly changing time signatures. Guillaume de Machaut and Conlon Nancarrow go further by writing music in which music retraces its steps and goes backwards. The programme also includes music by Haydn, Messiaen, Ligeti and Pink Floyd.
Producer - Ellie Mant.