The Verb at the Proms
Ian McMillan is joined by broadcaster and writer Michael Palin, composer Anne Dudley, sound artist and beatboxer Jason Singh and performance poet Mojdeh Stoakley.
Ian McMillan is joined by Michael Palin on the language of 19th century Naval officers (drunk and sober), ‘Rule Britannia’, and a remarkable ship called ‘Erebus’, He's also joined by beatboxer Jason Singh who uses his voice to create an astonishing maritime soundscape, by Oscar-winning composer Anne Dudley who celebrates the yearning of First World War songs, and Mojdeh Stoakley who beachcombs the language of this 'Proms Verb' to create an instant poem.
The Verb audience at Imperial College Union can be heard offering 'cries of delight' for Jason to loop across the introduction to the show, and they gamely attempt to find a replacement town for 'Tipperary' to create a new version of the famous song 'It's a Long Way to Tipperary'.
Contains Strong Language:
If you want to be part of A Verb audience later this month at the 'Contains Strong Language' festival, you can join Ian McMillan and guests at our Hull recordings on the 29th and 30th September. Free tickets are available if you follow this link:
Michael Palin - actor, explorer, writer and Monty Python star, helps us enter the world of maritime language and song (which is so often an important part of ‘The Last Night of the Proms’). He’s been trawling through the letters and notebooks of officers who sailed on ‘Erebus’ – one of the most remarkable ships the world has ever seen. Michael’s new book follows it from its launch in 1826 to the epic voyages of discovery that led to glory in the Antarctic and to catastrophe in the Arctic. Michael explores the names that the crew gave to landmarks, the resonance of the word ‘Erebus’, and suggests that the sailors might have survived being landlocked in ice, if only they had learned Inuit. ‘Erebus’ (Hutchinson) is out now. Photo Credit: John Swannell
Mojdeh Stoakley writes of ‘glad tidings’, ‘thunder’ and ‘ice’ in a poem inspired by her fellow guests on this Proms Verb, and written during the recording itself. Mojdeh is an award-winning poet, writer and performer, and the director of the US National Poetry Slam. Supporting and teaching marginalised groups is important to Mojdeh, and she sees this part of her work as continuous with her own writing. You can also hear Mojdeh performs a ‘watery’ poem based on a story from the Bahá'í Faith.
Anne Dudley lets us into the intimate language of First World War songs, which she’s been arranging for the Last Night of the Proms (especially for The Verb she also takes on the task of helping Ian and our audience re-write part of ‘It’s a Long Way to Tipperary’). Anne is a composer, arranger, producer and performer, a multi-talented and critically-acclaimed musician. She has composed and produced soundtracks for dozens of award-winning films and TV shows (including Poldark, Les Miserables, Mamma Mia 2) - winning an Oscar for her work on ‘The Full Monty’. Anne was a founding member of the band ‘Art Of Noise’, and discusses using the exclamation ‘hey’ in their classic track ‘Close (to the Edit) – which is thought to be the third most reproduced sample in pop history. In her recent album ‘Anne Dudley plays the Art of Noise’ she offers a stripped-down arrangement of some of their most iconic tracks.
Composer, beatbox and sound artist Jason Singh is a solo artist and collaborator who works across a wide range of art forms, and genres. He’s created live beatbox film scores, sound design for galleries and museum exhibitions, and is passionate about vocally recreating birdsong and forest environments. Jason’s special commission for The Verb, a sound piece produced using only his voice, is partly inspired by the show’s maritime theme, but also explores the experiences of his great-grandfather (who made sea journeys that criss-crossed the globe, seeking work as a fortune-teller wherever he made landfall).