The Color Purple, Niven Govinden, U-Roy remembered, John Barber

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Manage episode 285409320 series 1301220
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Leicester Curve’s recent award-winning revival of the musical The Color Purple, based on Alice Walker’s novel, has been reimagined, filmed and is being streamed for audiences. Dreda Say Mitchell and David Benedict review. David Rodigan joins us to celebrate the life of the great Jamaican musician U-Roy, who died recently. He was a master of the toasting mic style – the precursor of rapping, MC-ing and freestyling. Niven Govinden studied film before becoming an award-winning writer. In his sixth novel Diary of a Film his cinematic knowledge is filtered through the lens of creative anxiety, queer desire, and European city walking. In it, an auteur and his lead actors arrive at a prestigious film festival to premiere his latest film. Alone one morning at a backstreet cafe, he strikes up a conversation with a local woman who takes him on a walk to uncover the city's secrets, historic and personal. A story of love and tragedy emerges, and he begins to see the chance meeting as fate. Every year the Arts Foundation makes awards of £10,000 to assist artists with living and working costs - helping them to carry on creating. All five of the 2021 winners are talking about their work on Front Row. The fourth is John Barber, Arts Foundation Fellow for Choral Composition. He tells John Wilson about the range of his music making, from a retelling of the Persephone myth for 1500 voices, 10 years running Woven Gold, a choir made up of refugees and asylum seekers and professional musicians, to pieces for small choirs such at The Sixteen. So much choral music is rooted in religious texts and liturgy. But Barber is not religious and he explains his concern with composing music for voices from a secular perspective. Presenter: John Wilson Producer: Julian May Studio Manager: Donald MacDonald

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