Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Movingpictures 18: Tiny Desks in The Space?




I doubt the idea of people playing music around a desk in an office is really what the BBC and Arts Council England are looking for to put in The Space. But npr's Tiny Desk Concerts are amongst my favourite things in the world right now - and have introduced me to some great new music. (I also recommend their All Songs Considered podcasts.) The simplicity and direct connection is absolutely digital - unfortunately we don't work at npr in Washington so would otherwise miss this - but it's also absolutely human. I hope The Space is filled with such joyous art, and also some things that make you go hmmm and press close, as these do occasionally.


(Please can we have as little 'celebrity curation and critique' as as possible though, that sounds horrible, especially if the list is as narrow as the BBC's lists usually are? Ian Hislop, Stephen Fry, Lenny Henry et al are all fine in their way, I suppose, but I'd like to hear some new voices please.)


The video above is a sampler of a fantastic collaboration, including Yo Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer, Chris Duncan and the superb mandolin player Chris Thile. For me, it deserves that underused, and sometimes scorned adjective, lovely. I imagine some might find it a bit folk-fusion but it seems a genuine coming together to me.


I can't mention the Tiny Desk Concerts without also sharing my favourite one below - Chris Thile again with Michael Davies playing the absolute hell out of some classic bluegrass tunes. If this doesn't make you smile, even if you think bluegrass is cheesy, which it isn't, check your pulse as you may be dead...


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