Somebody to lean on
Written by Andrew Wilson, founding partner
4 April 2020
This week I’m taking a break from our usual long reads.
In the temporary absence of human contact, it’s my pleasure to guide you towards some music, pictures and videos from our world in isolation that celebrate the indomitable power of the human spirit. I hope you have a restful weekend.
Food and love are all we need
“We have lost touch with nature rather foolishly as we are a part of it, not outside it. This will in time be over and then what? What have we learned? I am 83 years old, I will die. The cause of death is birth. The only real things in life are food and love in that order, just like our little dog Ruby. I really believe this and the source of art is love. I love life.” – David Hockney to BBC Arts editor, Will Gompertz.
This week, David Hockney shared his life affirming iPad artworks with the world.
Read in The Times
The eternal city
“Rome, Closed City,” by the filmmaker Mo Scarpelli, documents life in the Italian capital, primarily on Friday 13 March. The city was already in lockdown. If you know this city at all, the film is utterly bewildering for its silence – bar the wailing of sirens. Epic, everyday, moving and uplifting, all within eight minutes.
Watch on The New Yorker
Art in the time of coronavirus
Hats off to Politico for asking a stunning array of artists to illustrate life in the time of coronavirus. To be enjoyed unreservedly.
See in Politico
French radio forever
Kenny Farquharson @KennyFarq often poses interesting cultural questions and conundrums that resonate with me in his columns for The Times and on Twitter. This week, I offer him a virtual thanks for introducing me (via his arts editor, Neil Fisher) to Fip Radio. It has made my limited life immeasurably better with its blend of jazz, indie, world and folk music. Plus, coronavirus advice sounds immeasurably cooler in French.
Listen on FIP
Sounds of silence
The world sounds very different now that we’re all locked away in our homes. A new project, #StayHomeSounds, collects sound recordings from anywhere in the world, and adds them to its sound map. You could spend hours discovering the sounds of our world in isolation, from claps for the NHS in Ullapool to chirping birds in a Japanese park. Thankfully, there isn’t much traffic noise.
Discover on Cities and Memory
Another country at home
Another of my favourite Twitter follows is Ricky Ross, Deacon Blue frontman and the best DJ on the radio. He’s been recommending an album a day to listen to on Twitter recently, but he is also to be found playing classic country, blues and folk on his weekly show on BBC Radio Scotland. This week past he paid tribute to Kenny Rogers and played Bob Dylan’s new 18-minute track Murder Most Foul in its entirety. Hard to beat.
Listen on BBC Scotland
How to be a man
Bill Withers passed away yesterday. Earlier this year I listened to him talk about how to be a man on the fantastic Death, Sex and Money podcast. I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.
Listen on YouTube.
And, for all the Gen X and above nostalgia lovers, here he is singing ‘Lovely Day’ in classic Top of the Pops style, from 1988.
And again, on YouTube.