Barbara Thompson on Midweek on 4 - right now!
Not normally a programme I listen to. Repeat tonght at 9.30 (expurgated)
Her and Jon's programme "Playing against Time", about dealing with Parkinsons, is on BBC4 on Weds 29th at 9 pm.
"Playing against Time" is also on this Sunday at 9 as part of the BBC Four jazz weekend, followed by some footage of Paraphenalia in concert.
I can recommend Playing Against Time. I was one of a small number of speakers who introduced it to the Commons All Party Parkinson's group and the All Party Jazz Appreciation Group as part of George Foster's brave campaign to get wider awareness of both Parkinson's disease and Barbara's titanic struggle with it. It is a most impressive film, and having introduced what I thought was her last ever broadcast on Jazz Notes some eleven years ago, I simply cannot believe what a remarkable woman she is, nor how incredibly brilliantly she is playing in the most recent sequences in the film. Mike Dibb (who made Ian Carr's excellent films on Miles and Jarrett) has again come up trumps.
Thanks Byas'd - hadn't noticed Sunday!
Originally Posted by Byas'd Opinion
Apologies all round for the hurried above announcement, after having heard the item announced on R4 while in the bath, waited 10 minutes for my computer to warm up, and then had to dash off for a sesh at the dentist! Libby Purves' clunky Midweek interviewing manner tends to get on my t*ts, one reason I normally leap to switch off , but the other guests did draw interesting observations from Barbara and Jon on braving it out with Parkinsons, the strictness of the regime it imposes and the effects specifically on Barbara's performance, and Jon elsewhere speaking of seemingly becoming a totally different person from his normal self when engaged in musicking. John and Barbara's slot comprised roughtly the first third of the 45 minute programme, though they were enjoined towards the end. The subject of silence within music was touched on - another guest pointing out that "silent" is an anagram of "listen"... which I'd never heard mentioned previously, having only been born yesterday!
Edit: Our messages crossed, Alyn, and I'd just like to reinforce strongly your own impressions of Barbara's phenomenal fortitude under the circumstances, having had the great privilege of getting to know her and the ever-supportive Jon over the past few years.
If anyone missed this this morning, tune in tonight.
Last edited by Serial_Apologist; 15-02-12 at 14:46.
i really enjoyed the 'slow tango' composition barbara thompson's written, featured in the mike dibb documentary. as well as the 'stretching the tuba player' compositions bt's doing!
Originally Posted by Serial_Apologist
purves did her usual 'uber generalised' style, extracting the usual rushed snippets from a bunch of (imv totally mismatched) guests.....(as per normal)? imv this strategy serves no one really ..... for instance, how can people be expected to self promote effectively, directly after other guests have courageously been expressing quite intimate matters, beyond commerce, entertainment, and daily trivialities? do producers never sense that listeners might well wince at midweek's hurried and jumbled approach - or what?
i really enjoyed (sir) anthony sher's responses to bt's comments about personal barriers to creativity, he also came across as thoroughly decent, and an intelligent, emotionally perceptive human being. actors can seem a rather fickle bunch, especialy very famous ones, or at least are often presented in this manner, particularly in the mainstream media.
the mike dibb documentary was typically brilliant, representative of dibb's special knack as regards any topic he chooses. imv his latest doc. struck a great balance between performance, creativity and parkinsons details, and probably pretty arduous to get right. yet the film doc. looks totally effortless and accessable to viewers. that is, despite longterm illness being considered 'offputting', (apart from sensationalist mainstream tv soaps that merely skim the surface).
the doc was all the better for inclusion of bt's keyboard player, and the other fellow parkinsons sufferers, who barbara's 'adopted', .... the sing along session filmed, for instance, was beautiful i thought. raising public awareness, and supporting the medical profession towards care and medication is one side of the 'adoption'; the rest is purely up to bt's remarkable sense of altruism, and problem solving abilities, even in adverse conditions - which is the real guage. anyone can be altruistic for an afternoon when in good health afterall! from the doc. we get the distinct impression bt and jon are in for the long hawl, what with her composition writing for all sorts of groups of people (with, and without parkinsons), and different types of instruments, as well as touring live gigs.
bt's music software, choral compositions, interest in poetry, etc were touching, especially as these activities will definitely be there for her in the longterm, even if live performance becomes too strenuous. i hope bt and jon hiseman attract a lot more good quality, useful publicity, following the recent media attention. what a couple they are ....! jon obviously has a fine sense of humour, as well as great organisational, and caring skills ...not to mention his drumming in 'colloseum'. i loved the bit where the guy's got his mobile phone attached to a velcro patch on his hat ....and jon's hilarity and encouragement in response. i thought jh came across very well on the recent 'jazz library' interview, but obviously the documentary allows us much more time to understand who they both are, beyond 'famous musicians'.
I have just caught up with the film Playing Against Time on iplayer.
A most moving and humbling account.