Tom looks at how modern audiences are hooked on silence in the concert hall. Citing a recent incident where the rustling of a sweet wrapper by an audience member in Malmo created a ruckus so powerful that it spilled spectacularly into a violent brawl, Tom will examine why silence is considered so important and noise so abhorrent in classical concerts.
The Power of One
Music where the needs of the one outweigh the needs of the many - but also where the many can become one... Tom Service looks at music performed solo, or in unison. What is happening in music where there is no harmony? And how can a single musical line build a sense of community?
Anger in Music
LET'S GET ANGRY!
Music’s power to express and exorcise anger has taken composers, performers, and listeners, to the Dark Side of music’s profoundly emotional powers. How do you make the sounds of anger? We’ll scream like heavy metal virtuosos and operatic divas, we’ll explore the harmonies of anger through the sounds of the angriest classical music over the centuries, and we’ll hear what happens in our brains when we just have to express our vexatious impulses.
But while there’s a cathartic feeling of release once we’ve got over the musical, emotional, and hormonal expression of angriness, music itself can also make us angry. It makes Tom Service angry: when you’re on hold on that phone-call to the gas-board, when that TV theme or YouTube meme gets stuck in your head and just won’t budge: music can make us as exquisitely cross as any other fact of our lives.
We'll get anger management advice from Commander-In-Chief, Shred guitarist Berit Hagen (angry), composer Richard Sisson (very angry) and Professor of Black Studies Kehinde Andrews (seething).
From the sounds of anger to anger-inducing ear-worm: join us in an emotionally exorcising edition of The Listening Service. You’ll feel better. And if you don't you can get very angry with us!
Bruckner and the Symphonic Boa Constrictors
Even today, some music-lovers will nod knowingly when they hear Brahms's comparison of Anton Bruckner's epic symphonies with a nightmare-scary giant snake which kills its victims in the inescapable embrace of its crushing coils. Poor Bruckner, ever the easy target of sneering critics. At once childishly obsessive and intensely spiritual, ultra-sophisticated musician and naive country bumpkin: even by composers' standards he stood out as weird. No wonder the music was so hopeless!
But Tom Service wants you to think of Bruckner as one of the greatest and most original symphonists of all time (whose symphonies really don't all sound the same), as much master of daring long-range musical form as of the perfect miniature.
David Papp (producer)
The Double Bass
It's huge; Its awkward; It's difficult to play; and while it’s totally pivotal to the musical spectrum, it's rarely talked about.
It's the epitome of the elephant in the room and yet, we'll discover why it is possibly the most underrated instrument in the orchestra.
Tom Service on the history and development of the largest and lowest pitched orchestral string instrument, and hears how it's played today. He's joined by performers Leon Bosch and Daphna Sadeh to discuss why the bass is much, much more than the elephant in the room.