TOM WHEATLEY looks at how urbanisation is reflected upon in music. With the urbanisation and gentrification of existing cities and large towns everywhere, and with prestigious music establishments such as the Royal Academy of Music in London or the Berklee College of Music in Boston being centred in these areas, more musicians are finding themselves drawn to urban places, creating bustling musical hubs filled to the brim with creators. The urbanisation of music manifests itself in different ways for each artist, with some artists taking direct inspiration from the visual stimuli, experiences, and sounds their landscape brings, while other artists display the effects of urbanisation in society in more abstract ways. The clearest way we can hear urbanisation’s effect on music is in those pieces written directly about our changing landscape in a literal, tangible sense. These are often from contrasting viewpoints. For example, while composers such as Haydn denote…Continue Reading

Modern Urbanisation and Music

ALICE NELSON reviews British Library event ‘Leonard Cohen: The Flame’ Leonard Cohen, prolific singer-songwriter, poet and novelist, passed away on the 7th of November 2016.  Nearly two years after his death, the British Library event ‘Leonard Cohen: The Flame’ offered a chance to be surrounded by fellow Leonard lovers, in what felt like long-due and well-needed group therapy for a passing we’d all not really dealt with. Part of the British Library’s Season of Sound, the evening was hosted by Will Gompertz, the BBC’s Arts Editor. It featured readings, music and discussions, celebrating Cohen’s life and works with a focus on The Flame, a recently published posthumous poetry collection that spans Cohen’s literary life. The evening was intimate and often exceptionally moving, underpinned with an omnipresent admiration and affection for Cohen – his work, life, character and soul. Cohen has so much artistic insight and pleasure to offer us, and the…Continue Reading

Leonard Cohen: The Flame