Tuesday, January 20, 2009

It's in the Voice

The death of David Vine was announced last week and it was particularly sad - if not surprising- as it seems to come on the heels of losing another great voice that of Oliver Postgate who left us late last year.

The thing about both of these peole is that they are both very much part of my youth, and to me partners in shaping my world with me. The reason they feel that close, I think, is the magical power of their voices. In both cases the voices are distinctive, and in many ways not the classical BBC voice of their era. But each had a distinctive quality that was well matched with what they were doing. Postgate had that wonderfully grandfather like quality that spoke of comfort and friendship and whimsy, whilst Vine was able to invest even the most mundane sports with vigour vim and passion.

It took only the briefest snatch of listening to them to be transported away to nicer places. Happily recordings of the remain, so for me it is possible to experience that again, but importantly for me it is a reminder of how powerful the human voice is and why TESCAPE is so passionate about it.

We have also lost Tony Hart and I mourn his passing for entirely different reasons.....

Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy New Year

Well that was a pretty poor performance in terms of blogging last year so perhaps my new years resolution should be to blog more regularly. Either way here it is, the firs of 2009.

Alistair Cooke must be one of the shining jewels of the spoken word world. His passing deprived us of the continuing joy of tuning in on Sunday morning, at least that is when I did, to listen in to his musings on life on the other side of the pond. Point of View is fine and I can listen to the idiosyncratic delivery of Clive James with a good deal of pleasure, but Cook is still king.

One of the good things about 50 years of broadcasting though, particularly with an organisation of the quality of the BBC, is that a good deal of archive material still exists of Alistair Cooke speaking at different times on a variety of subjects. As a result, and in the absence of anything better, the BBC do periodically dust off Cooke broadcasts and share them again with the nation and this Christmas has been no different. So it is with pleasure that I recommend to you the festive Alistair Cooke broadcasts. Introduced by the rather limp Justin Webb - but you can quickly overcome that to wallow in the honeyed tones of the master.

Find the broadcasts here.