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PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2024 9:34 am 
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You’re welcome - glad I could share with people who appreciate it :)


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2024 9:40 am 
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Sebastiano Boina wrote:
sallytbyml wrote:
post-White Chalk albums (with maybe a little bit of UHH - I definitely hear some Pocket Knife


mmmh interesting.


thank you!


It was really just a snippet that made me think ‘Pocket Knife’ and also because that song really feels like it’s told by a character with a strong narrative and has a simplicity to it, so in that sense it’s closer to the way the songs are telling the story in London Tide. I would say the overall tone of the LT songs is a bit moodier than Pocket Knife though.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2024 7:12 pm 
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Thank you !

Ideally we'll get a cast album and the full demo album along with it, the YT video makes me hopeful, fingers crossed


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2024 10:10 pm 
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Thank you for the contributions so far!

Front Row on Radio 4 did a review this evening - it begins at 17.24 in the broadcast and finishes at 29.00. They think the songs are a bit samey and difficult but beyond that it's hard to work out what Tahmima Anam, especially, thinks is the problem is with them. 'An honourable defeat', summarises Tom Sutcliffe.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m001y8j0


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2024 11:29 pm 
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AineteEkaterini wrote:
Thank you for the contributions so far!

Front Row on Radio 4 did a review this evening - it begins at 17.24 in the broadcast and finishes at 29.00. They think the songs are a bit samey and difficult but beyond that it's hard to work out what Tahmima Anam, especially, thinks is the problem is with them. 'An honourable defeat', summarises Tom Sutcliffe.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m001y8j0


tbh I didn't expect the music to go down that well with the theatre crowd, I hope PJ doesn't get too downhearted about it!
more positive review here https://www.timeout.com/london/theatre/ ... ide-review

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2024 12:02 am 
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2024 10:57 am 
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Not exactly getting stellar reviews, I'm afraid...

Quote:
Hindering, rather than helping, are PJ Harvey’s samey, dirge-like, soporific songs, which do nothing to advance the action or reveal the characters’ inner lives.

Quote:
It’s a calamitous shame PJ’s Harvey’s score doesn’t conjure the faintest semblance of vitality. A bloated concoction of subdued power ballads paired with painfully superficial lyrics are such a tagged-on afterthought that the production couldn’t just go on happily without it, but would actively improve if it were abandoned.

Quote:
Her songs intrigue at first, their lyrics both blunt – “this is a story about Lundun” chant the cast in the opening number – and esoteric. But as the story gets more interesting and the characters richer, the songs remain the same – character stands centre stage and sings out at the audience – until you can’t help sighing a little when another one strikes up, knowing another dirge is on its way.

Quote:
Harvey’s ceaselessly repetitive, deadeningly slow rhythms and mostly stolidly unchanging harmonies – unhelped by Powers’ flat, earnest lyrics – never make a case for songs being in the show whatsoever.


The Guardian ★★★☆☆
The Independent ★★★☆☆
TimeOut ★★★★☆
The Standard ★★☆☆☆
London Theatre ★★★☆☆
The Telegraph ★★★☆☆
WhatsOnStage ★★★☆☆
Broadway World ★★☆☆☆


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2024 9:14 pm 
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At this rate they might cut the prices!

I've thought in the past that attacks on PJ's music (before she became a National Treasure) very often represented the critics both simultaneously getting the point and missing it, and end up expressing something important by the backdoor. Difficult to judge in this case, outside the three-and-a-half-hour context. I thought the rehearsal recording of Eugene Alone was quite energetic, but it might grate if all the songs are like that.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2024 12:40 am 
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In the interests of balance! lol. a more positive review here https://www.cityam.com/london-tide-revi ... ou-expect/

Quote:
London Tide review: A dirge – but what did you expect?
London Tide at the Lyttelton Theatre: ★★★★

“Every writer of fiction, though he may not adopt the dramatic form, writes in effect for the stage,” Charles Dickens announced in 1858. In the case of his particular style of fiction – lengthy, originally serialised novels crammed with characters and complex plots – this is especially fitting.

But is it fitting to lob in avant garde blues punk? Well, yes, although Dickens would surely be a little aghast at this new adaptation of his last and least popular novel, Our Mutual Friend. It introduces the disquieting music of PJ Harvey to devastating effect. Her songs, always dour and atmospheric, help transform the text into something new, doing a spectacular job of conveying emotions that would have been difficult for the characters to express without stalling the pace of the story.


https://theatrecat.com/2024/04/18/londo ... elton-se1/

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Now here’s a bracing new way to do Dickens: avoid sets full of Victoriana by keeping the stage pretty much empty beneath a set of uneasily moving lighting-bars evocative of a tidal river. Cut out all the harrumphing Cheeryble rhetoric and lovable Peggotying; choose a late, least-familiar novel and get Ben Power to fillet the meaning out of the story in short scenes, as he did with the Lehman Trilogy. Then find a modern , eerily original and hypnotic songwriter – PJ Harvey – to set thirteen songs for individuals and whole-cast chorus at moments of high emotion

I suspect Ian Rickson’s production , based on Our Mutual Friend, will be, as they say, Marmite. It’s over three hours long , lacks set-piece glamour, has no desire to razzle-dazzle you, and Bunny Christie’s strange set of moving bars of light overhead may be downright unsettling until you see it as reflections from our ancient uneasy estuary.

But it is a sort of weird masterpiece and exactly what the NT should be doing. I was drawn into the idea of the murky old river-life of the London Thames from the moment the cast (21 strong) scrambled singing from the downstage pit and Jake Wood’s Gaffer Hexam – a plank representing his boat – found a drowned corpse, picked its pockets as was his way, and towed it home while his gentle daughter Lizzie (Ami Tredrea) began narrating their world.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2024 1:39 pm 
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The other day PJH’s team posted some of those not-quite-positive reviews on her Instagram story. I thought that was funny.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 01, 2024 9:46 am 
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a few comments from Polly on the soundtrack https://www.instagram.com/p/C7pAPXOgpAp/


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2024 4:52 pm 
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Full video:



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4E-wrZz8wUc


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2024 10:28 am 
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https://www.instagram.com/p/C8CB3-FoYeC/

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2024 4:07 pm 
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London Tide Musical Director Ian Ross on working with our Pol!

https://crackmagazine.net/article/long- ... interview/

Spoiler! :

Bringing her uncompromising vision to a Dickens stage adaptation, PJ Harvey’s London Tide score captures the period play’s eerie atmosphere and elemental themes. Reflecting on their collaboration, Musical Director Ian Ross discusses her tenacity and integrity in subverting musical theatre’s well-established forms.


Set in the smoggy haze of 19th century London, a new National Theatre production explores life along the River Thames. Backed by a specially created score from PJ Harvey, London Tide adapts Charles Dickens’s final novel, Our Mutual Friend, telling the stories of two young women as they navigate life in the Victorian-era British capital city following the disappearance and apparent death of protagonist John Harmon.

It’s a striking noir that explores class, poverty, family and gender roles 200 years ago, but also themes that hold poignancy in today’s landscape. Harvey’s 13 raw songs (co-written with Ben Power, who adapted the play script) provide a fitting soundtrack, while also forming an eerie counterpoint to the typically dynamic and expressive tracks of musical theatre. Along with pared-back set design that adds to the melancholic, creepy atmosphere, the music provides a dark view of the British capital – from the rousing, lo-fi anti-ballad of Eugene Alone to highlight closer Homecoming.

With London Tide running at the National Theatre until 22 June, we caught up with the production’s Musical Director, Co-Vocal Arranger and Musician Ian Ross to chat about working with Harvey and the process of bringing her music to the stage.

How did PJ Harvey come to be involved in the music?

PJ Harvey and director Ian Rickson go way back as he’s a long-time fan and also has directed [many] of her live shows.

Why was she the right artist to bring London Tide to life?

Because theatre needs shaking up! In one of the workshops early on, PJ said to me: “If we think we’ve got the right answer, then we’re probably wrong.” She has a fierce tenacity with her ideas and integrity with her feelings which means she’s willing to make mistakes to honour them. To have her next to Dickens, who is such an institution, was inspired.

Musically, London Tide is unmistakably PJ Harvey. She has a rare quality of timelessness, and when she sings it’s impossible to imagine where her voice comes from. It’s from the earth and the stars, from the past and the future. That’s how London Tide feels to me.

What was the creative process of working with her like?

She’s playful and serious. Sometimes unmovable, but always kind. It was an absolute privilege and quite exhausting!

How different is working on something like this ­– essentially a score, compared to say, an EP or an album?

I think PJ wanted the songs to stand alone in the play, and this has really held its own now we’ve recorded it. As a collection of songs it is really cohesive, and I think we’ve honoured that in a theatrical setting. It’s another bold, and rarely sighted choice on stage.

Can you explain how the music explores the themes that feature in the play, such as poverty and class?

We paid a lot of attention to choosing sounds. The Prophet synth we use was chosen because it sits in a world between analogue and digital. It manages, in my opinion, to represent the elemental themes in the play – fire, water, dust and smoke – in a timeless way, like how PJ Harvey’s and Ben Power’s lyrics poetically reflect the Dickensian themes, almost from a distance.



And how about capturing the energy of London in the 19th century?

We wanted the music to reflect the movement of the river, the moments of light through the smoke and the breaths between submergence. The songs come through that like the inner life of the characters, distinct from the scenes and looking at London from above.

What about bringing it to life during performances in the theatre? What’s the process been like there?

PJ was certain about who she wanted to sing. In her original notes, she wrote: “Not trained voices, lots of character. We don’t want over singing or ‘too confident’ acrobatic/ technique driven singing.” This meant we were asking a lot of the actors, some of whom were inexperienced with singing at all, let alone onstage. It created an environment of bravery and care and, I think, a wonderfully human musical experience that is unseen in theatre at this level.

How was set design influenced by the music, and vice versa?

The set is sparse, dark, tonal and undulating. There’s some incredible automation on the lights and stage which are groundbreaking. I think there was a pioneering spirit in the air when we made this, and for me personally that came from PJ Harvey and her music.

London Tide is at the Lyttelton, National Theatre until 22 June.


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