Sunday, 16 May 2010

This New Day, Radio Ulster - Kim Lenaghan

The delightful Kim Lenaghan asked me onto her This New Day programme on Radio Ulster this morning, so I was up bright and early and at the studio for 7.15.

Ian, the sound engineer, showed me up to the studio. He always asks kindly after my mother as he remembers her days as a BBC Governor in the 1980s - a particularly pleasant, quietly-spoken man. Kim has a way of making you feel relaxed; we have met several times before and have a shared interest in dogs, so despite my customary faltering start (I don't know if I will ever really get used to the microphone) we had a pleasant and wide-ranging chat.

The format involves choosing three favourite pieces of music, which Kim plays at intervals during the forty minutes of the conversation. My first choice was Dave Grusin's piano version of the theme from On Golden Pond, one of my two favourite movies, and incidentally the music I used for The Blue Cabin video.

Next was Paul Brady's The Island from 1985, a lament for the world's strife-torn hotspots and in particular his native Northern Ireland, which resonates because the central message is the futility of trying to build a future from the past - something which would have struck a chord with my father, one of whose guiding principles (in politics and in life) was to look resolutely ahead, and by implication to relegate tribalism to it's rightful place - the history books.

My third choice was from my (other) favourite movie, Big Night, starring, co-directed and co-written by the wonderful Stanley Tucci, about two Italian brothers striving for perfection in the restaurant business in 1950's New Jersey. Worth watching for the amazing final single-shot scene in the restaurant's kitchen alone, the movie is just as memorable for the theme music: Stornelli Amorisi by Claudio Villa.
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