« Desert Island Discs

Gareth Malone

2016-12-25 | 🔗
Gareth Malone is a choirmaster who has coaxed and cajoled people from nervous adults to reluctant teenagers to open their mouths and sing for the pure joy of it - in front of television cameras. Gareth's first two TV series, which charted his attempts to build successful choirs in schools with little or no tradition of singing together, both won major awards, and gripped and inspired viewers. He has since also worked widely on TV with adult groups from a wide range of backgrounds, and his Military Wives Choir even hit the top of the charts at Christmas. Once described as a human tuning fork, Gareth loved music from an early age - and as he recalls, his parents and grandmother took a strong interest in his own youthful performances, from his very first school concerts. As a teenager, he felt an outsider amongst his fellow pupils, because he found his music teacher so inspiring. After time spent as a youth worker, and as a music educator, Gareth's TV series have taken him all over the country becoming - in his words - "an evangelist for music.".
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
This is the BBC Halloo. Kirsty young. Thank you for downloading this podcast of death. on a discs from BBC radio for for rights reads The music choices are shorter than in the radio broadcasts for more info, Nation about the programme please visit bbc dotcom, dont uk, slash radio for me castaway this christmas day is the choir muster ganis Malone. He has got britons again making music and tv that unites disputes, and sometimes even desperate people through the power of song, his professional credentials, acutely tip top, but there's charm and dash of coming to
he's coaxed everyone from goby adolescence too hard nosed boxes into opening their minds, their mouths and their hearts in pursuit of music. It makes for gripping and off inspiring tv, his military wives choir even had a number one, christmas single music. Central not just to his professional success, but he's very existence his parents met through there mutual love of gilbert and Sullivan, and his own pretty tricky teenager these were transformed. My song, he says being bullied, probably gave me a different sort of attitude, which is an up yours thing, about being exactly who I am I like what I like. I do what I do. I draw the stick out blending so welcome gasp alone to the island, What do you think it is about singing about communal singing that has a very unique and special quality for human beings,
it certainly captured me very early on. I always wanted to be in the car. I was drawn today's events in when we were gathered in the school hole when I was very young and sang stand up, clap hands. Shout thank you load aye, sir, really enjoy vigorously join. It was five speech. I have the kind of work to define somewheres when your singing it's an you ve learned, sullenly, very pure. This is a time view christmas time when most people might be singing for the one and only time in the year, whether its at school or whether they go to a midnight service. I feel sorry for those people. Do you? Yes, because people who meet their singing because of an idea, if not being good enough. If you only get the car there was once a year: it's not gonna. Do. While you spend your hard drive, often enough it's gonna crash is you need to use. instrument. You need to learn to breathe properly ass. She winston do. We know how to make a noise, and I think it s a fire. You know how to shout fire
and you know how to do loudly enough to be heard and singing is part of that very visceral communication not something to fear something to embrace how Have you managed to choose eight singleton Of music, given how much music is your world and how much of it it will happen in the space of an hour, because so much music. That is related to a petition a point in my life. The only has very if I listen to pop song does very idea, I'm not like it for two weeks and then never to hear it again, and these are not those pieces. These are the pieces. The defined me to myself, I suppose so. Games million lives starts. Unwrapping your little musical christmas gifts to the nation. Tell us about your first one. What are we gonna get the first choice. Please would be shostakovich symphony number five behind. Well when I was at university. Austerity apply bennett play set in russia, and I was looking some russian music much it myself to the virgin break
storing norwich suarez at university, and I some through, and I knew the names of risky calls a coffin, Tchaikowski and various other composers. I didn't know much about just a covert other than that he was touchy censure and then I started to read about source code which and how he served encoded DC messages in the peace, and he was writing under the regime, and that really appealed to me that could be within this music that if you were tuned into it, you could hear the man, hind lease hidden signal.
that was part of the second movement from shostakovich is symphony number five performed by the london cynthia orchestra and conducted by mrs love, roster purvis. There a sort of wholesome old fashioned policy to quires themselves and that some You seem to bodies as far as I know, you are told, but when I saw you on television, what do you think makes for good quartermaster? My mother lode once described museum fogey an iceberg liking music. I shall sick of it It also liking the modern world and technology none more uneasy, as has always been our foot in both camps. I guess I guess import. in running acquire because you're asking people to with you, so you need an outstretched hand on a friendly disposition, but equally needs have faith and interest in the musical percinet the tradition, your custodian, these gems, in the parsonage, you fill out the responsibility to get
right. You ve been on our television screens and over ten years you ve been making these all of them. Choir based programmes and your first one. It won a bath How will you calibrated your expectations since new when abaft with your first of a tv series, that's going set us a dreadful things to do and what we want and that of the first one, and then I was so determined with the second. We want a second one and since then it's been has been largely downhill, but I think that all of that feels like noise in white and its lovely and his group fine, but isn't one minute, for I don't think I am certainly not in it for fame, fundamentally and passionate about music and and passionate about encouraging other people to be patient
music. Samuel barbers Annie stay is not a peace, this made into a list of aid, but it was the peace that you chose to introduce to a bunch of me to call them novices is rather to overstate the case. These were people hadn't picked up some she in their lies before you decided in one of your television programmes, just to be clear that it is a six minutes piece of coral music with. eight part harmonies and its in latin yeah yeah. What did you do that? Because I think if you always do something that is safe and uneasy. People smile, let you know if you say what we're going to do to sing it might not be possible, might be dangerous, might be exciting, are seen as a real imperative for people who want to be involved, and I think that's been homework- everything I have always tried to challenge. Tell me that you next piece caterpillar. What are we gonna hear? My grandmother here is a huge task of music found a great friend of the human voice, very close to my coming, she died in two thousand and eight, but when I was at university she's to send me clippings and Cuttings- and she gave me a book of a house men's perch
And she sent me clipping review of printer veils, vagabond and said, oh by the way, if you want or semi nina ten pounds and post, I liked it myself off to provide the same reckless or bodies, and the final track on this outcome is called. Is my team ploughing it's a ghost singing to an old friend, I'm an he's asking after his sweetheart and the man he's alive is drawing to a quiet and this voice, because he's now actually with the sweethearts chilling, but am very doctors on for me
Meyer. Is my team ploughing from eighty housman shropshire lad, perform thereby been travel with el commissioner on piano, and you said, girls balloon that one of the reasons you chosen, that was for your grandmother, she'd, given you that book of poetry He died in two thousand and eight Usanga her funeral of yes. Yes, I did. I try and thick constriction in my throat that I'm feeling even think about it is what I think a lot of people I'm talking to an encouraging size what they go through and I've never had a more powerful experience of actual pain.
And inability to saying and is removing them, because my god and joined in a dilemma made it worse than in my old singing teachers or further she joined in and then in the past I managed to carry out the rest of the zone. Can you tell more about your mom and dad it's true that they met through music. That was the giving you a small family. You an only child and a new moment admit because world aid they joined an amateur, dramatic society asking the eyes across the stage. My mom says that one home and tell the friend she met the man he's going to marry and should any nineteen scandal, nineteen, but they through music and an that's been at the heart of everything my family's been about it always singing at home, guides concerts listening to music. If I performed in aqaba, even if it was when I was eight five, it would be discussed,
state will be reviewed. Critiques by my grandmother was always very honest and direct and the first ten years of your life was spent in london, and then you move the family moved to bournemouth in you lived schools. How did you get on? It was a tricky aged move. Actually, for me, I made for nos ten, and I left it old friends behind bars suddenly without much closer to a musical society, because in london we ve in the sub indeed it has been a big trip up to town guernsey accounts. It were suddenly we were we write by this. Is there was a wonderful music all the winter gods suddenly no longer web There was a bomb symphony after the bournemouth symphony orchestra, the boom of bark, why the grange costs society? They agree meet you gotta, music, odessa, youth, quiet. There was just music
We were all this into very musical town. I was that young fogey that developing young fogey treated at school, because these are not typical things that a teenage boys born must in the eighties would necessarily be interested to know, and I think I mean I look back on a lot of my contemporaries. I think no wonder rising dot. Maybe I was a little bit part lord fauntleroy, just a little bit sheltered. Maybe it's not worth a lot of the boys at school. Thought was safely nail liking. The music teacher was deeply suspicious. absolutely loved, my music teacher s, even carson- I was in his throat ready knows, as you are, I think, we're in a choir, your id sucker you're in a cold, and I get spirits that with people who come to me, say you, you know, you don't know what you ve done for me and I think will actually I do and some may it is being in a quiet, and I think that for me,
plus I most wanted to be like school and, frankly, the other boys. You didn't want me to be like that. I think fundamentally even feed off me that I did I wanted like then, I give you got me in there. I made said now. I'd rather daylight, discuss tell me what you said. What have you been here? on behalf of any cheering off your blue eyes, each year. I would like to sit on my desert, island and think about death, and you know it I don quite comfortable in a dark space and I'm thinking about mortality bought. This is a choice. It takes me botsey, very happy times when I was sitting in london and my dad had disgraced day of the currency brothers and I all dressed in my arms matters of hers, don't jump earlier on. I I've been every strong memories of singing this. What I called darwin medusa
and I would just dance one. Even that's got time when I was a bunch of us our big problem, some say we want victorious leads, went much more or less to convene weapon zones and run say my dad do that was Cancer, brothers and tommy mecum unfairly aligning the boarding houses of wrought seal their kind of cologne chosen because it was in your dance record collection and your teenage band cold silences purple. I was one one incarnation. Many bands, many ban, o many bands, many projects always approached there's always a musical projects on the go with me, and I think that started lies about. I did you look as a young teenage marleen. I tat very bad
herr, because I wanted it to grow alone and flowing like the rock gods of old over recent years sideways. I ended up looking like a set of em in tow trying. The cheese is not good. and you studies drama at university. Did you have you had designs at that stage of love, making our professional life yourself as an activity of saw. I don't think I've really knew at that age, and I don't think there was any one who could really council me. I think I just work it out, you know I was hungry folded. The oars generally and what they meant to me. I'm the narrowing has come later as ives of financed and realized was actually deeply potency and when you can might have university, your first job was as a use worker. In more must you find that deeply traumatic were your words will tell me why think I was a middle class boy from a fairy caring, loving family, and I
remember seeing a lot of these kids into thinking. Like goodness, you ve got absolutely no chance of. We certainly don't have the chance to die. Had I remember coming home about ten o clock at night, the out with my parents so midnight talking about these kids. It's work is very much about them, leading you and you have to be there waiting for them to be ready to it. I knew that For me, I want you to be more active. I wanted to persuade people and be evangelist for music, as have some music from you, gonna smilin. What's next, is from? She must stick to labour, a peace that I came to my twenties. I was when I first started to study singing classically. It's just a simple pitch of a young man, he's in love and is
going rights under the flowers, a singing to him and he says, lost in grief. I mean she's perfection applause me
of course, schumann's. I hear the little song sounding from dictum, labour poets, love performed by fritz moodily accompany, thereby who but listen. I talked to a wonderfully wise selection of professionals human desert on this. But I have to say it's the first time ever that I've spoken to someone who once held the position of air he's assistant anna matter at the london symphony orchestra. What on earth is there is a very grand title for the guy who makes it the tea. I spent two years as an apprentice. Really. in music education. An amateur is somebody who goes into any musical situation and just enlivens it and enriches toddlers would come in elders,
the community schools, you name it and then they have to meet the orchestra and what a trait in I was working alongside these musical here, as I remember my very first day at work being introduced. Everyone shake, stand by the hand and its moors murphy, sis trumpet player- and I realized shortly after that. This was the man who played opening bars of star wars. Unbelievable died, founded into what my heart palpitated with it. I remember thinking I've got calm down. I can actually I'm so excited by going to work your name came up then, when twenty twenty, a television production company had this idea that we'd like to make a programme about choirs it was two thousand and five. Can you remember the moment? ass, I remember very clearly the phone call from a coupled Amy, higgs cheats, are you interested in this this tv thing I jumped on it and then it within a few weeks
I suddenly found myself in front of the camera apart from, of course, being a opportunity. It also is quite a decision to thing. If you were in a world that you already loving, you had graduated with distinction, you were somebody who had a difference. Of musical career or the possibility of such in front of you too then. Going to television. It was arranged. It was a ranch- and I remember, being friends wedding, some years late about five years later and a lot of my colleagues college. It were there and they continued down that path of glasgow, Singapore, doing well. Having real, pines and real difficulty with it actually, and I think I am difficult to being what you felt you'd compromise, so you ve not caught no clump compromises it. It is just that I'm badly missed it. Don't that ultimately would dissatisfied me to be a so lay singer boy cora singer
to be in charge? I uneasily running why in protest and need to be creatively stimulated and tv has been, in the outlet for me. So I so now and again. I have a moment ago. I wish I was in. Berlin with sir jointly a gardener singing bar. Yes, that's the grasses was green us and we will probably is, and then, when I speak to my friends who are actually doing it, s really hard work that I get paid. My speaking of really hard work. The military wise choir was one of your was high profile, successes and and and intense expediency everybody involved for very obvious reasons that we saw on television and you decanted you and new baby devon to make the programme that doesn't sound like an easy situation. No, that was very difficult. It was partly deliberate choice to engage in a project that was going to be grown up and tough. I felt ready for that challenge. Those who is very, very young, so I went when I signed up to. I didn't realize really. What I was getting myself into is very tough as
hard to my wife, but that was very much experience that these women were going through. So I think that ultimately really helped me to understand them and then to trust me that I had made huge commitment to actually be near them. I wasn't just floating in from london every ten minutes I was actually there of the experts seeing their life first hand tell me what you next piece, music than this issue? Fifth, when I to consider what three minutes where's my sing. I was a very difficult choice with what piece of music could possibly sum up a woman's feeling for her husband who was in a war zone in those very very difficult. So I had met to pull mailer to my attention is the role composer, who wrote a peaceful, furthermore, wedding before formula change, the words to make it more appropriate for a royal wedding. There was this version and he told we about this, now seek to crimson petal and he sent me a version of it and it will
the base that we ended up doing wasn't wherever you are, because we felt that actually be better to write. A piece of music that came from the but this is the place where I thought here is a man of substance.
Nah sleeps the crimson petal, composed by Paul miller and performed by the tenant, require conducted by nigel short I mean can demanded action. This sort of up yours mentality, that you think you have a new, always seem on camera, at least to be conciliatory to be even temporary. Has there ever been a point in? I've got a temper. Have you yeah good gets tell me about that. I won't show it to write, now I get whereas Wendy show is when does it flash when people don't care as much as me about something I think, is very important. I get very upset about, I think very angry about that, and I have proof no pride, and I I worked hard to give people a positive experience and if I get to the negative experience from them for some reason, I find that very irritating there is a very particular source of gas malone fan and you will know her and I think mostly at its heart,
very well, and she is a woman of a certain age who is you get all misty when they talk about its that kind of sick ass. His lovely girl that have you met. It is lovely you're, forty one. No, yes, to get a little bit sick of that little bit, I mean it's strange. It is quite strange because I would think you know they don't really know who you are, and I often sense- a discipline when people say no in the street night as they have I don't actually know you an accent It is one because I am seen to be helpful and helping people. I don't do that all the time not always in the mood and giving us a disciplined people, as more generous, you should get you can. Meditation during the next piece of music. Tell me about this. What are we gonna hear? No, this is a choice that is best for two reasons, one
first guys. I made them saying this and we somehow got through it but fundamentally of chestnuts, because on my first day of my wife is to currency because he found her too
so what cs event: sweet ass, the wind from such cause event duty perform, thereby anne Marie future. Let and encourage economy with the vienna philharmonic orchestra conducted by june slovenia. You said paris, berlin, that one of these and she chosen that was. It- was one of your first dates with your wife. Were they often musical? They were very often cultural out to some successful some some, not successful yeah. We often went to the theatre. We will tell me, but an unsuccessful I took her to see my beloved london symphony orchestra with pierre boo less and he was conducting the right to spring one of my favorite peace and it was brutally lie. and we were very near the front and shit
the fingers in areas because it so much that wanting get answer one for it. You know, have two young children and so looking. A head and looking towards you just had ten years. The next ten years is more and more of the same. Do you think it will be? I don't know it's a question that perplexed me. What I am about to take six months off to consider what it is I want to do next. I think, as you too, the elder they become more demanding, and you know that We need more from you, but is more about the level of intensity that I've been working on the drain. On my emotional resources, you see Kennedy, exhausted, I'm elysium particular went from doing invictus. early in the year to doing- and this was a choir made up of people who are taking part in the strictest gay. That's right. So these were service men who had been injured. Yes of those men who were profoundly affected by their experiences and not with very difficult for me and not yours, take on a bit of the well I do. I will take on a bit of whatever their feeling. I feel as well a man pathetic. You can't help it really that's very
often these tough in my family than when I come home from one of those and you ve, given everything music. You don't hear any music and the kids when a single divine. In practice. You used event lasting phrase a couple of days ago. You said I'm I'm. Somebody is quite comfortable in a dark space and I'm wondering so much of your life is spent. You know, with communities of people, groups of people, the idea of being alone in the idea of the islands, but more than that, the idea of being alone. How do you think he would occupy highway? Really? When do we go? really love it love being I'm an only child and display the lego on my own and my regional were listening to musical my own, absolutely no problem being on my own and when phone rings- and I have to come out of that personal space- and I have to speak I was fun it's a bit of a wrench. Are you happiest on your own be honest.
yes- and no, I think I just need a may- I need a mix. I need that time and neither space of always needed diva days. I feel like something part of my brain that is responsible for a my thoughts. Guess bird, used over used on. I just need to be silent on any criticism. Is your poet piano just be quiet? Let's hear your next disk, it's your sentence. this sum I remember as a kid loving I tried to play the introduction- could work. How will the cords and then, when I came to choose some from my first series of the choir I've in chapel on bond street most looking through the some sheets, and this came out. It was just an instant. This one you?
bridge. four troubled waters, Simon and garfunkel, get us more than I have this vision and please tell me it's true of your christmas, which means that its you- and from balloons and the extended family run piano and your singing and music is part of it? Is that true? That is true. It is true up to a point that is definitely a moment for it what's the moment and what hissing I've got is one but the real book just standards, I've got the greatest hits of whitney Houston. I've got the beatles I've gotten carols do you have to be leading it. You said a moment ago you like to be in charge, not while I'm in answer to the piano, and hopefully someone or just stand alone I am sorry. My dad will be straight and now we ve got a book of of scottish folk song, so there was slowly working through over twenty years. When you look
all the many many choirs that have sprung up in the last ten years. You know people who ve watched you watch this on the italians. Will I fancy a bit of that? Do you feel european? in that a sort of national shift towards a different and more community based activity here, I guess without being was why false modesty being on tv and having that perform is amazing, because you have is obscene, see, philosophy with connect with your day. Can you pick a standard movement? performance when you have been their leading acquire and you ve thought I am, most literally overcome by this thing we ve created fairy, rarely very rarely because you ve got your critical you. Why are you so much The aim is not your constantly striving for that wonderful moment of epiphany or transformation. something spiritual you wish it was neither any trying to make it look like it's like that, and there glimmers of it, but then, in the end,
ex moment. You realize that your trousers are too oh, that that one of the lights is glaring in your eyes, you never off from that. honestly on one of the most moving moments for the audience was the Military wise wherever you are. I was furious to that formats because the intro had been slightly the rum tempo, We miss the orchestra who were miles light. A monitoring system was a disaster and I was crossed to the whole thing, but by the nfl actually now this is mrs now going all right, but us, as you know, everybody else was crying yeah they were an that's exactly as it should be. I have money, emotion privately. I have it with the choir in advance. Use a performer, don't need to feel it.
You need to make the audience fear that the job, so it doesn't really matter whether I feel it. I need to have connected with it myself at some point, but that's usually private business. Let's get onto the final business, then of your eighth disk. Tell me about this. What are you gonna hear I could not imagine a desert island without bar I remember in my twin his hearing the voice of anti neural johnson hey features elsewhere on the recording that we can hear and thinking if I could make somebody feel like he's just made me feel then my life would have meaning, and I think simple: do what I've done subsequently,
The twenty first move, from boss, christmas oratorial glory be to god in the highest performed by the monti, verde quiet, london, oratory, junior quiet and the english peroxide of us all directed by John elliot's garden. It's time then gas for me to give you the books. We give every customer the bible, the complete works of shakespeare and you get to take another book. What will you do me? A book teaches me I'd french or italian, or ideally both, even though, if I never spoke it, but what can you do? I think Can it make you choose? One language run shook french right. You may have that book and a luxury to it. Is it ok if it can be kept at a reasonable temperature? Yes, some sort of hermetically sealed boss, only to be dry. I'm sure that exists, and can I also Please than have some music planet chancing. It like I
I think, with a low you, the piano and if it happens, to arrive at a few sheets skiff. I'm ok, I'm happy to swim out a little bit to rescue the odd, but this passing or right, that's years and which of these one discs. Would you say that you had to admit, after with by it's yours, gareth, balloon happy christmas, and thank you very much for letting us here, desert island describing christmas
You ve been there into a dime moved from the bbc you'll find morning, The mission on the radio for website bbc code on uk slash radio for
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Transcript generated on 2022-06-19.