Guests from all walks of life discuss their musical loves and hates, and talk about the influence music has had on their lives More
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Sarah Lee is a photographer, who was first given a camera on her 18th birthday. She taught herself how to use it by taking photographs for the student newspaper while studying for a degree in English Literature at University College London. The offer of free film and the use of a dark room proved irresistible.
Since then her images, with their focus on people, have appeared in Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, Time magazine and many more. She’s worked for the Guardian newspaper for more than 20 years and is an official photographer for the BAFTA awards. There she captures the likes of Nicole Kidman and Leonardo DiCaprio backstage or on the red carpet, in intimate black and white shots.
Her musical choices range from Bach and Mozart to Scarlatti and Nina Simone.
Artist and printmaker Norman Ackroyd was born in Leeds in 1938. He fell in love with the landscape of the Yorkshire Dales, riding around on his bicycle as a young boy and studied art despite his father believing it was a waste of time. He is now one of Britain's most acclaimed contemporary printmakers, with works in collections around the world including the Tate, Rijksmuseum and MoMA.
Norman has travelled all over the British Isles to visit what he calls "the farthest lands" which inspire his elemental etchings of rock formations in all weathers. His musical inspirations include Schubert, Beethoven, Bob Dylan and a BBC archive recording of Cwm Rhondda.
Mary-Ann Ochota is an anthropologist and broadcaster. She is fascinated by what it means to be human and why we behave as we do.
Her work has taken her around the world from the poorest parts of Dhaka and Delhi to the Chernobyl Nuclear disaster zone. She has lived with Yak herders in the high plains of Tibet and sailed across the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.
Closer to home, she’s written two books about British archaeology, full of tips on how to read the landscape from ancient burial mounds to medieval woodlands.
Landscapes have inspired some of her musical choices – from the Scottish Highlands to Mount Fuji in Japan.
Musician and writer Ben Watt released his first single when he was just 19. In 1981, on his first day as a student at Hull University, he met Tracey Thorn and together they formed the duo Everything But the Girl – taking their name from the slogan of a local furniture shop. Over the next twenty years, they had 12 top 40 singles and 7 top 20 albums. Since then Ben has experimented in dance and electronic music, run his own record label and returned to songwriting with the release of two solo albums.
Ben has also written two acclaimed books. The first about his experience of a life-threatening autoimmune disease and the second, a poignant portrait of his parents. Most recently, he’s returned to making music with his wife Tracey Thorn in a new Everything But the Girl Album.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Isabel Wilkerson was born in Washington DC. Her parents moved there in the Great Migration – when six million African Americans left the rural south to escape poor economic conditions and discrimination. Isabel later wrote about this exodus in her bestselling and widely acclaimed book The Warmth of Other Suns, the product of 15 years of research and more than 1200 interviews.
She started out in newspapers as a reporter and feature writer, and in 1994 she became the first woman of African-American heritage to win the Pulitzer Prize for journalism, when she was Chicago bureau chief of the New York Times. More recently she published her second book Caste: the Origins of our Discontents, an examination of racial stratification. The New York Times described it as the “keynote nonfiction book of the American century thus far” and it also won praise from President Obama.
Isabel's choices include works by Camille Saint-Saëns, John Coltrane, Philip Glass and Georg Philipp Telemann.