London-based French composer and artist Doug Thomas shares his mixtape
LISTEN HERE (opens in Spotify) or via the playlist below
I had a great time in December putting together music for my friend Honor’s wedding in Singapore. We met each other through an immersive theatre company called Punchdrunk, whose shows we have both been to multiple times – on three continents. Their current production “Sleep No More” lured us both to Shanghai last year, and she wanted some of its atmosphere to permeate her wedding, meaning a large dose of 1930s and 40s jazz. But her fiancé (now husband!) is Russian and his family were obviously coming to the wedding, and we thought it would be nice to include something with a Russian flavour as well. So this mix includes not just obvious crowd-pleasers like Glenn Miller’s “In the Mood” or Artie Shaw’s “Begin the Beguine”, but also obscurities like “Morning and Evening” by the Leoníd Utësov Jazz Orchestra or the fantastically catchy waltz “Always Together” by Mikhail Mikhailov and the Michael Ginsburg Jazz Orchestra. It’s amazing how seamlessly they fit in. There are also a few deliberate hat-tips to “Sleep No More” in there, such as “Weep No More My Baby” by Al Bowlly and the Ray Noble Orchestra, which is featured on the show’s soundtrack.
Tristan Jakob-Hoff is a composer and arranger whose work is published by Edition Peters. He is also a freelance music engraver and provides professional music services at www.opus101.org.
Composer Paul Burnell has compiled a playlist of “everything that meant something to me with a keyboard connection“. The result is an intriguing and eclectic compilation with “a lot of stuff from the 60s and 70s, including tv themes and a sprinkling of classical, contemporary”
The “mixtape” featured heavily in my teenage years and early 20s before the advent of CDs, and was an important part of my listening experience. The mixtape was a homemade compilation of music, recorded onto a cassette tape, usually from a vinyl LP, or the radio. My father had an expensive and rather complicated Bang & Olufsen “music center”, as it was called, on which I laboriously transferred favourite tracks from LPs to cassette tapes which I could listen to in my room when revising, or take with me to university when left home. Mixtapes were also made for and exchanged between friends, to share favourite music, or for boyfriends to send messages of love and other stories…… The mixtape could reveal a lot about one’s personality and taste through the choice of music.
Purists and lovers of vinyl and cassette tapes bemoan the fact that we can’t make “mix tapes” like we used to. Wrong – we can. With services like Spotify, you can create your own personal playlists and “mixes” and share them, so that others may enjoy them too. In this new series, I’m inviting you to submit your personal “mixtape” and share your music on this site.