Category Archives: Notes on Music

The philosophy of music: or the music of philosophy ?

Vinyl Countdown: live webshow launches Thurs 11 Feb

The Music Department is launching a new hour-long webshow, Vinyl Countdown, on Thursday 11 Feb at 2pm, broadcasting on its YouTube channel.

Each week,  a group of panellists will be invited into the virtual studio to talk about their nominated album – why they chose it, what they love about it, why it’s important to them – with the other guests, and then at the end of the show, guests and live viewers will be invited to vote for their favourite, resulting in Album of the Week.

Each guest’s nominations will be shared the week before each show, to give everyone a chance to listen to that week’s choices; a great opportunity to explore new albums, revisit familiar ones and vote for your favourite. Later episodes may even involve University staff…!

The first episode airs next week, and includes nominations for Queen’s 1975 album, A Night at the Opera, which spawned ‘Bohemian Rhapsody,’ by guest panellist Amy Tokel (reading Literature and Drama); Miley Cyrus’ Plastic Hearts nominated by Carmen Mackey (reading Drama & Theatre Studies); Jacob Collier’s Djesse vol.3 nominated by  second-year Physics student, David Curtiss and Blondie’s Parallel Lines, released in 1978, featuring ‘Heart of Glass,’ nominated by Sophie Meikle. The show is free to watch here on YouTube, and also on Facebook and Twitter:

Come and explore music old and new…

Image: Jace & Afsoon via Unsplash

New online In Conversation series launches with soprano Rachel Nicholls: Weds 3 February at 7.30pm

The Music Department is delighted to announce the launch next week of its new Zoom For Thought: Music Department In Conversation series, which begins on Weds 3 February at 7.30pm with soprano Rachel Nicholls.

Image credit: David Shoukry

The series of Wednesday night sessions features luminaries from the world of music in conversation with Head of Music Performance, Dan Harding. The series will be livestreamed on the Music Department’s YouTube channel, and will be free to watch – viewers will also be able to submit questions live during the event.

It’s an exciting opportunity to bring musical luminaries from the sector to a small screen near you, and to hear from artists working in the creative industry about their working lives and the challenges the current situation has brought.

Later sessions include Kate Romano, clarinettist, writer, presenter on BBC Radio 3 and CEO of the Stapleford Granary in Cambridge, and pianist and Artistic Director of the New Paths Festival, Libby Burgess.

The series gets underway with soprano Rachel Nicholls, one of the most exciting dramatic sopranos of her generation whose performing career has taken her across opera houses and concert halls throughout the world, in productions ranging from Mozart and Tchaikovksy to the role of Brünnhilde in complete Ring cycles for Longborough Festival Opera.

Rachel will be In Conversation on Weds 3 Feb at 7.30pm – everyone is welcome to watch what promises to be a fascinating insight into the working life of one of the country’s foremost sopranos.

Watch live online here:

Burns Night 2021: Address to the Haggis – Eloise Jack, bagpipes

Something different for Burns Night 2021 from the Music Department; on Monday, we present the Address to the Haggis performed by third-year Music Performance Scholar and bagpipe-player, Eloise Jack.

Together with her father, Ian, the event includes Eloise piping two pieces, followed by the oration, and closes with Eloise playing Scotland the Brave.

The event screens on Monday 25 January at 1pm, and will remain on catch-up.


From Biosciences to Bridgerton: a podcast interview with Catriona Bradley

Welcoming the new year with a new episode in the podcast series, Zoom For Thought, featuring University alumna, Catriona Bradley, who moved from reading Biology to RADA and whose work is currently gracing our screens in the series ‘Bridgerton,’ currently taking Netflix by storm…!

Alongside reading Biology at Kent, Catriona sang in the University Chorus, Chamber Choir and Minerva Voices, and was involved in making costumes for the Musical Theatre Society.

Catriona Bradley

In the short interview, she talks about making the change from science to the creative sector, the benefits and transferable skills earned from her studies, and compares her experience at Kent with that at RADA.

Listen to the episode on Spotify here.

There’s also a web interview with Catriona on our YouTube channel, a longer discussion about her experience, which screens on Friday 8 Jan at 1pm and will remain online thereafter.

Thanks to Catriona for taking the time to share her experience; this is a short part of a longer filmed web-interview, coming soon….

Baby, It’s Cold Outside: a jazz recital for Christmas now online

It’s not Christmas without a performance in the Music Department of Santa Baby, and we’re delighted to bring that annual tradition round again this month, albeit in a slightly different format.

Although we can’t bring you the traditional Christmas Swingalong, we hope you enjoy this short jazz session, featuring third-year singers Elle Soo (reading Social Anthropology) and Robbie Frederick (Comparative Literature and Drama) in a handful of festive favourites, concluding with the evergreen seasonal duet, Baby It’s Cold Outside.

A little festive cheer for us all…


Filmed in Colyer-Fergusson Hall; with thanks to Thomas Connor, Luke McCann and George Morris.

Scholars’ Spotlight recital series goes live

Our new series of short filmed recitals, Scholars’ Spotlight, has launched this lunchtime with a performance of twentieth-century flute repertoire by third-year Music Performance Scholar reading Legal Studies, Meg Daniel.

The developing series showcases Music Performance Scholars and Music Award Holders here at the University, in an ongoing series of closed-door performances filmed in Colyer-Fergusson Hall.

You can watch Meg’s recital here:

The series will continue with further performances, screening each day at 1pm on the Music Department’s YouTube channel.

With thanks for technical support to Thomas Connor, Luke McCann and George Morris.

Bleach My Mind: an interview with altrock band, HollowHead

Hot on the heels of the recent release of their debut EP, the Music Department hosted a live webchat with the members of HollowHead about the challenge of releasing an EP in the COVID era, their inspiration and influences, and what we can expect next from this unique trio.

The group includes third-year Drama student, Amy Tokel, and postgraduate Joshua Mitchell, reading an MA in Film Studies, both from the School of Arts.

Hosted by Dan Harding, the interview includes the band talking about their approach to writing and recording, exploring new ways of collaborating during lockdown, and brief extracts from the EP.