BBC Radio 6 Music celebrated the “unique relationship” between music and literature with a broadcast of Guy Garvey’s weekly show from outside Manchester Central Library yesterday (6th September).
In a special edition of “Guy Garvey’s Finest Hour”, Elbow frontman Garvey explored the influence literature has had on music with Radiohead’s Phil Selway and New Order’s Stephen Morris.
Selway said: “6 Music Celebrates Libraries. It’s all in the title. A celebration of literature and music hitching up together.”
“For me, libraries can be to books what good venues are to music; they provide a great setting that heightens the experience of reading. Literature and music have a similar impact on me. They both allow me to immerse myself in other worlds which can then alter my perception and understanding of people and places around me.”
During Garvey’s show, Manchester Central Library received a special drum kit to commemorate the passing of Radiohead’s drum technician, Scott Johnson, who died when a section of rigging collapsed at one of the band's concerts in Toronto on 16th June 2012. The drum kit will go on permanent display at the recently refurbished library.
Editor for 6 Music, Julie Cullen, said: “Following the success of last year’s 6 Music Celebrates Libraries on the network, we wanted to explore further the fascinating relationship between literature and the art of song-writing. With Guy Garvey receiving the commemorative drum kit on behalf of the Manchester Central Library, this felt like a fitting moment to honour Scott and celebrate this theme.”
6 Music also hosted a special edition of “Paperback Writers” with numerous authors including Stephen King and Belinda Bauer discussing their musical influences. John Niven, author of Kill Your Friends and Straight White Male, played 'A Design for Life' by the Manic Street Preachers and said that libraries have a “hugely important role to play in our culture, and a much undervalued one.”
6 Music also created a literature-inspired playlist that listeners were able to contribute to by tweeting their suggestions using the hashtag #Libraries6Music. The playlist featured: ‘The Book I Read’ by Talking Heads, ‘Wuthering Heights’ by Kate Bush and ‘Sing it Back’ by Moloko.
Last year’s 6 Music Celebrates Libraries included an exploration of the British Library’s sound archive with DJ Steve Lamacq, a celebratory tour of Manchester’s oldest libraries by Garvey, and a specially commissioned poem by Scroobius Pip in which he declared “I love my local library and all of its quirks.”