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Baker's Dozen

Lodestars: Shirley Collins' Favourite Albums
Jude Rogers , July 8th, 2020 08:37

The return of Shirley Collins to song has been one of the most joyous music stories in recent times. Ahead of the release of her new album, the singer sits down with Jude Rogers to discus her 13 favourite records

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David Munrow – Two Renaissance Dance Bands
I’ve loved early music [music from medieval and Renaissance times] ever since my Uncle Fred played some to Dolly and me on his wind-up gramophone. I met David Munrow a lot later, when he ran the Early Music Centre in London [Munrow was well-known for presenting TV and radio series on medieval music in the 1960s and 1970s; he also arranged music for Ken Russell’s The Devils and the 1974 Sean Connery sci-fi film, Zardoz]. I used to go along to his rehearsals and listen to these gorgeous, ancient instruments he’d found from all over the world, so when we worked with him and his Early Music consort on Anthems In Eden, it felt like a major step in my life. I remember him being very kind most of all. I didn’t read music like the consort or Dolly, but I remember him saying, brightly, ‘That’s alright! I learned all I know listening to people playing pipes in Central America!’

I find lots of Renaissance dances very sexy. There’s strength and vitality in them. It’s genuine life, not confected life. When I see people flailing around under these awful lights today… [laughs]… sorry, Jude! It looks so uncomfortable to me. There’s something much sexier about the distances between people in Renaissance dances, and then you have to brush up against each other occasionally…. ooh, yes. That’s the dancing for me!


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