The Archers: join the virtual orchestra
By Jessica Duchen
Friday 03 June 2011
Play an instrument? Love The Archers? Then this is for you: the BBC's Light Fantastic Festival, featuring "light music", is inviting everyone who strums to take part in a special online recording of that famous theme tune. You record your part in the comfort of your own home; then everybody is brought together via cyberspace to form a virtual orchestra. Admittedly, The Archers is something you either love or you don't, and I've been gently rapped over the knuckles for suggesting they might instead have picked Eric Coates's "Sleepy Lagoon", aka Desert Island Discs (I quite fancied doing the seagull noises). It's The Archers' 60th anniversary, and that's a good enough excuse to stick with it.
The music for The Archers is entitled "Barwick Green" – not Ambridge at all – and it was written by Arthur Wood (1875-1953), who would no doubt be a very happy chappy if he knew that his composition was still ringing out from radios up and down the country after 60 years. Or that so many people would refuse to answer the telephone during any half-hour slot that it frames.
To take part, log on to the BBC Radio 3 website and watch the BBC Concert Orchestra's expert rendition of the piece. Then take in the conductor Gavin Sutherland's explanation. Next, look on the site for the right part for your instrument, download it and get practising. When you're happy with your prowess, record it to your computer, using Sutherland's online-conducting video to keep in time. Finally, upload it. Then along come those clever people who'll gather up everyone's contributions and put them together to make a new recording of "Barwick Green". The deadline is 13 June.
Light Fantastic ( www.bbc.co.uk/ radio3/classical/lightfantastic/wood_barwickgreen.shtml) is at the Southbank Centre, London SE1 (0844 847 9910) from 24 to 27 June
Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air
Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression
tv Singer could become the most unlikely star of Westeros
Ray Davies' Sunny Afternoon scoops the most awardsTheatre
Grace DentChannel 4 show proves there's no app for happiness
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin file for divorce after 10 years of marriage
- 2 Rarest Beanie Baby bought for just £10 at car boot sale could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 3 Katie Hopkins and The Sun editor David Dinsmore reported to police for incitement to racial hatred following migrant boat column
- 4 Bookies now say Ed Miliband is more likely to be prime minister than David Cameron
- 5 Australian student Tommy Connolly, 23, adopts his pregnant, homeless 17-year-old cousin to give her a chance at 'a better life'
Safe House, TV review: Plenty of teasers to keep us guessing but spare us the cliches
Britain's Got Talent 2015: RSPCA investigating Marc Metral's miming dog after cruelty complaints
Star Wars: Rogue One trailer: Watch the teaser for the Jedi-less Death Star heist film
Avengers Age of Ultron 'after credits' scene leaks online days before cinema release
Louis Tomlinson is launching his own record label and has already 'signed two acts'
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
Katie Hopkins on LBC: Listen to caller taking The Sun columnist to task over migrant comments