Lynne Plowman joy of decks

The Joy of Decks with Lynne Plowman

Lynne Plowman, composition tutor at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and resident composer for the Dyfed Young Composers scheme, tells us about her taste in music for our ‘Joy of Decks’ series.

What record is on your turntable right now?

Lynne Plowman: Kind of Blue by Miles Davis

What’s the last great album you listened to?

Lynne Plowman: That one!

What is the most vital ingredient of a great album?

Plowman: An element of surprise.

Describe your ideal listening experience (when, where, what, how).

Plowman: Uninterrupted.

What album should everybody get into before the age of 21?

Plowman: It’s so hard to narrow it down to just one – there’s so much variety in twentieth-century and contemporary classical music in particular, and different composers resonate with different people.

Which artists — musicians, singers, songwriters, producers — working today do you admire most?

Plowman: I admire composers who take artistic risks – especially those who are brave enough to be honest and authentic and explore music that goes against the established trend.

Do you have any comfort albums?

Plowman: Probably the Miles Davis.

How do you organise your records?

Plowman: In random piles – there’s no system whatsoever.

What album might people be surprised to find on your shelves?

Plowman: People who know me well wouldn’t be surprised by anything – my collection is pretty eclectic. A pile on my desk at the moment includes the Ravel Piano Concertos, the Kronos Quartet playing George Crumb’s Black Angels, Ute Lemper singing Berlin cabaret songs, R.E.M.’s Up, a collection of Breton folk music and Brian Eno’s Music for Airports

Is there any album in your record collection you desperately wish you’d made?

Plowman: John Cage’s Sonatas and Interludes for Prepared Piano. He transforms the solo piano into a delicate percussion ensemble and the music is just incredibly intricate and serene at the same time.

You’re organising a party. Which three artists, dead or alive, do you invite?

Plowman: Grayson Perry, Jimi Hendrix and Shirley Bassey.

Any upcoming albums you’re really looking forward to?

Plowman: Yes, mine!  My new album, The Beachcomber, was released on 25th September on the Prima Facie label. It’s a collection of songs and instrumental solos and duos, based around ‘Songs of the Sea Dreamer’, settings of four poems by Russell Hoban, for tenor voice and harp. The instrumental tracks include pieces for harp, piano and percussion. There are some amazing musicians on the disc and I’m so pleased with how the recordings have been produced, I can’t wait for people to hear it. Because of the lockdown, my music hasn’t been performed live for ages, so this feels really important to me.


The Beachcomber by Lynne Plowman, is available now from Prima Facie Records.


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Lynne Plowman