Speed-pod series of 15 minute podcasts focusing on music and culture from around the world
In this special Festive speed podcast, we talk to five HarrisonParrott colleagues about the festive music from their homeland including UK, Japan, China and Norway, and the music that brings them a sense of nostalgia at this time of year.
Thank you to Yukiko Shishikura, Lissy Kelleher Clarke, Henry Southern, Karoline Meltstveit, and Kerry Chen. Their recommendations include:
Beethoven’s Symphony No.9 — Bach Collegium Japan conducted by Maasaki Suzuki Godnattsang for Nissunger — Amalie Lonely Christmas — Eason Chen Now That’s What I Call Christmas 1984 — assorted artists
Listen to the tracks here:
The Culture Bar is a podcast series created by HarrisonParrott focussing on conversations in culture and the arts.
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Fiona Livingston 00:02
Hello and welcome to The Culture Bar, an arts and culture podcast series brought to you by HarrisonParrott. In this special festive edition of our speed podcast series, we asked HarrisonParrott colleagues to share with us their favourite festive music from their home country or music which resonates with them at this special time of year. First up, we have artist manager Yukiko Shishikura, sharing with us the importance of Beethoven Symphony Number Nine to Japan.
Yukiko Shishikura 00:27
こんにちは! Beethoven Symphony No.9 is one of the festival musics in Japan. We call this base Daiku in Japanese, and a countless number of annual concerts are held throughout Japan in December. Many people say we cannot welcome the new year without listen to Daiku. So what is the relationship between Daiku and Japanese people? The history goes back to World War One. When the war broke out in 1914, Japanese captured around thousant German soldiers and they were held in Bandō camp in Tokushima. At the camp, they could form a orchestra and perform modern 100 concerts and people around the neighbourhood could come and listen. In 1918 Daiku was performed at Bandō camp after many months of rehearsal, and it was the first time it was ever performed in Japan. One year later captivity of German soldier ended and they went back to Germany, but the scores including Daiku have remained and they were spread throughout the country. Since then, Daiku has become the symbol of Western music and culture and tradition to listen and perform at the end of the year. One of the most famous Daiku concerts is called … and he is held in Osaka every December since 1983, and it involves more than 10,000 singers. I had an opportunity to attend a concert several years ago, it was one of the most memorable concert I have ever attended. Joyful and uplifting music was something very special. And it was a wonderful way to lift the year and a welcome to New Year. So this is the story of festival music in Japan. Have a great new year!
Fiona Livingston 02:30
Next Lissy Kelleher Clarke brings together the magic of Disney and an old Christmas favourite.
Lissy Kelleher Clarke 02:36
I think plausibly My favourite thing about Christmas music is that if you add The Little Mermaid’s ‘part of this world’ harmony, to ‘Away in a Manger’, it improves it exponentially. Merry Christmas HP!
Fiona Livingston 03:28
Creative Partnerships and Tours Manager Henry Southern takes us on a nostalgic journey back to the 80s.
Henry Southern 03:34
Hello, it’s Henry Southern here from the Creative Partnerships and Tours department. So, for this podcast about festive music from around the world. Now I know I’m only meant to pick one piece, but I’m being very greedy, and I’m going to pick a whole album. For me, Christmas is personified by the album ‘Now that’s what I call Christmas.’ But not just any Christmas album from the Now collection, it is the one from 1986 that might show my age a little bit. But it just has a lot of nostalgia for me. My dad had this album as an LP and we would play it every Christmas time, it’s got all the classics. It’s got ‘Do you know it’s Christmas’ from bandaid, ‘I wish it could be Christmas every day’ by Wizard, Elton John’s ‘Step into Christmas.; Even the Beach Boys and and Bing Crosby, it’s got every classic Christmas tune on there. And for me, that’s what Christmas is all about. Hope everyone has a wonderful festive period. Take care and have a good one. Bye bye.
Fiona Livingston 04:47
Heading over to Norway, Associate Artist Manager Karoline Melstveit with a lullaby for little santas.
Karoline Melstveit 04:54
So my favourite Norwegian Christmas song is called ‘Godnattsang for Nisseunger’ which roughly is translatable to ‘Lullaby for little Santas’. This song is from children’s TV advent calendar show called Amalies Jul. And I think the reason that I really like this song is that I find the lyrics so soothing. Basically, it’s telling a story about how the night is setting in and that everyone needs to go to sleep. But we don’t need to worry, because the moon is looking down on us and shining a light so that even if you don’t have a home, or you don’t have a bed, he’s there for you. And he will make sure that nobody is alone tonight, and nobody is crying. And I know it’s a little bit silly, but me and my roommate from boarding school, we would actually play the song to each other every night in December, and it was such it was just such a nice way to end the day. And now every time the calendar says December on December 1 will always send each other a link to this song even though it’s been more than 10 years since we went to boarding school and we live in different countries, the song is kind of still bringing us together every Christmas. It’s not a special song. It’s not a great musical performance in any way. And it’s not super festive or pompous or great, but it’s just, it’s just really nice.
Fiona Livingston 06:37
Finally, marketing intern Kerry Chen shared with us a Christmas song from China.
Kerry Chen 06:44
I would like to recommend ‘Lonely Christmas’ by Eason Chan. This sound has two versions. So in both Mandarin and Cantonese, but the melody is the same. This song was released in 2003. But it still remains very popular in China. And it’s the most listened song for every Christmas. Although Chinese don’t really celebrate Christmas. This song is kind of sad. Basically, it’s for the lonely people who are scared of festivals, everyone who they are close with are not with them at this time. And I think this sound makes a very great contrast with the cheerful sounds and carols during Christmas period more realistic I guess, especially given the pandemic and COVID restrictions in the recent years. Not everybody was able to celebrate Christmas and New Year with their family and friends. So last year I was alone by myself for both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. So what I did was just listening and seeing the sound for the whole time with me myself and I. I wish I could sing the song for you right now but my singing skill is way too bad. So I’m going to play instead. And if you like how it sounds just go into the Spotify link and give it a go. Merry Christmas!