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Lockdown, Isolation and Music

Monday 11th May, 2020

For centuries, music has been an essential key to combating fear, loneliness and isolation, especially during pandemics. And it’s no different now. Who could miss the scenes of Italian apartment building residents performing rousing renditions of folk songs and operas? Even people sitting alone at home can find comfort in the sounds emanating from their radios, TVs, and PCs, with having Alexa streaming Amazon Music and “Hey, Google” streaming Spotify. There are also  bound to be a few people out there with recently resurrected turntables and a dusted down vinyl collection. The power of music helps one person feel a connection with another which is just what we need in this time of isolation.

Paola, one of our library assistants, has looked a little more closely at the benefits of music. Have a peak at her slideshow.

There are so many different creative outlets out there at the moment for people to tap into. Here are just a few to give you a taste.

The BBC have put a call out to all musicians 
On May 14th, the BBC will be showing what they are hoping will be a “massive, awe-inspiring” performance, premiering on both TV and radio – BBC ‘lockdown orchestra’ wants you to play along

The BBC’s orchestras (more than 100 musicians from the BBC Philharmonic, BBC Symphony Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, BBC Singers and the Ulster Orchestra) have already joined forces to form the “Lockdown Orchestra” and have videoed themselves – in isolation – playing a mass rendition of Candi Staton’s classic You Got The Love. You can see this wonderful and inspiring initial collaboration by clicking on the news story above. 

And now the BBC is inviting people from across the UK to join in by filming themselves playing along to the track, with the results being edited and shown on May 14th.

So if you’re musically minded, get out that instrument, dust it off and play. When else would you get the opportunity to play alongside such a talented bunch? But do it now, time is running out.

Music collaborations
There are plenty of musicians and creative types who are trying to continue to work during lockdown. They are coming up with new music, playing their existing back catalogues and collaborating with a variety of other musicians who are stuck indoors. And, thanks to a variety of social media platforms, they are sharing a lot of it with us, the public.

One of the first musical collaborations to go viral was the rather…earnest?…rendition of John Lennon’s Imagine. But let’s move on.

A more recent – and again, slightly earnest but, hey, it’s Dave Grohl – is the fundraising version of Times like These.  It was put together for the BBC’s Big Night In with the proceeds going towards the charities involved in Comic Relief and Children in Need. It features 25 artists who each recorded their contributions in isolation.

Then there’s Matt Lucas. Who knew a jacket spud could bring joy to young and old around the country? Matt Lucas resurrected a 20 year old comedy ditty “Baked Potato” and has turned it into a much loved song – every day social media is full of people singing their version of the song, and sharing it with him.  And he’s done many a celeb duet too as the weeks have gone on. And, again, any proceeds from the song are going towards a charity that he’s helped to establish to feed NHS workers.

Interactive listening
But music on Twitter isn’t just about current creative collaborations. Audience participation can sometimes be required. Click here to see a list of Tim Burgess’ Listening Parties. He’s selected a wide range of old and current music, and given a timetable to when you should listen to a particular album. At each set time, his Twitter feed highlights the conversation going back and forth between the artists involved in the production of the album and the fans that are listening to them right then. Absolutely anyone can join in.

World Fairtrade Day 2020 
Click here to see a slideshow put together by library assistant, Glenn.

International Nurses Day 2020
The NHS and carers are certainly to be appreciated at the moment. There are still plenty of us standing at our front door, clapping at 8pm on a Thursday evening. But recognising the wonderful work of healthcare professionals isn’t a new thing. In 1965, it was decided that a specific day should be set aside each year in recognition of the role that nurses play in society. May 12th was chosen as it’s the birthday of Florence Nightingale. Glenn has also looked in more detail about the day and you can have a look at his work by clicking here.

Book Review
Small great things by Jodi Picoult
Rating: 5/5

I have read many books by this author but wasn’t sure if I could read this one as it was about race and one of the main characters was a white supremacist.  I found his actions and beliefs very uncomfortable.  As I read through the book, as always with this author’s books I became involved in the characters and the underlying message in the book relating to unconscious bias and how we can never know how it feels to be another person. The ending was unexpected, which is often to be expected with a book by Jodi Picoult. 

– Debbie N.

Rev Dr Martin Luther King “If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way”

We love…

Banksy – “My wife hates it when I work from home”

The infamous street artist known simply as Banksy has kept himself busy during lockdown. Like many of us keeping our distance from others and staying at home, he’s relocated his workspace to the home. And he has been sharing his to all on Instagram. He’s taken one of his regular motifs – the rat – and let them wreak havoc in his bathroom.

So far, however, Banksy hasn’t claimed responsibility for the current addition to his interpretation of Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring – the Girl with a Pierced Eardrum – on a Bristol wall. She’s been updated and now sports a fetching face mask. Although face masks aren’t being advised by the government right now, this Girl is showing us how to wear the look. Click on the link to see the Girl before and after her makeover.

Banksy does appear, however, to be the artist behind this amazing piece of artwork that has been donated to Southampton General Hospital. A wonderful image of a young boy discarding his superhero toys in favour of a doll, dressed as a nurse, complete with cape and mask, showing us who the real heroes are right now. The painting is due to be auctioned off in the autumn to raise funds for the hospital – New Banksy artwork appears at Southampton hospital

Our library assistant, Paola, has been musing about just who Banksy might be. Find out a little bit more about him here.

The Royal Opera House streaming opera and ballet
Once again, it’s wonderful to highlight the great performances from the London stage and around the world that are being shared with us online. The Royal Opera House in London’s Covent Garden has shut its doors to the public but has opened up a catalogue of its wonderful operas and ballets for home viewing. You can access these through its Facebook page or YouTube channel. As part of its #OurHouseToYourHouse initiative, a major opera or ballet will be streamed every Friday at 7pm for a month.

National Limerick Day 12th May

Limerick – a humorous verse where the first, second and fifth line all rhyme, as do the third and fourth.

National Limerick Day on 12th May celebrates the birthday of English artist, illustrator, author and poet Edward Lear who was born on that day in 1812. Lear is best known for writing poetry, prose and, of course, limericks.

Lear’s birthday seemed a very appropriate day to celebrate the limerick poem, as he popularised them in his “Book of Nonsense” in 1846.

LRC staff’s creativity has been put to the test – and we’ve come up with a selection of limericks for some of our favourite books. Please don’t judge us on the quality. The important thing is – can you guess the title? (Answers are at the bottom of the page).

No 1
There once flew an owl by the name of Hedwig,
Whose new owner let him sit on a big twig
But in the bright sky he flew
To deliver post that was due
After which he would dance a jiggity jig

No 2
There once was a man, let’s call him Mark
Who got stranded alone in the dark
On a red planet without food 
Lots of science thereby ensued
And the journey home was a lark

No 3
There was a young man called Knightly
Who would talk to young ladies politely
But along came Miss Woodhouse
Whom he put in the doghouse
For not talking to Miss Bates quite rightly

No 4
In the gleaming spires of other wordly Oxford
Lived Lyra whose life decidedly prospered
Until Mrs Coulter arrived
The source of dust is derived
And childrens’ daemons are unceremoniously doctored

No 5
We thought Jon Snow was once a news reader
But there came another, destined to be a leader
Of Northern men, strong and bold
But due to the weather, slightly cold
Cersei lived south and he went to defeat her

Limerick answers:
No 1 Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling
No 2 The Martian by Andy Weir
No 3 Emma by Jane Austen
No 4 Northern Lights/Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
No 5 Game of Thrones by George RR Martin (okay not specifically a particular book in the series)


Reading genre survey
We thought it would be interesting to find out what people at Brooklands like to read. Click here to fill out a very, very quick survey.

Spring into Reading
We would still love to receive some reviews of books from our students. – the more reviews the better. So don’t forget our Spring into Reading challenge. Read a book, write a review and return this form

JISC vocational learning resources
Whether you are a Brooklands College student or tutor, please take the time to look at these excellent JISC vocational learning resources available in construction, digital and IT, education and childcare, health and social care and hairdressing. They include videos, guides and learning and assessment activities and JISC are offering colleges free access to these until the end of July.

Access our virtual library online
You can search for e-books on the library catalogue or directly through our e-book providers Dawson and Proquest. Click on the Shibboleth login if requested and select Brooklands College. 
Heritage Online | Proquest | Dawson

LRC Subject Guides
LRC staff have created subject guides for all courses – they are  located in your Tutorial Hub on Google Classroom. Here you will find links to e-books, online databases and useful websites.

Book Loans
Worried about fines? No problem. All loans have been renewed and fines waived while the LRC is closed.

Don’t forget to follow us on @BCLibraryWA. We will be posting useful information and, of course, we’d still love to know about your #tbr book pile and maybe any #two point challenge you may have done.

Please contact us at if you need support with e-books, e-resources or anything else.

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