What’s coming up on Arcana in 2016?


Caricature du Maître d’Arcueil, Erik Satie

A question. What do Janet Jackson, Steve Hackett, Gary Numan and Cesar dog food have in common?

I’ll let you ponder the answer while setting out what Arcana has planned for some of 2016! We’ve already wished you a happy new year but having survived the first week back this is a great chance to let you know what we have planned for the year ahead.

We plan to make much more of the links between classical and pop music this year – so you can expect further episodes of The Borrowers (which already includes Manfred Mann, Plan B, Village People and Greg Lake), interviews with artists who like to work in both areas of music, and reviews of albums that appeal to both sides.

These will include the forthcoming James Holden and Luke Abbott album, a homage to Terry Riley – and we might even delve into the daunting prospect of Rick Wakeman and Alice Cooper celebrating the 40th anniversary of Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here, with large orchestra in tow! There is so much variety and depth in this area to explore. We also hope to hear from the artists themselves, whether electronic, prog, jazz or ‘other’.


Arcana will also be training the spotlight on two composers who have been a big influence on pop music, albeit in very different ways. 2016 is the 150th anniversary of the birth of Erik Satie, and we will explore his influence on pop music from several directions. A good contrast to Satie’s music can be found in the work of Hungarian composer Béla Bartók – famously used by Stanley Kubrick in part of The Shining (above). Arcana aims to show the breadth of his writing, as well as illustrating how rock music can be said to trace back through his work. Kicking off, Richard Whitehouse will be covering James Ehnes and Andrew Armstrong playing Bartók in a concert from the Wigmore Hall tonight.

All that and the usual concert and new recording reviews…showing there is an awful lot to enjoy musically this year. Please do stick around for the ride! And the answer to the question? They’ve all used the music of Erik Satie! We’ll tell you how in due course…but for now we will leave you with his most popular piece:

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