Listening Project

Conversation between friends, Richard and Claire, about their close friendship and their careers as internationally renowned jazz musicians.

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  • Is part of (Collection)

    The Listening Project

  • Recording locations

    BBC Western House studio, London

  • Interviewees

    Martin, Claire, 1967- (female, Musician), Bennett, Richard Rodney, 1936-2012 (male, Musician and Composer)

  • Producers

    BBC Sussex

  • Recordist

    Furber, Simon

  • Abstract

    Sir Richard Rodney Bennett lives and works in New York, but returns ‘home’ to London three times a year to spend time and perform on stage with his close friend Claire Martin. Claire is one of the most famous jazz singers in the country. The age difference is 31 years but the chemistry between the pair is beautiful. Claire gently teases Richard and he loves it but comes back with some delightfully terse English language. This conversation is all about vulnerability. Claire and Richard discuss having therapy for very different reasons. Richard begins by talking about having therapy to conquer his smoking habit but then he became addicted to therapy and his therapist helped him through some old family problems. During the conversation Richard is shocked to learn that his close friend Claire also had therapy too. The pair discuss America and how Richard knew Sondheim and Bernstein and used their names to get his green card to live in America. Richard is keen to qualify that New York is his home and not America. They talk amusingly about Americanisms in their language. Claire also asks Richard if his mum knew he was gay. They continue to discuss how being gay doesn’t matter in the music industry.

  • Description

    The Listening Project conversations collectively form a picture of our lives and relationships today. Recordings were made by BBC producers of people sharing an intimate conversation, lasting up to an hour and on a topic of the speakers' choice.

  • Related images

    Photograph of participants

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