Artificial Intelligence - Sir Paul McCartney says he has employed artificial intelligence to help create what he calls "the final Beatles record". He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme the technology had been used to "extricate" John Lennon's voice from an old demo so he could complete the song. "We just finished it up and it'll be released this year," he explained.
Sir Paul did not name the song, but it is likely to be a 1978 Lennon composition called Now And Then. It had already been considered as a possible "reunion song" for the Beatles in 1995, as they were compiling their career-spanning Anthology series. Sir Paul had received the demo a year earlier from Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono. It was one of several songs on a cassette labelled ‘For Paul’ that Lennon had made shortly before his death in 1980.
The tracks were largely recorded onto a boombox as the musician sat at a piano in his New York apartment. Cleaned up by producer Jeff Lynne, two of those songs - Free As A Bird and Real Love - were completed and released in 1995 and '96, marking the Beatles' first "new" material in 25 years.
More Investment - Sound designer Carolyn Downing has called for more support for young artists in creative roles, warning that many are vulnerable when they are “thrust into difficult positions”. Downing picked up the best sound design award for Life of Pi at this year’s Tony Awards. Speaking after the ceremony, she said that there was a positive shift in theatre to support women and non-binary people at the start of their careers, but there needed to be "more investment" in their ongoing development.
“I think it’s going in a fantastic direction but there needs to be more investment in supporting young artists. I think often people are put into positions where they are not supported. So we have a mix of right shades of skin and right gender, so it looks good, but I would like to see a bit more support in them being able to progress and learn," she said.
"To be thrust into difficult positions, particularly as designers, can mean your head is on the chopping block and if you make mistakes you fall from a great height... if you haven’t got the support. I would like to see more mentoring and I would like to do that as much as anyone."
She acknowledged it was difficult financially for the theatre industry at the moment but described it as "governmental at the end of the day". She said the government was not supporting the arts, which meant young people were not exposed to it.
Park Life - Leicester has been chosen to host BBC Radio 2's biggest-ever live music event outside London. Radio 2 in the Park will take place at Victoria Park on Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 September with 35,000 tickets available for each day. Leicester's mayor, Sir Peter Soulsby, said big events such as this were "a tremendous boost to the area". A licence for the major two-day music festival was granted by the city council following a meeting between organisers Festival Republic and local residents. The park has previously hosted concerts by Kasabian as well as Leicester City's title celebrations in 2016. The festival will be BBC Radio 2's first flagship event since before the pandemic.
Final Curtain - Liverpool’s Epstein Theatre is set to close at the end of this month, as the city’s council will no longer offer financial support to the building. Epstein Entertainments Limited, which operates the theatre, said the closure on 30 June would be a "huge loss" for the region, and artistic director Chantelle Nolan said she was "truly heartbroken" by the situation.
Liverpool City Council owns the freehold of the building, which is leased to a commercial property landlord that sub-leases the theatre back to the council. According to Epstein Entertainments Ltd, due to unprecedented financial pressures on the council’s budget, the deal between the two parties is now unsustainable. All productions until June 30, 2023, will go ahead as planned. Epstein Entertainments Ltd is hoping to transfer performances after that date to other venues in the region.
(Jim Evans)
13 June 2023

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