Music to stay in to

Marketing Coordinator Steven shares music he’s been enjoying as the LSO administration works from home.

Music’s changed loads, over the years, but people ... in lots of ways they haven’t. The things they want to express with music haven’t changed much either. There’s always been music that’s meant to be sad, or energetic, or unsettling, or that’s meant to take the edge off.

When you’re staying in all day, there’s solace in music that’s made for small spaces and that's not going anywhere too fast. The kind that says ‘Hold up. I’ve got something to say ... but give me a minute while I find the words.’ Some of the big symphonic composers were good at this – Sibelius, Mahler in the Fourth and Fifth, Haydn, CPE Bach, Schubert – but I think the best of it is music that was made to be played or listened to at home.

The Tudor lutenists and court composers were early masters of the night in, and the musicians from the French Court in the 1600s. Victorians and the high-Romantics like Mendelssohn had it down with piano miniatures and songs, handing over to the French songsters in the 20th Century. With recording technology, it became a big part of jazz – songwriters like Vernon Duke and Rodgers and Hammerstein wrote as well for theatres and bars as for the living room, and what interpreters like Bill Evans, Chet Baker and Billy Holiday created was meant for sharing within four walls.

Radio made it was possible to listen to music on your own but at the same time as loads of other people, which hasn't changed with the internet. A trend we’re riding today is live YouTube radio. A lot of what these channels play is music made to sound like it was created in the past, with tiny pitch adjustments that mimic the effect of warped vinyl or magnetic tape. Like Lana del Rey's discography, or Chilledcow's lofi hip hop radio. At any minute you can stream it at the same time as 40,000 other people studying or working from home.

Poulenc, ‘Hôtel’
Words by Guillaume Apollinaire

‘My room is like a cage,
The sun slips its arm through the window.
But I, who want to smoke and make mirages,
I light my cigarette on daylight's fire.
I do not want to work, I want to smoke.’

Yaeji, 'Waking up down'
Words by Yaeji

‘I got waking up down
I got cooking down
I got making a list and checking down
I got hydrating down
I got listening down’