The Academy of Ideas Arts & Society Forum is delighted to announce a special pre-Christmas event in its series: Ask an artist: What Makes Art Work?
Award-winning singer and writer Barb Jungr will talk about how her work has been inspired by Nina Simone, Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen, Tamla Motown and South Pacific. As a celebrated musician, writer, composer, and lyricist, Barb has been performing since the 1970s and is critically lauded for her insightful and passionate interpretive style. Her deconstruction and reconstruction of popular songs with unusual and beautiful musical arrangements offer new insights into familiar music, while her unique and innovative renditions of jazz, blues and soul songs have earned her numerous plaudits.
Barb says: ‘I grew up in a tiny terraced house in Rochdale, with parents who came to this country loving music and with no sense of any class association of any kind of music. We went to the opera and it’s only a small hair that leaves Maria Callas out of my primal influences. On the radio and record player we had everything from Aida to Nat King Cole. But when I saw South Pacific, aged maybe four or five, I fell in love. Lyrics and music, seamless, politics perhaps though I didn’t know it then, all somehow embedded themselves into what would be a bedrock of my influences. Nina Simone is another primal force in my creative psyche. How to incorporate that level of truth into everything one does? And Tamla Motown, who taught me what singing was and led me to gospel and blues. And then, the extraordinary force of the writings of both Cohen and Dylan. So as always my list is too long but I hope we can talk for hours about these extraordinary people and their work, and for me, the seminal musical: South Pacific.’
You can find out more about Barb Jungr and her music here.
About the series
What are the artistic reference points for today’s artists? How do exemplary works of art from the past inform their creativity? In this series of Academy of Ideas Arts & Society forums, we invite artists in a variety of spheres to select a work of art and explain how it has influenced them. How has their chosen piece prompted them to emulate its achievement?