Gilles Peterson reflects on a year of ‘lockdown broadcasting’ in Lockdown FM

The DJ has created a unique 600+ page ‘cultural documentation’ of a year in lockdown.

A radical book project records the response of London based DJ and Broadcaster, Gilles Peterson and the community network of global music and culture platform, Worldwide FM to the impact of Covid-19 – reflecting key moments in time such as the first lockdown measures being introduced.

“I wanted to document the most turbulent period in my life and how so many of us got through it – with music.” – Gilles Peterson

The project was conceived as the nation emerged from the very first lockdown. It is built around the playlists from eighty Worldwide FM and BBC6 Music radio broadcasts Peterson made, following Boris Johnson’s lockdown announcement on 23 March 2020.

However, it actually kicks off pre-lockdown on New Year’s Eve with an insight into Petersons’ packed schedule which included a tour of New York, Chi cago, Australia, New Zealand and London before his diary was wiped clean.

As the timeline unfolds it’s impossible to ignore the deadly impact of the pandemic.

The music world lost a host of great musicians and artists, who were well known and much-loved including McCoy Tyner, Manu Dibango, Tony Allen, Ty, Mike Huckaby… and this book pays respect to their lives and creative output.

“Gilles Peterson delivered 80 radio broadcasts and Lockdown FM is a musical and visual feast  – an alternatively sobering and celebratory response to Lockdown.”
– Paul Bradshaw – Editor, Lockdown FM

Offset against the fatalities, Peterson celebrates the birthdays of musicians close to him such as Stevie Wonder and Dee Dee Bridgewater. He also explores different genres via ‘The 20’ series which included Jazz Dance (Combat), Trip Hop, Jazz Funk, Modal Jazz.

The playlists provided the framework to bring in other creatives impacted by the pandemic and contributions to the book are made by Zara McFarlane, Jean Paul ‘Bluey’ Maunick, Simon Emmerson, Rob Gallagher, Emily Moxon, Louie Vega, François Kervorkian, Brian Bacchus, Adrian Younge, Kassa Overall, Jazz Re:- freshed, Damu The Fudgemunk and Raw Poetic.

Peterson enlisted the photography of Dobie who cycled daily through an abandoned city to help with visuals for the project.  The book also notes the impact of the death of George Floyd and the BLM movement with contributions by Erica McKoy, Thristian (Global Roots) and Paul Martin.

We have created something unique in this book – a personal story with a collaborative spirit. An eclectic journal and cultural documentation of an unprecedented time told through music, essays, poetry, photography and design.” – Hugh Miller – Designer & Art Director, Lockdown FM


The book is released on  10TH MAY 2020: PRE-ORDER: https://worldwidefm.ochre.store

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