On a midsummer day on Saturday, June 21, 1980, in a Victorian Hotel on the Orkney Islands, resident composer Peter Maxwell Davies and actress Eleanor Bron performed the composer’s newest piece — The Yellow Cake Revue. It was part of the Islands’ annual St. Magnus Festival, founded by Maxwell Davies, poet George Mackay Brown and Archie Bevan. “Yellow cake” or uranium ore, seemed like an unlikely subject matter for a cabaret. But Maxwell Davies was an unlikely kind of musician — deeply connected to causes including gay rights, anti-war and the environment. I first learned of the music of Maxwell Davies through Donald Ranvaud, another renaissance polymath, who was teaching at the University of Warwick when I was a student there and inspired in me a passion for Italian cinema, especially Bertolucci and Pasolini.
Beyond Nuclear 18th April 2021 read more »