JUDE COWAN MONTAGUE of MONTAGUE ARMSTRONG, SCALEDOWN & RESONANCE FM – Song For Ewe

Jude Cowan Montague in the lakes of Finland, photograph by Riitta Hakkarainen

“SONG FOR EWE” is the feature where artists & music people beloved by VELVET SHEEP choose an obscure song they’ve been listening to that day. Today it’s a learned punk polymath, a former Reuters reporter turned erudite broadcaster & flaneur, mesmeric artist and esoteric musician. With a Saturday show called “The News Agents” on Resonance FM, and as one of the curators of the well regarded and long establised Fitzrovia club night Scaledown (now on its 156th edition!) which features artists literally scaling down their sets to handy 15 minute sets, what Paul Smith from Blast First might call a “Dadaist’s handbag” of a club, that’s not to mention her artwork, and music as one half of Hammond organ group, Montague Armstrong. Having got in touch recently and presenting as a fan of this humble zine, I’d been aware of Jude’s work with Scaledown – an agreeable club, upstairs at the King & Queen pub where otherworldly sonic adventures meet music hall humour and transient minds, (recent visitors included Tim Holehouse, Richard Sanderson/David Little and the Slate Pipe Banjo Draggers) but have since fallen into a rabbit warren of “The News Agents” and chats with harpsichord soloists, TV historians, and ducks via punk biologists, not to mention Bollywood film music, discussions of Baltic art, Russian folk and the Turkish music scene. It’s an enthralling world of discovery, chaired with easy style and affable artistic charm, so it’s a fully mutual appreciation society and we are thrilled to welcome to these pages, the most intriguing Jude Cowan Montague!

Music has been central to Jude’s life since birth since her grandfather Sydney Wright was the long-serving ‘cellist with the Hallé Orchestra and her first musical influence. After leaving college she learned to sing saluang music of the Minangkabau in Sumatra Barat, Indonesia and developed an interest in new contemporary at Community Music with jazz tutors including the drummer John Stephens.

Jude’s become known for her improvised song stories inspired by working as an archivist for Reuters television news. Selected pieces have been soundscaped by psychedelic seventies TV star Wim Oudijk and our co-composed tracks are released on Disco Fair and Folkwit as ‘Barbie and Ken’ (EP 2012) and ‘The Leidenfrost Effect’ (LP 2015), while her occasional series reimagining journalism has been broadcast live on Resonance FM and also performed at selected events and includes revisiting texts by Daniel Defoe, Henry Mayhew, Charles Dickens together with a tiny fragment of the anonymous printed newspaper reports published in the 19th and 20th centuries.

She has also collaborated with the likes of Steve Layton, Iris Garrelfs, Richard Sanderson, Steve Moyes, Mark Braby and Matt Armstrong, who is her real life partner and a member of Kenny Process Team, meanwhile her Reuters work continues to influence her art with “The News Agents” show on Resonance FM which is a news/arts hybrid featuring enlightening chat with topical guests, left-field recorded music, well appointed live performance and guaranteed edutainment.

I recently enjoyed listening to the show with punk biologist Lucy Eckersley which featured chat about primates and epidemology and a brilliantly off-the-wall track about monkeys written by our esteemed and well travelled colleague Jude herself, and randomly chanced on a great episode about film music with Rita Braga, which feeds nicely into the “song for ewe” choice, so without further ado, it’s over to Jude Cowan Montague and her “song for ewe”…

“I love the work of composer Imants Kalniņš who composed for the classic film ‘Pūt, Vējiņi’ (1973) –

 I love film music – enjoy the spring reverb and recording techniques of the 60s/70s I could have chosen some Bollywood or giallo melodies (love Nora Orlandi) but thought less people in the UK know Kalniņš . This is a selection of music from the film and includes Latvian Dainas, the folk songs which have carried the history of the people who were enslaved on the land and to the German barons and Tsarist Russia, with Latvians being an important military part of the fight for independence and for communism in the revolutions, 1905 and 1917.”

THANKS SO MUCH TO JUDE COWAN MONTAGUE

Check out the blog for “The News Agents” on Resonance FM here…

and you can listen to archive shows on Mixcloud

or it’s live every Saturday at 1430-1530 on Resonance FM

and here’s where to find out more about Jude’s music and more…

https://www.judecowanmontague.com/

and if you liked Jude’s film inspired song choice check out these others from the “song for ewe” archives…

ROXANNE STEPHEN of TH’ FAITH HEALERS – Song For Ewe

DEAN GARCIA of CURVE & S T F U – Song For Ewe

ANNIE HART – Song For Ewe

DUANE DENISON of THE JESUS LIZARD – Song For Ewe

KIM RICHEY – Song For Ewe

 

Author: Nick Hutchings

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