May 23, 2012

John Piper - Exhibition and Desert Island Discs

John Piper and The Church

If you are near Dorchester Abbey, Oxfordshire today (I will be about 4000 miles away, alas), there looks to be an interesting talk by Martin Harrison (author of the very good and hard to find book Victorian Stained Glass) on the stained glass of John Piper as part of the exhibit John Piper and The Church, at Dorchester Abbey, Oxfordshire, 21 April - 10 June 2012.

I did a short blog post about 5 years ago on John Piper, featuring his Nativity window, Christud Natus Est!, which I quite like. At that time there was a John Piper website, which is now gone ( - archived page)

But such is the quasi-organic nature of the web that while some things disappear, other surprising things pop up to replace them.

John Piper on Desert Island Discs

John Piper on Desert Island Discs

Desert Island Discs is a BBC radio show that has been airing continuously since 1942. In the show, guests are invited to imagine themselves cast away on a desert island, and to choose eight pieces of music to bring with them. Subsequently, as the mix of music and conversation proceeds, you get a mini-biography of the person via their favorite pieces of music. It's a great concept and I can see how it has lasted so long.

All the programs from the past 25 years are now available to listen to online. Recently they started posting episodes from pre-1986, adding an additional 445 programs. Currently they have archived and posted over 1,500 past programs, the earliest going back to 1951.

One of the episodes that came online in just the past few weeks is with artist John Piper who, as far as I can tell, is the only stained glass related personality to be interviewed in the 70 years of the program. He only talks briefly of his stained glass work but the program is interesting nonetheless, mostly as a time capsule into British culture of the mid-20th century.

In general, I'm big on listening to radio shows like this (audiobooks too) when I'm working on the bench.

Posted by Tom at May 23, 2012 11:17 PM