Shiloh Coke plays Song in recognition, based on the life and music of Afro-English composer and conductor Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, which is part of the audio play series, Written on the Waves.
Co-created by Rachael Nanyonjo and Amanda Wilkin, recognition also stars Obioma Ugoala as Samuel. Written on the Waves comprises eight world premières – Loss and Hope, a trilogy of short audio pieces including Luke Barnes’ This is a Man starring Liam Jeavons; Rafaella Marcus’ The Gift starring Olivia Marcus; and Tife Kusoro’s We Have Sinned starring Seraphina Beh, Rafaella Marcus’ debut play for audio, The You Play: small acts with Rebecca Banatvala, Jonathan Case, Amber James, Daisy Lewis, Ken Nwosu, Katherine Parkinson and Boadicea Ricketts, Lem ‘N’ Ginge: The Princess of Kakos written and directed by Ell Potter and Mary Higgins and starring Olivier Award-winning Sharon D. Clarke; A Passion Play by Margaret Perry with Hannah Bristow and Nicola Coughlan; and Rafaella Marcus’ second play in the series, The You Play Volume Two: The Haunted Woman with Olivia Williams and directed by Jessica Lazar.
These can be accessed via www.forty-fivenorth.com/writtenonthewaves
You’re starring in new audio play Recognition, what can you tell us about it?
Recognition is a beautiful story about the late great Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and a young musician who discovers him. It takes you into the mind of these two musicians. These two black musicians. Black British musicians who exist in different times although their worlds seem so similar. Its special.
What was it about the story that attracted you to the role?
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor. Even though and I’m sad to say it – I was late to hearing of him although I’ve heard his music before. I guess I’m sad to say it because I’m a musician, a composer (and disclaimer – no way near as good as him) so when I heard about this play I began researching him, his work, his life and more of his music… he’s inspiring. And then there’s Song. I feel like Song most days. I read Amanda’s words and instantly felt a connection to the character – an understanding that right now my words just couldn’t do justice to… but I get her. She’s dope… Amanda’s dope too!
You play Song, what is it about the character that excites you the most?
The way Song views the world… which is funny because from beginning to end she has this incredible existential conversation with herself… out loud. I love that about her. To voice to your thoughts is a powerful thing.
What’s been the challenge of recording an audio play in the current climate?
I’m not sure. I can’t think of anything. It’s a blessing to be able to work during a pandemic. Let alone being able to work on this, a piece of art that I really care about.
Why do you think audio plays like this, and the others in the Written on the Waves Series, are proving so popular?
They’re special and each soo unique… They dare to be different. As all Art should.
What would you say to anyone thinking of listing to Recognition?
Obioma is awesome and I had a great time but more importantly listen to it to hear the genius work of Rachael Nanyonjo, Cassie Kinoshi and last but never least, Amanda ‘the absolute legend’ Wilkin!
You won’t regret it.
Listen to recognition starring Shiloh Coke here