Music composed and recorded during lockdown to be preserved by British Library

Laura Harding, PA Deputy Entertainment Editor
·2-min read

People who composed and recorded music during lockdown are being given the opportunity to have their songs preserved in the British Library.

BBC Radio 5 Live said it has been inundated with tracks from musicians “of all standards” from across the UK.

The station is giving listeners the chance to have the music they created behind closed doors to be stored forever in the Sound Archive of the library.

The songs and music cover all genres and describe loss, laughs, hope and despair, family stress, tributes to key workers and even a simple desire to get back to the pub, offering a snapshot of cultural history.

SSE Scottish Music Awards
Amy Macdonald will co-host the virtual concert (Ryan Buchanan/PA)

A special virtual live concert will be broadcast on 5 Live on Friday March 26 at 6pm.

BBC Radio 5 Live presenter Chris Warburton, who will host Now That’s What I Call Lockdown with songwriter Amy Macdonald, said: “I’ve been amazed by the response we’ve had from our brilliant and creative listeners.

“It has been such a pleasure to hear tracks from musicians of all ages and all walks of life, from complete amateurs to professionals unable to play live.

“The music has been inspiring, emotional, funny and of an incredibly high standard. Knowing that the music will now be stored in the British Library is just fantastic.”

Andy Linehan, curator of Popular Music Collections at the British Library, said: “The British Library is documenting the effect of the pandemic on many aspects of life in the UK through oral history interviews, documentaries, news bulletins and printed publications.

“This is an excellent opportunity to acquire a collection of songs by a diverse array of musicians reflecting their thoughts and experiences of the past year.

“We are pleased to be able to archive this collection from BBC Radio 5 Live, to give future generations a picture of musicians’ creative reaction to the situation.”