The late pop musician Prince's estate, including his song collection, has been appraised at $156.4 million (£114 million), almost double its previous estimate.

Comerica Bank, the estate's administrator, reached an agreement with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Prince's heirs on the amount. The artist died without a will in 2016, and his fortune will be divided among three of his siblings, as well as the publishing business Primary Wave, which purchased the Prince catalog from another three heirs, two of whom are dead, in August 2021.

The wealth of the estate might be redistributed as early as next month. "It's been a long six years," said L Londell McMillan, an attorney representing the three heirs who have faced an expensive court battle to settle and share the estate's worth.

The US tax department, the IRS, said earlier this month that the estate was worth $163.2 million, more than double the $82.3 million number originally supplied by Comerica. The IRS would be able to claim a lot more tax because of the greater value.

In 2020, Comerica filed a lawsuit against the IRS, claiming that its value was incorrect. Comerica said after the settlement that it would have won if the matter had gone to trial, but that the heirs had pushed for a settlement to expedite the process.

Primary Wave and the surviving heirs will now look to the estate for fresh and continuous income.

Prince's remarkable and diverse song repertoire includes pop classics like Purple Rain, When Doves Cry, and 1999, as well as funk, R&B, new wave, and beyond. Streaming and sales royalties, as well as placements of Prince songs in cinema, television, and advertising, may all help the estate's owners make money.

The potentially rich returns from song catalogs like these have prompted a flurry of high-value purchases by big labels and publishing businesses like Primary Wave and Hipgnosis, including works by Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Fleetwood Mac, and Paul Simon.

Thanks to at The Guardian whose reporting provided the original basis for this story.

In Ronnie Spector's 1990 book Be My Baby, there's an interesting chapter about her singing voice among the jaw-dropping allegations of brutal torture. She claims she was intimidated by the other female vocalists in Phil Spector's stable: she didn't have Darlene Love's or Fanita James's huge, gospel-trained voices.

The producer, on the other hand, had picked her out for extra attention. "Exactly what he needed to fill the center of this enormous sound," Veronica Bennett, as she was at the time, stated.

Phil Spector was known for enlisting the help of anybody who happened to be in the studio to perform backup vocals, but he declined when Ronnie volunteered. You may view it as an early indicator of his controlling behavior once they married, but his explanation was fairly convincing: "Your voice is too distinctive – it comes right though."

He was absolutely correct. Phil Spector collaborated with a slew of fantastic singers – not just Love and James, but the Righteous Brothers, Tina Turner, and LaLa Brooks of the Crystals – but none of them sounded like Ronnie, putting paid to the notion that Phil Spector was a lone artist working on his records with his vocalists interchangeable puppets.

Her voice is an instantly recognizable blend of street toughness and compassion, a signature vibrato, and a raw, unschooled strength. Ronnie Spector's voice always pierced through, no matter how complex and stubborn Phil Spector's arrangements were.

On River Deep Mountain High, even Tina Turner sounds like she's fighting for space with the plethora of instruments, but listen to the Ronettes' Is This What I Get for Loving You? or I Wish I Never Saw the Sunshine – singles that exist in the shadow of their biggest hits Be My Baby and Baby, I Love You – recorded in 1965 and 1966, by which time Spector's production style had become increasingly OTT.

You can't keep your eyes from Ronnie Spector even when I Wish I Never Saw the Sunshine reaches its emotional apex — the moment right before the chorus when the drums smash in. Everything else is (admittedly elaborate) backdrop to her frantic "oh baby!" sobs.

It was all the more unjust that she struggled to make a name for herself outside of Philles Records and her despicable husband. Ronnie Spector had to accompany Phil Spector when he chose to close the drawbridge and stop creating records: barbed wire on the walls, guard dogs, and threats to murder her and show her corpse in a glass coffin if she attempted to leave saw to it.

When he resurfaced as George Harrison and John Lennon's go-to producer at the end of their marriage, she resurfaced as well, but luck was not on her side. For Apple Records, she recorded a wonderful, mandolin-adorned cover of the former's Try Some, Buy Some, but it bombed: either the tune was too cyclical and hypnotic for mainstream radio, or perhaps the lyrics – which contrasted drug use with spiritual enlightenment – were too obscure.

There was intended to be an album with a crack supporting band that included Harrison, Leon Russell, and other members of Eric Clapton's Derek and the Dominos, but it never materialized, as so many things at Apple do. The sessions were said to be torturous for Ronnie Spector, who sat quietly in the vocal booth waiting for her cue while her husband spoke to Harrison instead: engineer Ken Scott said she was plainly too afraid to say out. In the end, Harrison just recorded his own voice over the background track of Try Some, Buy Some for his 1973 album Living in the Material World: the two versions are worth comparing if you want to hear how wonderful Ronnie Spector's rendition of the song is.

After being divorced, she reformed the Ronettes, but to little avail: it didn't help that their greatest song, the groovy Go Out and Get It, was released as a B-side. Before collaborating with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, she released a terrific disco record called You'd Be Good For Me. It was an agreement that was ideal for both sides.

The E Street Band's sound was clearly influenced by Phil Spector's 1960s hits; also, they were poor and stuck in recording limbo due to Springsteen's legal battle with an ex-manager. The resultant song, a rendition of Billy Joel's Say Goodbye to Hollywood, was magnificent, and its financial failure perplexing, but Steve Van Zandt subsequently claimed that the money the musicians earned kept the E Street Band together.

Following that, she was welcomed by New York's punk movement, resulting in the release of Siren, a new wave-influenced solo album with members of the Dead Boys and the Heartbreakers. If nothing else, the sheer variety of musicians she worked with after her divorce said something about her voice, which was both incredibly adaptable – it fit over the strings and dancefloor rhythms of You'd Be Good to Me just as well as it did over a cover of the Ramones' Here Today, Gone Tomorrow – and utterly unique: whether she was singing soul or punk, you always knew she was singing her own thing.

Both of these facts were highlighted in 1986, when she finally had a success, although in a supporting part. Take Me Home Tonight by Eddie Money was gleaming, bemulled stadium AOR that was fully of its day. The contrast between the roughness in her voice and the gloss that surrounds her is very remarkable when she enters halfway through, singing the chorus from Be My Baby.

It's the difference between soulful emotion and an over-inflated, chest-beating simulacrum of emotion, without wanting to sound sniffy – Take Me Home Tonight is a perfectly good example of a certain strain of 80s rock, which has its own charm – and it's the difference between soulful emotion and an over-inflated, chest-beating simulacrum of emotion.

Ronnie Spector's MTV-fueled fame, as well as her book and a successful court case against her ex-husband that saw the Ronettes given back royalties, helped set her up for the remainder of her career. She never had a solo success, but she traveled nonstop and began doing Christmas performances in New York, which became a mainstay of the city's musical calendar.

As previously, the list of artists that wanted to collaborate with her told its own story: she could seamlessly go from playing with Nick Zinner of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs to Whitney Houston and Aretha Franklin producer Narada Michael Walden to Keith Richards to horror punk pioneers Misfits. Ronnie Spector's influence could be seen in Amy Winehouse's beehive and thick eyeliner, which were a dissolute twist on her 60s style; the Ronettes' sound was in Back to Black's DNA.

You'll never be too far away from a new single that knowingly sounds like Be My Baby or Baby, I Love You, and you probably won't be: they cast as long a shadow over pop as anything from the 1960s. The main difference is that whomever sings them will not sound anything like Ronnie Spector.

Thanks to at The Guardian whose reporting provided the original basis for this story.

In the spring of 2020, when Covid-19 swept the globe, Mo'min Swaitat, a Palestinian actor and filmmaker based in London, found himself stuck in his birthplace of Jenin, West Bank. He was lured to the shuttered Tariq Cassettes, a music store and record label he knew from his boyhood that had closed down years ago, on treks through the lonely neighborhoods.

Swaitat was intrigued, so he contacted the previous owner, who agreed to let him spend the days of the epidemic rummaging through the dusty library of tape cassettes on the second floor. He discovered a great mine in the process: long-forgotten music that enlivened Palestinian life in the 1980s, when the first intifada (uprising) erupted.

He made it his duty to digitize and re-release this glimpse into the past after acquiring several of the recordings and lugging five bags full of them back to London.

"Over the course of eight months, I listened to 10,000 tapes – a lot of synth music, funk and disco, wedding music, and revolutionary tracks." "I even discovered recordings made by my uncle, who used to play in a Bedouin wedding band," the 32-year-old said.

"This bright yellow tape with no information on it except a sticker with the hand-written word 'intifada' was one of the most unique finds."

Swaitat listened to the record multiple times, enthralled by the beautiful lyrics of a lost nation and the fight for independence. He once left the recording running and discovered that the composer identified himself as Riad Awwad after a few minutes of stillness. Awwad then acknowledged his sisters Alia, Hanan, and Nariman for their contributions to the record, as well as Palestinian national poet Mahmoud Darwish, who wrote the words for one of the songs.

Swaitat was unable to locate any information on Riad on the internet, but he was able to contact his sister Hanan, a well-known writer and activist in her 70s. She explained how the cassette, dubbed The Intifada Album, came to be.

"My younger brother was a superb pianist. "The week the intifada began [in 1987], he gathered us as a family in his living room in Jerusalem and asked us to help him'sing the song of the intifada,'" she added.

"He had a distinct style and created music about identity that resonated strongly with our people." Everyone was playing it if you walked down Salah al-Din Street in the old city."

As the intifada became more brutal, Awwad's paintings came at a heavy price. Over worries that the lyrics – some of which reference Molotov cocktails and hurling stones – would provoke people to violence, Israeli troops seized the majority of the 3,000 recordings he had created from music stores, cafés, and enterprises playing them.

The 30-year-old was tortured throughout his detention, which lasted many months.

"He was never charged with anything," Hanan explained, "which was very common during the intifada." "They questioned him extensively about why he created the music and what he intended to do with it."

Awwad, an electrical engineer by training, founded a music school for youngsters in the West Bank following his release, and then formed the Palestinian Union band.

In 2005, Awwad was killed in an automobile accident. While Hanan wishes her brother was still alive to see his music rediscovered, she believes he would be ecstatic to know that his work is being heard by new people.

"I was overjoyed when Mo'min contacted me to inquire about re-releasing the record. It has historical value, and anybody can locate it thanks to the internet," she said.

Swaitat obtained financing from Jerwood Arts when he returned to London to launch the Majazz Project, an online platform committed to recovering Palestinian musical history.

The Majazz Project label released Awwad's Intifada Album as a digital download towards the end of 2021. The vinyl edition, which is set to be released in April, has already sold half of its first run.

"It's been a fantastic reception. "I've received messages from young Palestinians and those in the diaspora telling me how much they enjoyed it or how they purchased it as a gift for their parents who were children when it was first released," Swaitat added.

"We have plans to reissue more of the music, including some rock, traditional Bedouin recordings, and newer electronica," said the label.

"Finding this was magical because so much Palestinian culture has been lost or locked away in Israeli military archives." It's a trip through the history, present, and future of a people."

Thanks to at The Guardian whose reporting provided the original basis for this story.

How can a song by an unknown band acquire 6.5 million listens? It was difficult to tell in the days before streaming, when we still used "popular" instead of "viral," and it's much more perplexing today.

Facebook would have created an algorithm for it if they had known. That hasn't prevented reviewers from spinning their wheels to explain the success of Isle of Wight duo Wet Leg's Chaise Longue, which was quickly followed by their astronomically successful follow-up songs, Wet Dream and Too Late Now.

They haven't even published a full-length album.

Is it because they're smart and seductive, as one critic called it, while indie music usually isn't? From Florence Welch to Hayley Williams to Iggy Pop, they're all fans. Is it because they've been likened to Violent Femmes and Björk, for example?

Not because they are derivative, but because they put everyone in a good mood, they have surely triggered a (often contradicting) avalanche of they-remind-me-ofs. We all grab for the first or last band that puts a smile on our faces.

Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers, 28 and 27 years old, converse with me through video conference, something I usually avoid but which, on this occasion, is as amusing, annoying, charming, and elusive as Wet Leg themselves. They're seated against a glass-brick wall; there's a dog nearby, but it never comes into view; everything is quite independent.

Chambers speaks in a high, calm tone, her blond hair wrapped over her face like the French Lieutenant's Woman. Teasdale has the most beautiful and quirky demeanor. A bystander approaches them at one point and inquires if they are performing a TikTok.

"No," she insists, her patience becoming thin. "We're having a... discussion." It's particularly aggravating since they're located in Streatham, south London, just two miles from my home. In less time than it would have taken me to beg Chambers to remove her hair out of her mouth, I could have ridden to meet them.

They talk about their musical inspirations since they first met when studying a music BTEC on the Isle of Wight: Patrick Watson's Arts the Beatdoctor, "a lot of Nordic stuff," as Chambers puts it, and Laura Marling's And So I Watch You from afar. "I was able to answer this question really well because I was talking to my friend about what music we used to listen to when we were 17 and I was thinking, 'Wow, I was so zany,'" Teasdale recalls.

Chambers vehemently disagrees. "Oh, no!" exclaims the speaker. That's not to say that being zany is a negative thing. It's not really my vocabulary. However, it's a nice term." Teasdale adds, "Lexicon is also a good word."

Even though all the youngsters I've met get the wrong end of the stick and assume it's a song about academic failure coupled with some not-so-subtle innuendo, the lyrics of Chaise Longue are incredibly pleasant ("Is your mother worried? / Would you like us to assign someone / to worry your mother?"). "I went to school and received a D."

"Mummy, Daddy, look at me / I went to school and got a degree / All my friends call it the big D," the whole line reads. But it's possible that the kids are observant because the couple couldn't bear school.

Teasdale only made it to the BTec after failing her A-levels. "It's probably just a case of adolescent angst." 'What is the aim of it all?' I simply couldn't seem to get into it. I didn't have many pals at the time. "My mother attempted to persuade me to join the merchant navy."

Of course, Teasdale met Chambers at Isle of Wight College, so the relocation was opportune, but it wasn't the start of an academic late-flowering.

They both went on to begin music degrees, drop out, and view their experiences as a catastrophe. They may laugh about it now, but it was dreadful at the time (to paraphrase a band they sound nothing like).

"It was extremely difficult for me to say no," Teasdale adds. "I kept trying to go back because that's what you're fed as the only option if you don't want to work in a dead-end job." Beyond that, I couldn't see anything."

"I dropped out in the first year, which was sad," Chambers, who has a quiet, winning fatalism, adds. I was quite disappointed. It's simply not something I wanted to spend my time thinking about. "I'm not much of an academic."

Teasdale's stare is direct and confrontational, whereas Chambers hides behind a hat in two of their movies, Chaise Longue and Wet Dream. This anti-go-getting, dropping out, failing again, failing better reminds me of a time in the 1990s when not everyone was on the same conveyor belt and no one had heard of self-actualisation.

Maintaining a knowing distance in order to protect one's basic self used to be a key currency in pop culture, but it has since faded. However, I adore it.

Both ladies were born and raised on the Isle of Wight. Teasdale describes her folks as "boat people," which makes them seem like yacht owners.

Her father was an engineer, and her mother was a sailor, thus they met in the merchant navy. "I have no idea what she was doing there." Chambers' parents own and operate a jewelry store, where he still works on occasion. "It's a fantastic job; I fell into the family business by accident."

They didn't start creating music together until they were 22 and 23, after they had given up their degrees. "For me, it was being in the room with you, another woman, and no boys around," Chambers adds to Teasdale. "Woah, look at us, look at us making music together," I said at the time. Teasdale was perplexed as to why they hadn't done it sooner.

They decided to create a band at the top of a ferris wheel, according to the genesis myth they've agreed on. But I'm not going to question them about it since it's too pixie dream girl for me, and I don't want to promote it.

They chose the term Wet Leg since it was easy to spell with emojis. It makes sense and doesn't, since those emojis may represent "wet leg," "tsunami robot," or "rain chicken," much like a lot of their songs.

That led them to the Isle of Wight festival in the summer of 2018, when they played to "one man and his welly boots," as Chambers remembers.

Teasdale explains, "We didn't have enough songs to play a full set." "We wrote a lot of songs in a short amount of time to fill up the set, so a lot of the performance was songs we wrote in a short amount of time to fill up the set."

Some of them were simply ridiculous tunes we made up to acquire a wristband to go inside the event. "Some of them did not make it."

"It was fun," Chambers says of the mentality that this low-stakes time engendered. 'Cool,' we thought. First, we'll cook some pancakes for the dog, then we'll prepare some more pancakes.'"

It wasn't, however, a clear professional route. Teasdale recalls, "I just wanted to do it for the fun of it." Chambers continued working at the jeweller's; Teasdale worked for a season selling ice cream, then moved to London, where she worked at an ice rink and as an ad wardrobe assistant.

They didn't become ambitious in any discernible sense until the epidemic, when they were both back on the island, living with their parents. Even then, you'd just be able to recognize it.

Chambers describes the environment as "extremely sheltered." "It was dreamy," Teasdale recalls, "especially if you remember the weather."

"It was like being a child during the summer vacation and thinking, 'Wow, all this time to play about.' We started roller skating and longboarding. I'd say we've closed the door on the outer world." Longboard dancing is exactly what it sounds like: dancing on a long skateboard. A video is required to appreciate how hyper-fey it is, whimsy on stilts.

Despite this, Chambers claims that they were "productive by accident," working on demos, filming the Chaise Longue and Angelica films, and obtaining a manager via Teasdale's then-boyfriend, who submitted their tape to Domino Records officials who wanted to see them.

"We were just absolutely silly," Chambers adds, with a grin on his face. "We were like, 'Sorry, we don't have time – we're just rolling around in the grass with our guitars doing teddy bear rolls.'"

Other labels were able to convince them to meet, and the two led them to the Spyglass bar in Ventnor, on the island's south coast. No offense to the town, which is the island's independent heart, but this is a harsh way of expressing, "We don't care if we meet you or not" — it doesn't even have a railway station. However, it's a lovely boozer.

They eventually met Domino and signed with them in November 2020, but it wasn't until they performed at Latitude, one of the few large festivals scheduled for 2021, that they realized they were a legitimate band. "When we got there, we saw Dream Wife getting ready to go on stage, Lucia and the Best Boys, and all these really cool people milling around," Teasdale adds. "And we wondered aloud, 'What are we doing here?' We're simply a bunch of Isle of Wight rural bumpkins.'

"The fact that the tent was so crammed was so unexpected. We also had people dancing, which was even more surprising. And singing — back at us, singing the lyrics of Chaise Longue. We'd been in the smallest tiny bubble world and it was our first time witnessing that others had really listened to it. It didn't seem to add up at first. It still doesn't, to be honest."

"I think we come across as a real band now," Teasdale says, adjusting the set slightly. "If you like, buddy," Chambers says as he glances at her.

"As a band, we've definitely bonded really well," Teasdale adds.

Chambers ultimately admits, "Yeah."

There are still a few unknowns. What will the reaction be to their first album, which is set to be released in April?

What price will gigging exact if it is completely operational again, with no more sporadic cancellations and rebookings? "As we play more shows, we're meeting a lot of people in similar situations to us, and we've had some really nice conversations," Teasdale adds.

"What to eat when you're on the road that isn't a cold Greggs sausage roll," she says. I assumed she meant mediating life's lovely futility via synth-rock, but it's more concerning: "What to eat when you're on the road that isn't a cold Greggs sausage roll." What to put in your bag and how to load it. Fear of performing on stage. "Mental well-being."

Chambers is still nominally based on the Isle of Wight, although she does not spend much time there. Teasdale is unsure about her exact location. They give off the distinct impression that, in an ideal world, they would embark on a global tour only to avoid having to make a decision.

However, there are several well-known facts: from its inception, people have adored their feel. They've put their friendship to song, with its self-effacing yet obstinate surrealism and melodic idiosyncrasy.

Thanks to at The Guardian whose reporting provided the original basis for this story.

If Chan Marshall's 11th album included all of Cat Power's songs in their original form, it would be a fantastic playlist. It would be genre-spanning, taking in everything from forgotten classics (country superstar Kitty Wells' It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels) to beloved classics (Nico's These Days), from obscure numbers by obscure artists (Pa Pa Power by Ryan Gosling's band Dead Man's Bones) to obscure numbers by the greats (Iggy Pop's The Endless Sea), and it would be genre-spanning – there is jazz (Billie Holiday's

However, as a covers CD, it is less life-enhancing. Marshall has substituted the voices of musicians with very unique voices with her ambient yet breathily quiet vocals (plus rumbling and folksy instrumentation).

Because these songs tend to have wending, impressionistic melodies, they don't fully get through without a really unique delivery.

A Pair of Brown Eyes, stripped of Shane MacGowan's unmistakable rasp, is still lovely but significantly less exciting; White Mustang and Bad Religion are similarly stripped of their intensity.

A nuanced interpretation on a song that has a strong hold on the cultural consciousness, such as Marshall's warmer, looser version of These Days, is valuable, while other pieces, such as the bristlingly weird The Endless Sea, are simply rendered more commonplace and accessible. Covers is more like watered-down copies of semi-hidden treasures than new spins on old favorites.

Thanks to at The Guardian whose reporting provided the original basis for this story.

My play started in an epiphany, but it would take me ten years to complete. I had written it off as a failing effort until Roxana Silbert of Hampstead Theatre prompted me to revisit it.

Covid intervened, and the production was delayed, leading me to believe it would never be broadcast; nevertheless, BBC Radio 3 broadcasted my version as part of their Drama on 3/Culture in Quarantine series, and I was relieved. Finally, the drama is being staged in its entirety at Hampstead Theatre.

I've been known to burn manuscripts that don't appeal to me, but this one had survived the flames.

I was born and raised in Somerset, first at Glastonbury and subsequently in a little hamlet on the Somerset Levels. In 2009, I visited the Rural Life Museum in Glastonbury to view an exhibition on Cecil Sharp and folk music. Sharp began collecting songs in 1903 and created the English Folk Song and Dance Society in 1924.

A image of John England, a gardener who sang to Sharp what is said to be the first song he ever collected, The Seeds of Love, was on display during the show. Another was of a vocalist who had hailed from my own village. Then I saw pictures of Louie Hooper and Lucy White, two sisters from a nearby hamlet who together performed over 100 songs to Sharp.

Folk-song collection grew in popularity in the early twentieth century, spurred by a desire to save these songs before they were lost to the Industrial Revolution's tail end, when machines would plow the land and sewing would be shifted to factories. Many of them were released by Sharp, who arranged them for piano and edited the lyrics to make them fit for a middle-class audience.

He cleaned up rhymes and rhythms before copyrighting them and putting his name on them. This was not considered a heinous conduct at the time. Sharp received approximately 100 songs from the two sisters, but their identities were never mentioned, and their tales were never recounted.

The pictures of the sisters kept resurfacing in my mind. After doing some investigation, I discovered that they were the daughters of a famous singer who would have sang these songs to her children, songs that they knew by heart.

I began to picture how it would feel if your body had that many songs, enough to sing for days on end without becoming tired of them. I write both theater and prose, and ideas emerge from both forms: this was unmistakably a play, about the human voice and live music.

I came upon an interesting transcript of a 1940s interview with Louie Hooper, then in her 80s, in which she discussed her love of music, how she listened to birds and rain and recognized melodic patterns in their noises, and how she sat by the village elders and "caught" their melodies. I was enthralled by her. My mind is constantly captured by the undiscovered narrative, the quiet voice.

Meanwhile, my investigation found Keen to be outspoken and ruthlessly ambitious - Sharp by name, sharp by nature. He was a vehement opponent of women's suffrage and refused to record songs by black American performers. Many of the songs he gathered in Somerset and elsewhere were published under his name, and he marketed himself as a folk song specialist, relying on other people's labor to make a living.

It would be simple to compose a play that would deconstruct him, but there was a snag. Sharp had another side: he had a lot of admiration for country singers, and he managed to gather over 5,000 songs that would have been lost if he hadn't written them down in his notebooks. The play's central theme would be discord.

I had the tale now, but the intricacy of the subject matter got overpowering as the themes became obvious. The songs were also collected during a period when England was seen to be lacking in outstanding classical composers.

All new music had been European since Purcell's death in 1695, and we were dubbed "Das Land ohne Musik" — the land without music. Sharp and his fellow collectors thought that by collecting these folk songs, composers would be inspired to produce new classical music based on them, re-establishing England as the center of classical music once again.

In the years leading up to WWI, Sharp regarded these songs as having the ability to "refine and strengthen the national character." The issue of nationalism was the one that gave me the most trouble: it made me reflect on my sentiments toward my own country.

The play is clearly about England, her songs, and her landscape; I wrote it at a time when I felt a rising sense of nationalism as we approached and exited the Brexit referendum, as well as as the world around me was changing and questions about the history of our country houses and museum artefacts began to be asked. As history grew more rigorous and accommodating of other people's stories, it became more intriguing and complicated.

Sharp discovered "his" England not far from where I grew up. My imagination began in my Somerset hamlet, and I have a creative connection to the earth.

I have an enormous sense of richness when I reflect about my time there, but I'm not sure what to do with it. How can I show my affection for my country without sounding nationalistic?

And how can I communicate that affection while also acknowledging that romanticizing the past ignores the reality that there was intolerance for diversity and casual racism in my own hamlet, where dogs were still called the N-word in 1977?

I've realized that the play is a tool for me to work with those issues. Every time I write, I'm trying to figure out what I'm thinking about.

Sharp invaded the villages in search of the tunes that had made him famous, but he also protected the songs. The play required that I portray those two contradictory facts in the same tale.

I also wanted to find a method to express that I care for the location where I was born while also acknowledging its intricacies and my sentiments about it.

"Everyone loves their country," Louie Hooper says in my play. It's just the piece of land where we were born, the first thing we see and smell. It's the music and the tales."

The songs Sharp gathered inspired many forms of new music, including the 1960s folk revival, which continues to feed folk performers today; it also inspired new classical music from Holst, Vaughan Williams, and Butterworth, which influenced Benjamin Britten. All of this is because to Sharp, but it's also thanks to a pair of little-known sisters who lived on the edge of the sea in the middle of the Somerset Levels.

Thanks to Nell Leyshon at The Guardian whose reporting provided the original basis for this story. 

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