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March 2006

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Submitted 17th March 2006

Submitted by Karon Maskill  PR
A  fitting farewell for an old friend:
Due to public demand,  ‘Requiem  for the Routemaster’ becomes available (exclusively on iTunes).  

Press information for immediate release March  13th:
TOM SMAIL is a well-known composer of music for film, television, radio and the concert hall.  Recent TV credits include OMNIBUS, WILDLIFE ON ONE and THE NATURAL WORLD for the BBC, THE RIDDLE OF EINSTEIN’S BRAIN for Channel 4 and TABOO for ITV.  He has written music for countless BBC radio dramas as well as composing many choral, chamber and orchestral  works for the concert hall.  His award-winning series of LETTERLAND VIDEOS received great critical acclaim and in 2005 TOM released the  first CD in his series of much-anticipated musical Fairy Tales, ‘RED RIDING HOOD and SLEEPING BEAUTY’, with his friend and colleague, children’s author EMMA HOUSE.  
It is therefore  rather surprising to see a man, who is normally to be found in the great concert halls of Europe, on the open platform of a number 38 ROUTEMASTER bus.  It is perhaps even more surprising to learn that this classical aficionado was so moved by the demise of the much-loved Routemaster  that he felt compelled to write a requiem as a fitting  goodbye.
SMAIL’S REQUIEM is a musical portrayal of a day in the life of this London icon: a joyous journey, complete with throbbing  engine, squealing brakes, conductor, ticket machine and bell; and it has touched the hearts of many who used to travel aboard her.  (It is actually more of an In Memoriam, but REQUIEM FOR THE ROUTEMASTER sounded better!).  It  is also a fine example of a very rare species: a topical piece of classical music, an orchestral response to a particular historical event, namely Mayor Livingstone’s infamous u-turn decision to phase-out the Routemaster.  The music  has three main themes: the great sadness felt at the loss of the buses,  the vivid memories of wonderful journeys aboard them, and the harsh threat posed by the Routemaster replacements - a discordant force which grows until, ultimately, it can no longer be resisted.
SMAIL explains: “This is my personal response to what I see as the  disgraceful and tragic betrayal of the Routemaster and of the people of London, the vast majority of whom wanted to keep the old buses.  It was utterly frustrating: I had signed petitions and written letters, but all to no avail.  I felt I had to do more to express my feelings: something productive.  I just hoped that the music would strike a chord with the enormous number of people out there who share my opinion.”  
And indeed it did.  When news broke of SMAIL’S REQUIEM, he was inundated with requests to purchase the music from bus lovers and classical purists alike.  It would seem he had unwittingly tapped into the mood of the nation.  As a result, the memory of the nation’s beloved Routemaster buses will live on when ‘REQUIEM FOR THE ROUTEMASTER’ becomes available on APRIL 10th, exclusively on iTUNES.  This release will not only offer the  opportunity to own a beautiful piece of music, but also act as a fitting reminder of a significant moment in British history.  

‘Requiem for The Routemaster’
To be released on  iTunes, 10th April 2006, price 79p.

For  further information please contact:

Karon Maskill on 07768 526262 or 0208 8007222 <>  

Here is a taster of "Requeim for the Routemaster" - click the play button to play in your browser: