Good morning! Welcome to my web site, where you can find out about my music, and listen to some of it, as well as my various other ventures over the years.
Whoo - new look! I hope you enjoy the new colour scheme (for which at least partial thanks to my wife Mary, who has just described it as ‘Rupert Bear’!). I thought the old look was getting awfully dreary and it was time for a change (it’s also simpler this way, technically speaking). While I was at it, I updated quite a bit of the text.
Meanwhile, my new MIDI mix of Double Entendre, using the much better brass and piano sounds now at my disposal, is finished. Although these sounds are far superior to those I used before, I had to make a few compromises due to the lack of some of the proper brass band instruments, mainly the horns in the middle (tenor, baritone, euphonium), but it seems to have worked out well — it’s certainly a vast improvement on the previous recording, so I’ve added it to YouTube and SoundCloud. Full technical details are available on the Double Entendre page.
I finished the first movement of the new orchestral version of my 1977/85 Trumpet Concerto (originally for trumpet and brass band) a little while ago, albeit subject to any revisions that might arise in the light of what follows in the other two movements. The second, slow movement — dedicated in memoriam Duke Ellington who had recently died when I wrote it, with the soloist playing a flugelhorn and featuring bits of Ellington’s lovely Mood Indigo floating in and out of the textures — is also now done, at least in a first draft. A very large quantity of notes to come in the finale!
Our set now includes a piece of my own, Kapadokya, which was developed from one of the tunes I originally wrote for The Europeans back in 1995. It’s a sort of perverted pseudo-Turkish dance, and seems to be going well. This is, as far as I know, the first non-Ramsing composition Psychoyogi has ever played!
We (and, we think, the audience) really enjoyed our Shropshire gig on 7 April, at the Hermon Chapel Arts Centre in Oswestry. A lovely place with very welcoming people, and a nice, responsive audience who actually listened to what we were doing — a nice change from the usual pub gigs. At fairly short notice we’ve been invited to play at what could be a similar sort of venue to the Hermon: The Edge in Birmingham on Friday 15 June, a Club Integral Midlands Branch (CIMB) event. It’s quite a long list of acts, of which we may well be the least experimental! And we’re back at our old haunt Biddle Bros. in Hackney on 7 July.
The ‘live’ videos of four of our songs have been well received and appreciated. These were not in front of an audience, hence my scare-quotes, but we did play and record in real time — it was all done in our drummer Jonas’s bedroom! It was good fun, if a little tricky to negotiate the stands for three mics, three cameras and three lights in a very confined space — but we managed. They’re all on YouTube: Therapy Session, The Magic Tellingbone, Happy Family and Evening Call.
- I’ve revisited 60 Minims and made a new realisation of it (the original audio being lost).
- The final movement (but first to be composed) of my new chamber orchestra work Hall of Mirrors is now complete, along with my usual MIDI recording.
- I redid my page on The Europeans, complete with some of the music (by no means all of the pieces) for your listening and dining pleasure. Apart from Psychoyogi it was my main musical activity for a while, until I got back down to Hall of Mirrors (see above).
- There’s a new(ish) page on the site, for the benefit of composers struggling to keep track of their harp pedal settings. Very niche, I know, but it could well be handy for some folks. And yes, I’m well aware that it doesn’t work too well on various types of touch-screen and mobile device, but I’m afraid I can’t dedicate the rest of my life to catering for whatever kind of hybrid device the industry thinks up next! I found this page immensely useful while working on the harp part of Hall of Mirrors.
- Original The Bebop Variations for brass trio recorded with MIDI — listen here.
- New scores of the Trumpet Concerto and — possibly my strangest work — in heaven... to replace old handwritten versions. PDF extracts available to download.
- Original 1974 recording of Formative Years now available for listening to here, on YouTube and on SoundCloud. Real human musicians! Some of them now jazz luminaries.
Apart from all that, naturally, this web site: explore my works, read my biography, keep track of your harp pedal settings, and see what’s on the various other pages. You can also get in touch with me via the Contact form. And for those with a taste for historical technical curiosities, there’s even a page about my NotaFile document — and the document itself.
As well as listening to my MIDI recordings on this site, you can visit my channels on YouTube and SoundCloud to hear the same MIDI realizations of eight of my works, and see the same YouTube videos as you can see here, to get a glimpse of the scores (in most cases). These pieces are available: Hall of Mirrors V, Bebop, lovesongs, The Bossa Nova Variations, Return of the Son of the Bebop Variations, Variations on a Theme of George Harrison, Music for an Imaginary Ballet, Five Pieces for Saxophone Quartet and a little musical joke called Porterstraum.
Also on the Listen page is my standard disclaimer about MIDI recordings, and a note about browser compatibility with the players for YouTube, SoundCloud and plain MP3s embedded in these pages.
And in case anyone’s wondering, what I’m actually looking at in that photo is not the score of String Quartet no.1, but a large owl perched on my wrist.