Hope you enjoy them!
Hello good people! I have just recorded and filmed a few videos of instrumental arrangements for Classical guitar of three of my favourite pop songs. My Girl by the Temptations and Moondance by Van Morrison are my own arrangements and there's also an arrangement of God Only Knows by The Beach Boys which I was given a copy of a while back but don't know who made it - please comment below if you can elighten me!
Hope you enjoy them!
I'm very pleased to announce I've been asked to bring my interactive music installation 'The Sonic Balloon' to Exeter's festival of Music, Art, Ideas & Technology, The Lost Weekend this October 6th-8th. The Sonic Balloon will be playable from 4-6pm on the Friday, then most of the day Saturday and Sunday.
The programme contains many exciting sounding interactive pieces, looks like it'll be a fantastic event if you're in that region in October. Hope to see you there!
Read more about it here: The Lost Weekend
I'm very excited to announce that my interactive musical installation The Sonic Balloon is going to be presented at the mighty Stewart Lee's favourite comedy festival, Machynlleth! It can be played for free by all festival goers. Having been as a punter last year I can honestly say it's the best! There's theatre and music too, including that of my friend Sweet Baboo and a great bar!
The programme there this year is absolutely fantastic and I'm very proud to be programmed alongside such great talents in the world of stand-up comedy, a great love of mine.
Come and say hello and lob some bouncy balls at massive balloons, it's very satisfying!
On related news, The Sonic Balloon has a beautiful new dedicated website here. Watch the video, have a browse!
I recently composed music as underscore to a poem called 'Lid Licker' by Rob Auton for the fantastic comedy podcast 'The Beef and Dairy Network Podcast'. It's a brilliantly funny podcast which is well worth subscribing to, but my music and the poem is featured right at the end of episode 19, from the 23 minute mark. The challenge was creating something with the right tone that added something to the atmosphere of the poem but crucially without being at all distracting from the spoken word. Enjoy!
It's been announced that the episode I'm on will be on BBC Radio 4 in May when they shall be playing a selection of the Beef and Dairy network podcasts!
I'm hitting the big time and performing at St David's Hall, Cardiff's premiere Classical music venue next Thursday, 8th December 2016. I shall be playing after Milos Karadaglic's concert at the evnue the same evening (which due to injury is being taken over by Craig Ogden.) It will be at 10:15pm and I shall be playing music by Lauro, Barrios and Dyens/Reinhardt.
Hope to see some of you there!
The Classical Revolution began in San Francisco in 2006 with the intention of bringing Classical music out of the confines of the concert hall and out into the wider world where it can be appreciated by a wider public. After being involved in the Paris chapter and returning to Cardiff, I decided Wales could do with a Classical Revolution of its own. So tomorrow, Sunday 2nd October, 3-5pm at Little Man Coffee on Bridge Street in the city centre sees the inaugural event of Classical Revolution Cardiff.
For players its a unique opportunity to meet and network with other local Classical musicians, perform in an informal environment to a new audience, form new contacts and ensembles and hopefully get work from the audience wanting you to play at their events. Oh, and you get free coffee made by the fine barristas at Little Man!
For the audience, it's a unique opportunity to hear high quality live Classical music in an informal setting for free!
Bring friends and family. Join the Classical Revolution:
Back in May this year I was approached by Llawn Arts Weekend, an annual arts festival in the lovely Victorian town of Llandudno on the North Wales coast to create a musical spectacle on the theme of 'Hide and Seek' and 'Fun'. During a month of development, I explored the traditional games of the fairground which brought me to the concept of reimagining the coconut shy for the 21st century, using music technology, bouncy balls instead of wooden balls and huge helium balloons in place of coconuts. How could it not be fun?
It was clear that beyond the concept and writing the music, I was going to require technical expertise beyond my capabilities, so brought in Electromechanical Music Technologist Jay Harrison whose marvellous lithophone I'd seen in action at Machynlleth Comedy Festival earlier in the year. Using accelerometers, Max-MSP software and his maths and physics genius he made the balloons sense the strikes of bounced rubber balls which in turn would mute or unmute an instrumental section of the virtual 'orchestra' conducted by the audience-participants.
The music I composed for this installation was to be fun, generally upbeat and compelling. I used a combination of real guitars (classical and electric) and VST instruments recorded on to a DAW, including brass and string sections, piano and drums. Each instrumental section was controlled by the relevant helium balloon. While the music was going to be contemporary in aesthetic, I thought it'd be useful given the intention of creating a piece of 8-12 minutes duration to have a solid structure behind it, so I thought it'd be fun to turn back to the much more formalised music of the 18th century and give it the structure of a miniaturised Classical symphony. The result was a 9 minute piece of three concurrent movements: the first medium tempo in sonata form, followed by a slow movement in triple time ternary structure, finishing with a faster final movement in rondo form. Within this I melded a cinematic, orchestral pop piece with a swing jazz beat and syncopated pop rhythms, whose texture and dynamic could be altered by ball throwers, bringing instruments in and out at their whim.
We had lots of very positive comments in the book, from "Really really fun and good" from Millie, age 3 to "Like a kid again, age 75 yrs". Over two days The Sonic Balloon had 1002 participants.
We are currently putting together a video trailer before putting it out to music and community arts festivals across the country and beyond.
Listen to the music for The Sonic Balloon on the player below
I'm excited to announce that I shall be composing music for a plethora of instruments as part of an original art installation at Llawn in Llandudno, North Wales in place for the duration of the festival, 23rd-25th September 2016. The piece will be a collaboration with Music Technologist Jay Harrison and Llawn Arts Weekend.
'The Sonic Balloon' (a play on the curious sound phenomenon 'sonic boom') is a fun, interactive musical installation incorporating music technology, multi-instrumental composition, six three-foot helium balloons, and three buckets of bouncy balls.
In a large room, six large helium balloons will be tethered to the floor at differing heights. Three buckets of small rubber bouncy balls will be available to the audience-participants to be bounced off the floor (and if appropriate, walls and ceiling) with the aim of hitting a balloon. Once struck, via connected sensors wired up to a computer, a track (one of six instrumental groupings) is 'un-muted' and plays through the speakers. Any number of these tracks can be muted again by a second ball strike, and so on, indefinitely. The six musical voices are looped and together the public play the part of conductor, bringing instruments in and out of the performance, creating a constantly unique composition by changing its texture, overall dynamic, and instrumentation.
The joy of the piece is that in the finished article, 'audience-participants' become performers who control the way the piece acts by throwing balls as if they were playing a futuristic musical coconut shy.
Hope to see you there!
I've had the pleasure of playing several sunny June weddings over the past couple of weeks, at some impressive manor houses in Gloucestershire, South Wales, and Hampshire. I've played brides and grooms down the aisles to Enrique Granados' Valse Poeticos (available to buy on CD here), The Beatles, and the theme from 'Love Actually'. There are still dates free over the summer if you are planning your wedding music or require a beautiful backdrop to any event outdoors or in! Please get in touch via my contact form.