We have now completed the recording, mixing and mastering of a new piece of creative music that myself and Eve Harrison (Manchester based trumpeter, classical composer) produced and performed for Durham Brass Festival 2014.

Electro-Brass was a commission by Durham Brass Festival through their Brass:Pitch commission series which looks at fresh perspectives on Brass Music. Given my love of playing with found sounds, I was particularly interested in recording the non-musical sounds of a brass instrument – such as the valve actions and the nice pings the instruments make – and then using them as a palette for electronic music textures, drums and percussion.

The brass elements are played by a brass trio Eve Harrison on trumpet, Helen Beauchamp on French horn and Matt Krening on Euphonium. The aim to take the listener on a journey from the non-musical inner mechanical sounds of the brass instruments through pure, lyrical brass melodies and harmonies culminating in uplifting, beat-led electronic music and brass fanfare (of sorts!).

For more info see the Electro-Brass page on the Durham Brass Festival 2014 site.

Hope you enjoy the ride!

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“People United believes that the arts and culture have a powerful and unique role to play in bringing about social change”

As you may know my last album Til You’re No Longer Blinkered had behind it a concept of self-knowledge and self-compassion in the aim of connecting with self and others for a happier healthier individual and society.

This might seem all a bit fluffy and can feel like that when I try to articulate it.

So I was very happy to come across an organisation called People United who have conducted research into the whether The Arts can be a ‘Superconductor’ for kindness, compassion, connection and belonging. They say:

“At first kindness can seem rather lightweight, particularly if it is understood as only referring to individual acts of generosity and thoughtfulness. However, a deeper examination reveals it as a muscular concept with a rich heritage. Stemming from the old English word ‘cynd’, kindness indicates a common humanity emphasising our connections in the present and across time..”

cat singing

And what with our what I can only describe as a consistently disheartening Tory/coalition government (and prospective British government alternatives) and other separatist agencies – it is becoming more pressing for me that compassion is key. Surely it is part of really growing up and evolving?
Some sense of connected-ness to others you share the air with?

As I develop a new live show and hopefully a new recordings/mini-album for 2015, I reflect on what seems to be becoming a driving force behind my music – compassion and inter-connectedness..maybe I am getting too idealistic..can I really expect music to be a tool for social change?

"the universe is in you, you are complete"

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Ada Lovelace Day 2014 – A celebration of Women in STEM at the Royal Institution of Great Britain, London

August 13, 2014

Well, you may have heard of Delia Derbyshire Day, and there is also an Ada Lovelace Day which takes place at the Royal Institution of Great Britain in London on TUES OCT 14th 2014.

Who is Ada Lovelace (1815-1852)? Only the woman who is said to have written the first computer programme and was instrumental in [...]

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Electro-Brass at Durham Brass Festival 2014: electronic music meets brass music!

July 2, 2014

Excited to announce a new piece of music that myself and Eve Harrison (trumpeter, classical composer) have come up with for Durham Brass Festival 2014 which takes place in July.
Electro-Brass is a commission by Durham Brass Festival through their Brass:Pitch commission series which looks at fresh perspectives on Brass Music. Given my love of [...]

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I’m doing the Great North Swim 2014!

May 6, 2014

So, I am officially a little bit crazy. After all them years in pain that I have now been somewhat liberated from, I am now going looking for adversity. I am doing the Great North Swim 2014 on 14 June at Lake Windermere – yes it is the one that Davina MacColl did and nearly [...]

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Delia Derbyshire Day 2014 – Manchester and now on tour in England

March 31, 2014

Following on from the glowing success of Delia Derbyshire Day 2013, DD Day 2014 took place on SAT 12 APRIL at The Anthony Burgess Foundation here in Manchester UK. Nice that we had another full house and warm audience for our event honouring one of the pioneering women in electronic music whose fascinating archive happens [...]

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Recent random rarities – sound tourism, breaking glass and experimental music school

March 10, 2014

As spring finally springs over here, I wanted to share a couple of candid random rarities I have happened across recently.
Sound tourism – Prof Trevor Cox’s Sonic Wonders
As part of the University of Manchester’s Cafe Scientifique series, I thoroughly enjoyed a suitably wondrous talk by Professor Trevor Cox about his Sonic Wonders- a website and [...]

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new year = new electronic music actions

January 23, 2014

I really am thankful nigh on everyday for being able to do more so free of yesteryear’s draining pain. O the joy for lucky me. And this year already has some right fun creative music projects in store.
DD DAY 2014
After the shimmering success of Delia Derbyshire Day 2013 in Manchester, UK and the following North [...]

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Outcomes of Delia Derbyshire inspired music technology course in schools pilot

November 28, 2013

With Delia Derbyshire estate approval, thanks to Arts Council England support and in partnership with One Education and John Rylands library, we have now completed the pilot course of workshops in 2 primary schools in Greater Manchester as part of our Delia Derbyshire Day project.
And here are the audio outcomes..

In their evaluation, the young participants [...]

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Back to skool thanks to fascinating Delia Derbyshire archive

September 26, 2013

After the inspiring journey that led to Delia Derbyshire Day in MCR in Jan 2013, I am rather stoked to be about to deliver a pilot electronic music and music technology course of workshops based around the work and archive of the late great electronic music pioneer Delia Derbyshire (1937-2001).

With Arts Council England support [...]

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