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Running a 66 piece orchestral session with StaffPad…

I recently had a 66 piece orchestral session and decided to produce all scores and parts with StaffPad alone. This is stretching the pu...

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Autumn Almanac

Beautiful sunset over Much Hadham last week...Definite feel of Autumn in the air, but with the possibility of a few nice sunny days left!!!

The harvest is continuing...There are a few cornfields left which were held up by a couple of recent bursts of rain. In fact, the weather has been pretty cold recently, so we've ordered our first batch of logs already!!!

The apples and pears are ripening early, so I'm not sure if we'll get them to the cider press day in time. So we'll be trying wine instead of scrumpy if this happens.

I'm continuing my work with Cubase 6 and am finding it very good still.

TV picks for this week...

Highland Emergency is showing on 5* on weekend afternoons.

The Water Boatman double bill is on Tuesdays at 10pm Discovery Shed.

My Cypriot Kitchen begins a run on PIK1 in Cyprus at 7.30pm on Saturdays.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


I do have a bit of a one track mind in that I tend to think about music rather a lot!!! However, I do have a few other interests...One being listening to the radio. Ever since I was a small boy, I've enjoyed picking out distant radio broadcasts from the static. This is probably why I find writing music for radio stations so exciting, particularly when they're a long way away...It's exciting to know that my music is being listened to by people around the world!!!

So, I was very excited when Radio Bialystok in Poland asked me to provide music for their 24 hour news bulletins. You can also hear my music on Radio Plzeň, Radio Pardubice, Radio Hradec Králové, Radio Ostrava, Radio Sever and Radio Brno in the Czech Republic. Many thanks to my publishers at Apollo Poland and Studio Fontana for making this possible!!!

I am still enjoying my new hobby of off-road cycling despite nearly falling off in order to avoid running over two foxes and a weasel (not at the same time!!!).

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


I've been watching the progress with the harvest as I cycle round the footpaths and bridleways. There was a but of a hitch earlier this year when some heavy rain started some new growth under the crops which needed to be dealt with, but the weather has been very good. Bit by bit, the combines have been making their way across the fields, closely followed by the plough.

All this activity has inspired another piece called Harvest Sun...I'll post pics of it when it's finished.

TV news...

Octopus Volcano is running this week on Nat Geo Wild and also on their HD channel.

Wednesday 17th at 2pm
Thursday 18th at 1am
Sunday 12am at 12am

I'd love to know if anyone is watching these in HD with surround sound!!! All the music was mixed in 5.1.

The Water Boatman continues on Discovery Shed on Tuesdays with a double bill starting at 10pm.

My Greek Kitchen is on many times over the weekend on Discovery RT and DMAX.

...and I should have news soon about TX dates for the new series of Highland Emergency.

Monday, August 01, 2011

The Moleskine Sessions

I reckon that my appreciation of Moleskine notebooks has been noticed by readers of this blog by now. I use the pocket reporter notebook to note down any ideas and reminders and the pocket music notebook for sketches and even complete pieces.

Although I love using Cubase and Sibelius and the various software programs and plugins that are available these days, I find that there is nothing quite like putting pencil to paper, particularly when out and about for getting fresh and novel ideas recorded for later use. I've written a couple of complete pieces in there too…‘The Shipping Forecast On Lundy’ for oboe and string orchestra and ‘That Which Rolls’ for flute, Bb clarinet, harp and string quartet.

Both pieces are very influenced by ‘Pataphysics. I am sure that I will continue to enjoy the writings of Alfred Jarry, but I think that this will be my last '‘Pataphysical pieces' for a while as I feel that it is beginning to get in the way of the music. Here are the pieces presented as photographs of my notebook.

That Which Rolls
...for Flute, Bb clarinet, harp and string quartet.
This was written on and inspired by my cycle journeys around the footpaths and bridleways which are close to where I live.

The Shipping Forecast On Lundy
...for oboe and string orchestra.
Written on the island of Lundy which is in the Bristol Channel. I wrote this three piece suite after hearing the BBC Shipping Forecast and realising that I was in one of the places mentioned.

On TV this week...

Engineering Ancient Egypt, More 4 Sat 6th at 10pm (and +1)
Engineering Ancient Egypt, More 4 Sun 7th at 1.30am (and +1)
My Greek Kitchen and My Cypriot Kitchen continue on Discovery.
The Water Boatman is showing on Discovery Shed on Tuesdays at 10 and 10.30pm.
Central Steam is also on at weekends on Discovery too.

I'm just writing some more music for VenturaFilms and preparing for a visit for musical meetings in Dublin at the end of the month.