In its mysterious and brooding textures, something about Herbert Howell's 'Paean' resonated immediately with me when I first heard it in 2013. I had played 'Pageantry' and knew of 'Three Figures', two staple works within the brass band repertoire. I was curious to learn more about one of of England's great 20th century composers, and … Continue reading Paean: Celebrating Herbert Howells
What a difference three years can make. It is roughly that long since I first made a trumpet sextet version of this little arrangement, which later became the version that Manger Musikklag performed so beautifully last Sunday evening: Rehearsing this piece with the band transported me back to a difficult period. When it was written, … Continue reading I know in heaven, a castle
A new dawn begins in Manger Musikklag, one of Norway's oldest and most successful brass bands. I'm very privileged and honoured that they've chosen to appoint me as their new principal cornet, with several other major changes in place. This opportunity brings me to Bergen, an incredibly beautiful city with a strong cultural scene. Read … Continue reading Manger Musikklag: a new dawn
It's been over two years since I posted on this blog, and so an overhaul of this online professional portfolio has been somewhat overdue. There's been a few tweaks to represent current activities timed with a recent relocation to Bergen. Notably, a new professional focus on cornet, and graphic design services being offered. It's been two years, because in that time I have been attempting to adapt to a new culture, one in which it seems talking about one's self in public is deeply frowned upon. Since arriving in Norway, the cultural differences have fascinated more than frustrated me. I have learned about 'The law of jante' or 'janteloven' being a concept embedded into Scandinavian societies. It is a subtle yet strong attitude that bonds people together with noticeable contrast to attitudes of UK society. Anyone unfamiliar with it can read about it here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_of_Jante At first I thought it was some sort of folk tale, and not to be taken too seriously. Maybe not so literally perhaps these days, but there is undoubtably some sort of adherence to these principles that holds Scandinavian communities together. I respect and admire that enormously, as do Norwegians genuinely respect each other, the land they live on and the cities they share. However, it does present me with some serious head scratching. How to talk one's self up professionally in order to gain employment without in fact talking about one's self at all?! Discuss!!
The Ryedale Festival opens today up in North Yorkshire. In anticipation of the appearance of my group 'æðelfrìth' next week on Friday 24th, this is a synopsis of an original piece that I have written. It is one of four new pieces that will get either a world or UK premiere in our programme. See this link for concert and ticket details. … Continue reading Jórvíkekkoer
As a busy summer of marching looms again, a fresh set of marches have found their way into the repertoire. This one, 'Great Big David', has a predictably Welsh theme to it, and features the tune 'David of the White Rock' in the trio section. Tidy. Nothing remarkable so far. It's a march. It's Welsh. Woop de doo. So … Continue reading How to train your 2nd cornets
This is my first post on what will be an insight into my latest project; the p-Lur. Since demand for Lurs is probably not that great, this is more of an experiment for personal satisfaction than any kind of commercial venture. However, I am currently writing a Viking-inspired piece for my group æðelfrìth which I hope … Continue reading The p-Lur project – part 1
As years go, this will take some beating. An enormous thankyou to all who have been part of making this one so memorable.