Self-promotion vs janteloven

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: 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!!

Practising practice

This is a short summary of a presentation that I was privileged to be invited to give just over a month ago to some of my colleagues on the subject of managing practice. That is; the practice of practise. Apparently they found this collection of these ideas quite inspiring and motivational, so I have decided to share … Continue reading Practising practice

The diaphragm delusion

"Use your diaphragm!" ...said a brass or vocal teacher, somewhere, always. The response from the student; nearly always puzzled, if not nodding quietly to mask confusion and/or risk of suggested ignorance. This well used phrase may be yielding results from some students. Yet, I don't know of anyone that I have met who can knowingly … Continue reading The diaphragm delusion


Last Friday I had the pleasure of spending time again in a class with Anthony Plog, trumpet lecturer and scholar. A true thinker of the trumpet world, and of music and life practice generally. He has his own very interesting blog at, so what I write here is an interpretation of his brief and … Continue reading #Plogisms

Pacho Flores – ‘Cantar’

Sometimes there is talent in the world that doesn't always get the recognition it deserves. Fortunately, in the age of blogging and social media, the power to elevate that talent now lies with us and to a lesser extent with the corporations who will continue to flex their financial muscles to force exposure and airplay. … Continue reading Pacho Flores – ‘Cantar’

A week on wheels

It's been over three weeks now since I rode into Hull after six days on the saddle. I'd spent the past 250+ miles wondering how I might feel at the sight of the Humber bridge, and at no point did I expect the tide of emotion that welled my eyes at this point. Neither did … Continue reading A week on wheels

Day 6: 4th Sep

This morning I had the great privilege of spending time in Richard Smith's workshop, getting to know more about Smith-Watkins, the instruments, Richard's scientific research and of Derek's part in the company.   Most intriguing were Richard's experiments into brass instrument performance, especially the revelation to me that it was not necessary for any air to … Continue reading Day 6: 4th Sep


Riding a long trail presents all kinds of challenges; of weather, fitness, equipment, nutrition, navigation, and no doubt more I shall discover along the way. But to add the challenge, I've set myself a tight schedule of visits along route. These visits will be checkpoints for the ride. You may wish to sponsor me based … Continue reading Checkpoints