Songwriting Competition

It’s June 1st, and the beginning of Summer.

I can’t think of a better way to celebrate than with a little competition. Why not write a song inspired by or quoting from the Psalms?

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It’s Christmas

It’s not really Christmas. Not yet.

It’s not Christmas. I’m not daft. It’s seven months away.

But at the same time, I’d like to share a piece I’ve written that you might want to use at Christmas. Last year I fulfilled a bucket-list ambition and entered a composition competition with an original work for SATB.

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A hymn for Trinity Sunday

I’m at it again. Do you want to join my merry band?

Literally in this case! We are recording the traditional hymn Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty for Trinity Sunday and everyone is welcome to get involved.

The text "Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty in capitals, set on a dark background.
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Happy Ascension Day!

Hear the joyous sound of our virtual choir welcoming Ascension Day with a traditional hymn:

Can I take another opportunity to thank the contributors for their time and effort, and the folks from St James’ Church, Hill and Aldridge Parish Church who support and encourage these projects especially in a time of isolation.

Happy Ascension Day. Here comes Pentecost!

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Ascension Day Choir

This year my church was hoping to join others in our deanery for the annual Ascension Day service, but that clearly isn’t going to happen.

Screenshot of Garageband with multiple tracks.

I’ve been recording and publishing a couple of hymns every week with St James’ Church, and done a few projects with my “home” parish of Aldridge; and I’m hoping we can assemble a nice big virtual choir for a specific hymn.

We’re recording Crown Him with Many Crowns.

Everybody is invited and welcome. I’ve laid out some general directions below and you can sing your part in to join with us. It will be published here on Ascension Day and also form part of the Ascension Day celebration from St James which will appear on their Facebook page the same day.

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Virtual Community Choir

In lockdown, as we are, what else was I going to do with my free time but throw myself into a community music project? Feast your ears on this fine effort: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SdYFyrSgFtA

This is my first attempt at pulling together an open choir of people from across a community and I’ve learned a few key lessons doing it. Here, then, are my top five tips for virtual community choirs:

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Short & Brutal

Today I have decided to tidy up a few odds and ends with regard to projects I’ve had on the boil or at least simmering away for the last couple of years. So, first out of the gate is Short and Brutal, a three player player game where the first to occupy and hold the centre ground wins.

I like the game idea because I always feel two against one (a la Blockbuster) is difficult to balance but painful experience as the eldest of three sons teaches me that in a world of constantly shifting allegiances it’s often easier to set one of your opponents against the other and sit back with the popcorn.

The official Short & Brutal logo, which simply features the words "Short & Brutal" in a block font.

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vox ignis

Over the years I’ve written a number of songs and pieces of music for church use or with an overtly Christian theme.

Rather than bunch them all with the rest of my work, I’m pulling them together into this one place.

vox ignis is a couple of Latin words, for “voice” and “fire” (as in a beacon, a light on a hill) and I hope that imagery will be persistent. There’s a whole load of Biblical connotations to both words, but I’m not going to explore that here. Please feel free to browse through what I already have, and don’t hesitate to ask if you have an idea you’d commission me to write.

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Diverse Dancers

Tonight I had great fun in Balsall Heath at the wonderful Ort Café with Najma Hush presiding over an evening of poetry music art and all collected around a theme of dance. Continue reading »

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Interesting Gig Proposal

I received an e-mail today from Najma Hush. She’s a very nice person who is launching an exhibition at the Ort Café on Friday February 21st.

You can see details of the event on Facebook.
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