Archive for notejuste

A Summer Psalm – The Winning Piece

Many thanks to the musicians who took the time to write, score and submit entries for A Summer Psalm.

There were some wonderful pieces, but in the end only one winner – Turning by Deanna Witkowski. You can hear the piece for four parts with piano accompaniment on Soundcloud here, or view the score which is for sale on her website here.

Deanna is a professional freelance musician, with extensive church liturgy experience. Although successful in competitions in the USA, this is her first win outside her home country.

Needless to say I now have to turn the small prize monies into actual US Dollars, and ship them to New York.

A couple of other entries deserve particular thanks and mention – Tony Orbell’s Hear My Cry, a setting of Psalm 142 and Darryll Prew’s Psalm 51 were both excellent and shortlisted for final consideration. Well done chaps, and best of luck in future competitions.

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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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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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Live at the Tree House

Talk about putting the gig in giggle! We played last night to the massed crowds of Kenilworth (or at least the three who turned up) at the Tree House Bookshop.

Andy and I (as Dischord) had an absolute blast. With unusual presence of mind, I recorded some bits of the gig, and we’ve put out an EP for folks to listen to. I hope you thoroughly enjoy it, as much as we enjoyed playing.

 

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Live in the Tree House

I’ve just confirmed a gig at The Tree House Bookshop in Kenilworth. Details are available here on Facebook, if you want to see a map and confirm attendance there.

If you fancy coming, but don’t use Facebook, just let me know via another channel (a comment here, even) and we’ll factor you in. I don’t expect we’ll push the capacity of the venue, but it would be good to know you’ll be there. It kicks off at 8 o’clock in the evening on November 14th.

I’m delighted to be able to do a small scale gig somewhere interesting, and to share in the fun, Andy Arnold will be joining me on guitar. Continue reading »

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Bunch of Keys – new album

I’ve just released Bunch of Keys┬ávia Bandcamp, and it’s available now. It’s a free download unless you fancy paying for it, which I kind of hope you will.

Bunch of Keys

It was recorded in one night using some original material which I had composed, and a couple of old melodies, to inspire a set of raw unrehearsed improvised pieces.

Enjoy

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