Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Wrong turnings...

This improvisation went wrong at the end (and at the same time, weirdly, the technology decided to screw-up as well). But wrong turnings are always interesting (I took some great ones yesterday on my way to the CETIS conference). Despite the fact that they're always challenging, stressful, etc... new things emerge from them. I think they should be encouraged. JISC's 'content' call could be a really good thing!

Monday, 24 November 2008

Baroque disaster!

This is using quick-capture again, but for some reason the audio settings didn't work properrly - so it virtually unlistenable to... but I quite like the baroque thing. Birmingham tomorrow for Andrew Feenberg...

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Sunday Quick Capture

I haven't used YouTube's quick capture before, but it certainly saves time (which I have to do because I've got a lot of work today). Difficult day. Took Izzy out of church because she was looking SO miserable! Shouted. Not happy (but not feeling great actually). Then we went to Pizza Hut.

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Harp Song

This was a bit of an afterthought after a slow Saturday indoors. I should really do some work, but can't bring myself to it. Nice Thai meal with Carol and Phil. Thinking about moving house.

Ghostly and ineffible

Something very strange on this very cold day. Izzy made a video in preparation for her presentation in school. Bit of a battle. Astrid amused her on Skype from London. Technology's wonderful!

Friday, 21 November 2008

Jazzy afterthought

This really was an afterthought. More of a technical exercise than anything else. Lovely package from Astrid this evening.

Something more lively

I want a finale for my quartet.. maybe not something this jazzy, but it does feel quite grounded. Rondo's are about being grounded.. always returning (I think this is why they are often final movements). This doesn't quite "always return", but not that different. Still haven't finished evaluation paper. Must do this weekend!

Tragic moods

Thinking a lot about tragic things (funny because I'm quite happy). But it strikes me that one of the great features of modern life is that we've lost some sense of mortality. Death is not ever-present as it was in the past (heard Schubert's Death and the Maiden quartet earlier today - a good example). Mortality is important - particularly when thinking about technology. It gives us the perspective where the ephemeral becomes eternal. So one quartet improvisation, but first "tragic" which I'm really pleased with (it was an afterthought!)

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Walter Crane

I forgot my camera. Sometimes things like this are real opportunities to do something different. I wanted to do something wistful, and the idea of combining Walter Crane illustrations with musical accompaniment occurred to me.. The aging of the movie works really well too, I think..

Teaching about video!

And here's a video I did for work to teach people how to create interesting videos for teaching and learning...


This might be the Scherzo movement for my quartet...


I wanted to do something in the manner of a string quartet... had something in mind when I left Astrid on Monday morning which I really liked, but now can't remember it (must write stuff down - need a notebook like Beethoven!). I think it involved Britten's flattened-major 7th clash chord.

Thursday, 13 November 2008


I really like this improvisation - I was listening to Stravinsky's "The Fairy's Kiss" on the radio after taking Izzy home, and was particularly taken with the gentle tuneful chromaticism of it. (Nasty accident on the way home on the A34 by the way - teenager in hit-and-run. Police everywhere. Was troubled by this and late to pick Izzy up.) The music sounds more like Sibelius than Stravinsky, but I still like it.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008


I did this improvisation just to do something different from the previous ones. I think I've done something like this before (it's a bit like Scriabin).. I can't remember..

Non-Stop day

It's been a non-stop day.. rather too much going on, with SPLICE (setting up evaluation day), strategy, IDIBL, etc... This is an atonal improvisation which I did after the chromatic one which I'm still uploading.

Another 16th Century improvisation

Here's something a bit different...

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Ground State

After the turmoil of yesterday's improvisations, this is much calmer. Using the open 5ths in the bass as a way of 'grounding' the music....

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Twinkle Twinkle Little War

Been thinking about war recently (it's that time of year.. and the american elections bring these things home a bit too). War is the one complexity that we can't really deal with. There is little adaptation one can do, it is more infinitely complex than any attempt to counter with it. Unlike any other threat, including climate change, or terrorism (and terrorism isn't war). All we can do is to avoid it, and ensure some resource to regulate its complexity (armies). So this first improvisation is about war. The second is something lighter based on twinkle twinkle little star.

Monday, 3 November 2008

Happy times, sad music

The saddest music is often written at the happiest times (and vice-versa). This is pretty desolate music, but I'm quite pleased with it... I'm not feeling desolate at all (quite the opposite!), but my happy mood seems to free me up to express something deeply sad...