Category: Musings

Word painting – the musical Easter egg (Cracked Voices blog)

Computer programmes and video games often include Easter eggs – little intentional secrets, inside messages or secrets to be found by the users and players. I’ve always thought of word painting (in the musical sense!) somewhat in the same way.   When related to text, word painting is all about the use of highly descriptive…
Read more

The blurred lines of music, science and nature

I’ve always felt there were blurred lines between music and nature, as nature seems to be where I get my most instinctive compositional urges – inspiration, ideas and snippets of music. If I’m not feeling particularly creative and am in need of inspiration, a walk out in the world will normally restore my mind more…
Read more

Taking the time to be creative for yourself.

As artists, we tend to work slightly crazy hours, and never really switch off. For the majority of practitioners, it’s not for the money, the prospects, or the security (ha!). It’s because it’s something we love. It’s a good job we love it, too, as we tend to work such long hours. In the majority of cases, artists have…
Read more

Why doesn’t C sound like D?

I’m talking about keys of course – not the notes themselves! We all have favourite scales and keys. My current ones seem to have tonic notes between C and E flat. Why is that? Why, when we tend to use an equally tempered scale, does one scale sound differently to us than another? There are…
Read more

To excerpt, or not to excerpt?

In the modern musical world, there are so many different elements music creators have to juggle in every element of their work. Once the final piece has been sculpted, however, another question arises: How do you share it? After the last series of blog posts I uploaded, containing excerpts from Scenes from a Train, I…
Read more

Letting go: Let your music ‘be’

Do you have a favourite piece, or pieces, of music? Most people tend to. What about a favourite recording of said piece? It will most likely feature a specific group or ensemble, a particular arrangement, or your favourite conductor. One example of mine is In The Hall of the Mountain King from Peer Gynt, by…
Read more

Moving on: Hello 2012!

As the new year draws in, I have a habit of reviewing the one that’s just gone by – compositionally, at least – and drawing up my wish list for the year ahead. Here goes: Composing This year, I’ve paid particular attention to experimenting with my compositional voice and exploring new ideas, yet always aiming…
Read more

A ‘new’ take on the ‘old’

Whilst doing my undergraduate degree, I took a module where I had to write a ‘contemporary’ piece that drew on a ‘contemporary’ compositional style, such as minimalism or serialism. In the end I chose both – a duet for two instruments (though only one performer!), with each using a different style. Although I’d dabbled with…
Read more

Creative Pact reflections (a little later than planned!)

It’s been a while! September and October have been busy months full of lots of deadlines, teaching and excitement. Technically, it’s not been quite as long as it seems. For the whole of September, I didn’t update here but instead updated my Creative Pact blog. The aim of the Creative Pact project is to spend…
Read more

The importance of listening

The National Curriculum refers to four areas of musicality that should be taught: performance, composition, appraisal and listening. These four are supposed to be taught in equal portions, as part of a balanced musical diet as it were. However, as we advance through our musical careers, it becomes all too easy to forget these things.…
Read more

RSS
Facebook
Facebook