It was suggested that I make some examples of my work available, so I created this website. I live in Watford, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom.
Embarkation. I had piano lessons between ages 12 and 14 but then only played sporadically to a basic standard for the next 32 years. At that point I experienced a profoundly vivid dream which motivated me to study clarinet and saxophone then recorders and piano accordion. The accordion is a keyboard-operated wind instrument rather than a wind-powered keyboard instrument; this is not a pedantic distinction - the whole approach to playing and writing for the instrument is different. I am presently learning the G/D melodeon.
All At Sea. In 2001 I joined Northwood Headquarters Royal Naval Volunteer Band, initially as a saxophonist then as a clarinettist. For over five years I learned to play music with others as opposed to the solitary experience of playing the piano at home. I also learned to play whilst kitted out in uniform marching in step across a parade ground. Perhaps this experience helped when I became a Morris musician.
Accepting The Queen's Shilling. A chance encounter in a pub in 2007 led to my involvement in the Morris Dancing fraternity; nobody was more surprised at this turn of events than myself. Initially I played clarinet, then progressively moved to accordion as I became more proficient.
Sailing on. I lead the bands for Pump House Clog Morris, Watford Circle Dance and Eclectic Musicians, a U3A music performance study group. I play accordion in the Friday Folk and DanseHerts bands, clarinet in small ensembles and in Northwood Headquarters Royal Naval Volunteer Band which I rejoined in 2019, and an increasing amount of recorder music in various groups.
Galleys. In late 2009 whilst attempting to memorise some Morris music a simplistic French-sounding folk tune came to me unexpectedly. Never having written any music in my life I assumed it was a fluke, never to be repeated, but since then over 280 tunes, songs and compositions have arrived. Melodies still come out of the blue and also on demand but, not having had a formal musical education, I am now studying the principles of orchestral composition.
CLM - Classical and Light Music Performance Club. I enjoy playing world folk music on accordion and sometimes on recorder or clarinet and much of my creative output is folk-influenced. In Watford and its surrounds there are many folk clubs, open mics and other opportunities to play. But for my more classically-oriented pieces the outlets are limited although my many kind friends in the folk world seem to welcome almost whatever I play. And there is certainly a discussion to be had about where one musical genre ends and another begins.
The folk club 'singaround' is a traditional
turn-and-turn about format. At a singaround event one evening in 2014 it
occurred to me that a similar format for classical players would be nice.
I visualised something like the musical salons and soirée s
sof times gone by. Thus CLM was conceived. Watford Museum kindly provided a performance space free of charge whilst I got the event started in early 2015 and it is now regularly very well attended. There have been strings, singers, piano, recorder, clarinet, accordion, French horn, Indian tabla and harmonium, flute, trumpet and more. CLM is an informal performing opportunity for classical players and runs every two months. Click here for the latest news on CLM.