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The Sultan of Swing – still rocking after all these years

My mate David, who had made the trek from deepest Dorset, and I were amongst the thousands who flocked to the Royal Albert Hall in London last night to pay homage to the Sultan of Swing, Mark Knopfler. On the London leg of his European ‘Privateering’ Tour, the RAH was rocking to an eclectic mix of recent material as well as some epic contributions from his Dire Straits days. Of course, it’s all minus the headband and long hair these days; rather like the audience – demographically skewed towards seniority. In fact the overall amount of hair on display (audience and band) was on a distinct downward trend, and what you could see was mostly one of fifty shades of . . . → Read More: The Sultan of Swing – still rocking after all these years

Some new material: well, work in progress really.

Two new original instrumentals, and two vocals ‘Stay’ and ‘Hidden in my Eyes’, provided by Hayley Carter. ‘Hidden in my Eyes’ is an original by Hayley. ‘Aquamarine’ was the last effort that I recorded with my faithful old Yamaha AES620. It’s gone to a new home, and has been replaced by an Epiphone Ultra-339, which features on the other three tracks.

Stay; Introducing Hayley Carter

One of the purposes this website has served for me is to give me an outlet to rant, rave or comment about things I enjoy, or about things that get under my skin. Music has been a regular topic, because that’s what I enjoy; I guess it’s under my skin as well, but in the nicest possible way. I’ve posted a number of my guitar-based musical ramblings on here as well, and these came about as the result of a very close friend encouraging me to stop being a closet musician and to put my stuff on the web. So that’s what I did; it hasn’t quite set the world on fire, thank goodness, but’s been a great deal of . . . → Read More: Stay; Introducing Hayley Carter

Music and brain chemistry: Release those Neurotransmitters!

There’s been a subterranean theme to some of my ramblings on here relating to music; basically what is it about music that can stir the soul, and why does some music achieve this and other music achieve the complete opposite? It seems it is necessary to delve into brain chemistry if you really want to get some insight, and there’s a good summary on Brain Pickings. It appears that music has the ability to create a state of arousal by inducing the release of the neurotransmitter dopamine, which also regulates the neurochemistry of love, and offsetting a reward circuit similar to the one drugs exploit. You can also achieve the same state of arousal by running marathons. . . . → Read More: Music and brain chemistry: Release those Neurotransmitters!

All places on the verandah are taken!

The final three candidates have taken their place in music project No.2, ‘On the Verandah’. The three, ‘In the Dark’, ‘Cassola’, and ‘In the Cittie’, are in the listing on My Music page, and are also on SoundCloud…….. and now on BandPage, but available here: Acorde on BandPage. Acorde??? what’s that? Well I have to have a name…. it’s Spanish for ‘Chord’, so there’s a vague correlation with guitar music.

The big question is ‘what next?’ There’s a ‘sameness’ about some of the material in ‘Going Through the Phases’ and ‘On the Verandah’, so I need to diversify more. ‘In the Dark’ and ‘Below Deck’ are a start, both with a bit more complexity in the . . . → Read More: All places on the verandah are taken!

What is this instrument?

No, this isn’t a quiz; I’ve owned this instrument for years, but I’ve no idea what it is!

A 4 course, triple strung, unknown instrument

I acquired it from my mother-in-law’s antique shop; she didn’t know what it was either. At the time, I did make a number of enquiries around various local music shops, but to no avail. Then the internet was invented, and even scouring the fount of all knowledge, Wikipedia, I’m none the wiser. It’s about the . . . → Read More: What is this instrument?

A victory for Celtic (music)?

If you have been across to My Music pages, you will appreciate that technology has the power to mask deficiencies in musical ability 🙂 Elsewhere, I’ve written a bit about my musical provenance, which, lacking any formal background in music theory, and largely based on a shaky knowledge of three and a bit chords, has enabled me to create a few instrumental pieces that sound moderately acceptable to me, but then I’m the composer – what did you expect me to say?! I often question what I’ve done, relative to what I would like to have done; two quite different things. The trouble is that I’m not entirely sure what it is I would have liked to have done. It . . . → Read More: A victory for Celtic (music)?

More music

Another candidate has made it on to the 2nd phase of my personal music project. This one is called Muppet; there’s a reason for the title, but that’s my secret 🙂

I keep wondering how many ‘latent’ musicians there are in the world. In two recent, and totally unrelated conversations I’ve come across a couple of guys who have a similar attitude to music as myself – completely enjoying the experience of making/playing music, but with no desire to seek fame and fortune; probably quite the opposite – happy to keep it as a hobby. One of them, Arran Oakes has an online presence – dig around on his website for some links to his music. The . . . → Read More: More music

I’m no recording star, and that’s OK.

I read a really interesting blog post by Michael Milton ‘I’m No Guitar Hero and I’m Okay with That (Now)’, and boy, did it resonate with me. Having devoted a fair proportion of my formative years trying to master a fourth chord to add to my previous portfolio of three, I found that a family and a career didn’t leave much time to develop my musical talents. The guitar was sadly relegated to the back of a wardrobe. But then…. as the children reached the age of independence, and I made a career shift, the opportunity arose to pick up the guitar again. With this resounding bout of enthusiasm, I signed up for lessons with a local jazz . . . → Read More: I’m no recording star, and that’s OK.