Random acts of connectivity

The neural pathways through our brains seem to be able to throw random thoughts together in ways that defy any logical assumptions, unless of course you are seriously into seriously weird stuff. So, on the one hand, and like a significant proportion of the UK, my brain is trying to come to terms with the outcome of last week’s ‘Brexit’ vote, and on the other hand, I’m indulging in a ‘let’s pretend it didn’t happen’ daydream, and seeking solace in music. So all around us is a political train wreck, as everyone who engineered this crisis chooses to walk away and leave someone else to clear up the mess. In an attempt to escape ‘resignation bingo’, I listen to music. . . . → Read More: Random acts of connectivity

A Day in Boston

…not strictly true – the photos were taken over two days, a year apart! They were taken mainly around Boston Harbour, carefully avoiding the ‘Boston Tea Party’ exhibits – us Brits don’t like to talk about that too much!

Both visits to Boston were business-related (a conference). This year’s conference was held at the Hyatt Boston Harbour hotel – it appears in the video – and offered the most amazing conference room with a rather distracting backdrop – the view across Boston Harbour:


Eurovision Song Contest – why?

And as the flames climbed high into the night To light the sacrificial rite I saw Satan laughing with delight The day the music died

From Don McLean’s song ‘American Pie’ – commemorating Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J. P. Richardson (The Big Bopper) who died in a plane crash. Don obviously didn’t know about the Eurovision Song Contest, but we await the sequel ‘European Pie’.

Pioneering – the musical

Picking up on the ‘Pioneers’ story in my previous post about ‘Doing Something for Nothing‘, I’ve re-worked and remixed one of the guitar instrumentals I recorded a while ago in order to dedicate it to the amazing group of matchday volunteers at the Saracens Rugby Club stadium, Allianz Park. (They may hate me for this!) The new version is called Pioneering. Anyone brave enough to listen, just follow the link and click the little arrow next to the title.


Where’s that weird noise coming from?


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!

More verandah music

Three more numbers added on the My Music page, and everything is on SoundCloud as well. The new ones are: Below Deck, Green Ginger and Ensolarada.

Three more needed to complete the second set of twelve!

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?