The Grandmothers at Porgy & Bess, Vienna

This concert was billed as “The Music of Frank Zappa performed by Original Members of the Mothers of Invention”, which is a bit of a mouthful, but the band are basically the latest incarnation of ‘The Grandmothers of Invention’. Bunk Gardner and Don Preston played with the Mothers from ‘Absolutely Free’, forming an important part

Patchwork Scriabin

The wonderful Composer Quest podcast is celebrating the life of composer Alexander Scriabin (who died 100 years ago this week) by producing a version of his Prelude in A minor, Op. 11 No. 2 that features 68 different forms of instrumentation, one for each bar of music. I am happy to have provided two of

Highly Socksual

Our last SpinTunes song received a much better reception from the judges, though it still resulted in some widely different scores (which is a good thing, I think). This time around we came up with a piece that sounds like it might have been a better fit, in musical terms at least, for the first

Schnipp, Schnapp!

Our new song, for SpinTunes round two, has now hit the net: I was very pleased with the reviews we received for our first round song, both from the official judges and from others who took the time to review all the songs (quite a task, especially in the early rounds, as we both know

Gag me with a spurtle

The deadline for round 1 of SpinTunes 10 has finished and we have a new song! Despite having two weekends to complete the challenge, this one was submitted at the last moment as it took us a while to come up with a concept that we were happy with. I tend to find that the

The Ice Spire

My latest piece of music is a long ambient piece that was inspired by a prompt at the Naviar Haiku project. They provide a weekly prompt of a haiku, set within a suitably atmospheric photograph, to which various musicians create music. Of these, a small selection of tracks are picked to form an album-length collection

The Unexpected Guest

It’s SpinTunes time again and though I have not joined in as a competitor, I did offer up my services to the Boffo Yux Dudes, who have an ongoing tradition of carpet-bombing the last round of SpinTunes with ‘shadow’ songs (i.e. not official competitors, but meeting the requirements of the challenge). This time around I

A Tasty New Year

Anyone who visits here with any sort of regularity will have noticed that I am partial to the odd challenge now and again. From the latest String Quartet to Every Photo Tells… or SpinTunes, challenges are a great way to provide a new focus to creative ideas and take you to new and often unexpected

Sid Smith’s String Quartets

The new year brings a new musical challenge, this time in the form of a string quartet inspired by a series of rainy windows. Music writer Sid Smith has been taking photographs of the patterns rain makes on his office windows for a few years and has now set up the results as programme of