Life After

Been busy writing music for Uchenna Dance Company. The updated version is complete. The performance is this Friday at The Place, near Euston. I’ve enjoyed the process, it was a tiny bit stressful due to the fact we had NO time.

Dancers work in 8s, my piece was in 4, shouldn’t be hard then, multiply by 2. Think again, I scratched my head umpteen times trying to get music and dance sections to flow. My counting has improved. A musician who can’t count, yup, shocking. I think I was mesmerised by dance movement. I’d conjure sounds and ideas for the moves, oh and then, whoops, I’d lost my place! Well, I can now confirm to you dear readers, that I can count 39 rounds of 8 counts of music (78 bars of 4) without getting lost. (Should I be proud?)

I’ve had an amazing time and hopefully they’ll be more dance collaborations to come.

This is what it sounds like:

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(Afro, house-y in places, electro. I’ve tried to get rid of the vocals, some randomly left in)…

What’s it about? Exploring the emotive responses of loosing someone you love.

Creative Networks – Performance, innovation and all that Jazz

Tonight, I went along to Creative Networks, I really enjoyed myself!

Soweto Kinch was tonight’s guest speaker; whilst he was talking I turned round and saw how enthralled his audience were, they became putty in his jazz hands (sorry couldn’t help myself), but seriously, the smiles and grins I witnessed!- wow!

He is an excellent public speaker and very inspiring, self-assured but not at all arrogant. I first heard him play at the mac when he had just released his first album; I went out to buy it the following day. Release it on vinyl!! Vinyl!!!!

For me, the key messages to take away were:

  • As an artist one should always be true to their passions and self
  • Digital technology is an important tool that enables and allows for democracy
  • If you are truly passionate about your art form/creativity just get on with it

I was also really inspired by a lady called Tracy whom I met on the stairs; she was such an enthusiastic, amazing spirit and kindly shared some funny tales. I received some good networking tips too, cos I suck! Self-belief, self-belief!

Soweto also announced a Hockley Flyover, (Aston) music project that will happen on 31st May featuring top class artists such as TY as well as budding musicians from Birmingham showcasing their compositions.

At the end, I got into a bit of a chat with Mr. Kinch about education, it is good to see that he is giving his music knowledge and skills back to his local community.

I was a tiny, tiny, bit jealous that some well connected big wig, seemed to basically offer Soweto the (seemingly) immediate chance to work in loads of Birmingham Schools, when the Brum school database I am compiling has been a laborious task of cold calls, meetings and networking. If only I had such appeal, oh and virtuosity playing jazz scales- sigh!

So what am I going to do? What have I been thinking about but not doing?

  • Will try and sort an afternoon for a few schools and community centres to have taster workshops from local community musos, inspired by Music Leader’s Market Place idea that has take a bit of a back burner.
  • Do some more training in music technology- get me some more skillz
  • Do some more composing and stop using the excuse that I haven’t got a new copy of Sibelius to do so!! I have manuscript paper and pencils too!
  • Play music more- how did I go from practicing 4 hrs a day to nuttin’? Does anyone hate keyboards like I do? Pianos make me want to practice! Can you buy me one please?
  • Stop being a hermit and go to more gigs! Although- I went to the Glee club yesterday and got roped into seeing Nizlopi– I lasted 10 minutes. I prefer the Counting Crows and my beat boxing separate thanks!