My life in Sussex continues to evolve, and my creative activities continue to expand. Considerable time goes into the exploration of visual work, both in the form of photography and video work. On the video front I am still developing my project with the excellent Italian dancer Francesca Miceli Lillith, and more can be read and seen of this on the DVD recordings page.
Musically I continue to write and perform. Writing wise, for some time I have wondered how best to encompass the issue of creating music in quite a broad range of various different styles, which can then mean ending up with collections of different tracks, which lend themselves less to forming complete albums in their own rights. The arrival of the download era provides a good solution to this in offering the possibility of generating individual pieces or tunes which can enjoy a validity in their own right.
Providing music direct to an internet audience is an exciting prospect, and requires some adjustment in the whole process of going about it, and indeed thinking of it. The possibilities of working this way have been around for some time, and it has admittedly taken me some time to actively embrace the brave new cyber world of self publishing – but the challenge is fun, and observing how best this can be enjoyed by visitors to my site is something I will observe with great interest. Suggestions and feedback are always greatly appreciated, and are of course a direct way for me to get a sense of how the work is successfully communicating or not.
Performing wise I have enjoyed a regular role drumming for the Eastbourne rock ‘n’ roll band Tony and the Saints. This is a lot of fun because they attract an active audience who love dancing, and the whole energy around appearances is highly energising. Quite a departure from my more common world fusion area, but highly enjoyable all the same.DVD recordings page. Sadly poor health prevented my percussion sparring partner Sandeep Raval from attending. Boubou is a great champion and supporter of diverse and electic music. There were other amazing acts there including a new favourite for me – Speed Caravan, whose leader is the extraordinary electric oud player Mehdi Haddab – wow!
I have also given some performances with the following setup – Ashiko drum, keyboard and backing track elements on CD. The Ashiko drum, designed by Arthur Hull is extremely comfortable to play, and tonally delivers pleasingly weighty bass end and a powerful and crisp quality of slap – very enjoyable to play. A good example of this was when I played a concert In February 2007 at Dev Aura in Tetford – the UK base of Aura-Soma, for the relaunch of their newly expanded teaching facility there. On this occasion I was joined by Mike Booth on didgeridoo and percussion, Erik Pelham on vocals, harmonica and guitar, and Anton Drewery guitar and vocals, and Ellie Butler on vocals.
Speaking of the vibrant Arthur Hull, each year we get together to co-write in the studio & this year was no exception. He also made a brilliant job of rebuilding the pond in my front garden.Aura-Soma has generated some exciting and unusual opportunities. September of 2006 saw me joining Aura-Soma’s sacred tour to Timbavati in South Africa to experience the White Lions there – an endangered species, of which there are only currently 60 left worldwide. The climate was gorgeous there, and nature is at her phenomenal best there – animals, landscapes, birds, and the lions themselves are of course very special.