Summer seems a little reluctant to arrive this year, after a seductive two day phase of teasing us last week, that it could actually be here. After the intense winter along within this protracted tricky phase, you can feel a huge collective readiness for real warmth.
Four days holidaying in Kent was a delightful break, and it`s easy anyway to forget what astonishing castles, gardens, parks and local spots are really very near. Joining the National Trust was an excellent move. Thanks to my old friend Anne Beadle for this suggestion. So now I`m ready for summer, if we`re lucky enough to get one. The badminton net is up in my garden, and I am seriously ready for some sun.
I am delighted to have completed the Aura-Soma project on which I embarked in February. There are 4 CDs now out, details of which are now up on the site. This was a very enjoyable co-creative venture, and it was especially good to have help with the CD booklet design from my old friend and mandala artist Barry Stevens.In an age where excess media bulge from every portal, his aesthetic sensibility is very refreshing and invigorating.
Writing the tracks as I did for the Musical Chronicles was a departure into new territory for me – both in how it was written and how it was then further developed. The multiple sound layerings I explore within it draw on the extraordinary possibilities that virtual instruments offer – especially those made by Spectrasonics. A really amazing company, offering hugely inspiring creative starting points with great technological tools, superbly thought through to be very intuitive and supportive of the musician.
My great friend Grahame persuaded me to get a new super computer built for music. This arrived in early January. It always takes a while to get everything installed on a new computer, but I am knocked out with the result. My affectionate name for it is the Rocket. Virtual instruments play as smoothly as hardware, but with the whole enormous palate of sounds that are just so mindboggling and inspiring. This great machine was built by Scan Computers in their 3XS series. They were pleasant to deal with and well priced, and the quality first class.
Live playing has been busy on several fronts and a lot of fun, all at this point drumming. Moondance – the ceilidh band has been doing lots of weddings and we will be doing two festivals as well this year – Guildford(Guilfest) and Broadstairs.
Howlin` Blues has done several local dates and we will be at the Old Saltquay in London on Friday June 4th(9 PM). We will joined there by Tony Bell – an awesome guitarist and singer, which resulted last time in an exciting and spirited performance.
Puzzled Moon – the jazz quartet led by pianist Peter Willson continues to play mostly Sussex based gigs and we are discussing the idea of doing some recording. More news on that front as it happens.
Big Al is the hot local boogie woogie pianist with whom I also play. We have played four gigs at the Terminus in Eastbourne and will be playing for a wedding on June 20th at Deans Place, Sussex.
I am writing new rhythmic material for the James Asher Group to perform. The first tune for this is nearly done and is progressing very well. Having spent so long in the past being pretty much entirely a studio creature, and then these past few years having increasingly done a lot more live work and loving it, the logical conclusion for me will be a blending of those two worlds. I am still getting my head round what will be involved with writing for the live situation, but it`s a stimulating and intriguing challenge that strikes me as exciting.
I will be back with the next update at the start of July.
Enjoy the summer!