All the action is currently over on The Virtual Jami Blog as I've overcome (fingers crossed) all technical hurdles and am making strides into the monster third movement so wander on over and see (and hear) what's happening!
Let's get started, have a listen to the beautiful "A Nightingale Sang" for two euphonium's and Two Tubas.
This site is primarily to enable anyone to listen to the music I'm working on and the virtual performances I have created with Sibelius and the Vienna Symphonic Library. I'll put up my own compositions and arrangements for Tuba Ensembles as well as performances of Sorabji, Brian and Derek Bourgeois.Recent updates (September 2013) Whilst on a break from the Jami Symphony I have rustled up the fourth movement of Sorabji's 2nd Piano Toccata which you can hear here and read a little more about here.
Recent updates (January 2013) I have created a new performance of Sorabji's Jami Symphony, second Movement using only the Vienna Symphonic Library. This sounds so much better than the earlier performance and I have included far more of my own interpretation. The MP3 is here. You can also read a little more about the performance on The Virtual Jami Blog.
Recent updates (June 2012)I have created a new performance of Sorabji's Jami Symphony, second Movement using only the Vienna Symphonic Library. This sounds so much better than the earlier performance and I have included far more of my own interpretation. The MP3 is here. You can also read a little more about the performance on The Virtual Jami Blog.
Recent updates (November 2011)
Recent updates (October 2011)
The Virtual Jami Blog - follow progress of my first attempts to create a virtual performance of the Jami Symphony using the Vienna Symphonic Library.
Recent updates (January 2011)
For a couple of months I have been working on a full VSL performance of Sorabji's Jami Symphony which you can follow on the Virtual Jami Blog linked above.Recent updates (October 2010)More Sorabji with the first movement of the Toccata Seconda not performed since the composer premiered the work in Glasgow in 1936. The first movement of ten is titled Preludio - Toccata. You can read a bit more about it here.
Recent updates (September 2010)
I have completed a performance of John Whites Symphony for Organ and Six Tubas performed here by VSL massed Tubas.
I will be adding a new page for my own compositions and the first piece posted is "The Ecstacy of Isaac Newton" a piece for two pianos performed by the VSL Imperial Bosendorfer via Sibelius 6.
Recent updates (June 2010)
With Jonathan Powell's WP of Sorabji's Sequentia Cyclica just round the corner, I've added a performance of variation 29 entitled Quasi Debussy and a very lovely peice it is to.
Recent updates (May 2010)
I've now completed a performance of Derek Bourgeois' 2nd Brass Quintet. This is the original version of the Concerto for Brass Quintet and Brass Band. Written for the Phillip Jones Brass Ensemble they considered it was too difficult hence the subsequent concerto version. This is in effect the World Premier of the original version. You can read a bit more about it on the Bourgeois page.
In preperation for the world premiers this summer of the 2nd Organ Symphony by Kevin Bowyer and Sequentia Cyclica by Jonathan Powell I am creating various excerpts which help me to get into these works and mean i can enjoy the live performances more.
Recent updates (March 2010)
I have completed the performance of the 3rd movement of Bourgeois' Second Brass Band Concerto. Entitled "March" it is no "Liberty Bell" but has that compelling forward momentum that builds climax upon climax to it's inexorable conclusion - another huge tour de force. The links to the first two movements can be found on the Bourgeois tab.
In preperation for the world premier of Sorabji's complete Sequentia Cyclica in June 2010 I have created performances of various extracts which can be found here page.
I have an appalling memory. I bought or was given about 5 pop singles of which I remember Tiger Feet and The Monster Mash. They didn’t last long and ended up being used as Frisbees. I started playing the trumpet at eleven to get out of art classes and proved rather good at it and it was also something of my own and not of my parents prompting.
I had to change secondary schools and they didn’t have any trumpets but did have a 3 valve La Fleur Eb Bass (about the size of a modern day Euphonium) which I was initially reluctant to take up. But I liked the importance of being the bass line and the schools had a relatively good wind band and a very encouraging music teacher. My brass teacher formed the Crookham Youth Band which I joined. The Hippopotamus Song was one of my early triumphs. At 15 (?) I was invited (almost headhunted you would say) to audition for the Hampshire County Youth Band and was amazed to get in. These were the great days of my youth and the music making was phenomenal.
Peter Mound was the head of music at Farnborough Sixth Form and he opened up for me the wonderful world of music beyond the eighteenth century – Mahler, Edgar Varese, Morton Subotnik, Stockhausen – were all readily available in the music library and my interest in performing modern tuba music flourished with the regular chamber concerts. There was nothing I liked more than raising the principals eyebrows with a bit of avant garde tuba playing.I also started my orchestral playing career with the RAF symphony Orchestra. I had my first paying gig when I was about 17 which was a performance of Verdi’s requiem (my first) and I was sat in front of the bass drum. I had a few surprises that first rehearsal.
The second big surprise of my playing career was to be accepted into the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. With hindsight I wish I hadn’t been so surprised because I didn’t then bother to audition for the Royal Academy as I had intended and it seems likely I would also have got into there and would perhaps have had a better college experience. I developed a taste for the large scale and the complex. Not sure why. I discovered the British Music Information Centre opposite Bond Street tube station and spent many a happy hour there notably with Derek Bourgeois scores, The Wine Symphony, the Tuba Concerto, the 2ndBrass band Concerto etc.
I’m not sure were I first heard of Sorabji but my first actual encounter was with the score of OC at the BMIC. Like most Sorabji scores it was impenetrable to look at first or even second glance. My second encounter with Sorabji I hardly realised the significance of at the time. I was attending a concert at the Purcell rooms the details of which have long since passed into the vast lost spaces of my memory but standing in the foyer I saw the great John Ogden emerge from the Queen Elizabeth hall and only realised later that this was after his performance of Opus Clavicembalisticum. I do remember vividly thinking how animated he and his companions (which I now know included Alistair Hinton) looked. Boy was I at the wrong concert that night.
I found Havergal Brian through the Gothic Symphony. The Cranz score has at one point the mosy wondeful indication for ten tubas. Further explanation for my love of brian is unnecessary. Some one else said that Brian wrote from the bottom upwards and his tuba parts are sublime.Sadly I haven’t played any Brian (but then who has!!). I became involved with the Havergal Brian Society sometime onto the typesetting of Sorabji’s Jami Symphony when I was looking for a bit of a change.