Thebe – from The Moons of Jupiter

Some time ago I started writing pieces of music which reflected my love of the cosmic, of science fiction. I chose as my theme the Moons of Jupiter. I don’t intend to write music for every single one of them, as there are about 79 at last count. However, I added a new moon fairlyContinue reading “Thebe – from The Moons of Jupiter”

A John Williams Score for Every Year of my Life 10: 1979 – Dracula

Dracula, scored in 1979, is perhaps one of john Williams’ lesser known works. It is however a mighty work, built mainly around the lush and dangerous theme Williams provided for the central character. This theme features firstly in the Main Title and Storm Sequence : John Williams has said that he tries not to knowContinue reading “A John Williams Score for Every Year of my Life 10: 1979 – Dracula”

A John Williams Score for every Year of my Life 9: A bit of a mix, 1978

So I’ve reached the year I turned eight. In that year, John Williams was called upon to score a number of feature films, with wide-ranging subject matter – from superheroes to a man-eating shark. I simply cannot choose one score to epitomise his output that year, so I shall choose a theme (motif) or twoContinue reading “A John Williams Score for every Year of my Life 9: A bit of a mix, 1978”

What makes a good melody?

I’ve been teaching some year 5 classes about melody recently, helping them to realise that good melodies don’t just happen by accident. It’s not that composers slavishly follow rules to compose memorable tunes, because most of the time, a good melody does present itself as if my magic. But there are certain truths I suspectContinue reading “What makes a good melody?”

New Moon (of Jupiter)

This week I completed the fourth in my series of pieces inspired by the idea of the Moons of Jupiter. The introduction to this opus can be found here https://myartandsound.wordpress.com/2020/11/25/a-new-little-musical-venture-the-moons-of-jupiter So here is the next instalment – Europa. This one is the biggest of the pieces, not just in length but also in breadth ofContinue reading “New Moon (of Jupiter)”

A John Williams Score for every year of my life 8b. 1977 – Star Wars Episode 4: A New Hope

Do I dare? What on earth can I say about this magnum opus which single handedly transformed film scoring, just as the film it accompanies reinvented the blockbuster. So much has already been written about the score John Williams wrote for George Lucas’ little space opera – I certainly couldn’t say anything new or improveContinue reading “A John Williams Score for every year of my life 8b. 1977 – Star Wars Episode 4: A New Hope”

The Dark Crystal – a Triumph of Design

This is not a film review. This is purely my response as an artist to the artistry at work in the design of the film, which in my view is absolutely second-to-none. Much of the film’s design is down to the excellent and unique work of Brian Froud. His imaginative and organic designs are anContinue reading “The Dark Crystal – a Triumph of Design”

A John Williams Score for Every Year of my Life 8a – Close Encounters

1977 was a big year for John Williams. He wrote the scores to Close Encounters of the Third Kind, as well as a certain space opera set a long time ago in a galaxy far far away. It would be remiss of me not to include both of these immense scores, different as they are.Continue reading “A John Williams Score for Every Year of my Life 8a – Close Encounters”

The Gifts of the Pandemic

I was asked this morning what I consider to be the gifts to myself of the pandemic and resultant lockdowns this year. A strange question, to be sure. But not a ridiculous one. Many of us have found something important this year – maybe something we’d forgotten, or lost, has been rediscovered – like aContinue reading “The Gifts of the Pandemic”

A new little musical venture – The Moons of Jupiter

I’ve started composing some pieces to represent the moons of Jupiter. I won’t be writing pieces for every single one of them, because there are quite a few! Seventy-nine at the last count. But the main ones, whose names you may have heard of, such as Thebe, Callisto, Ganymede, Io, Europa, and Amalthea – theyContinue reading “A new little musical venture – The Moons of Jupiter”

A John Williams Score for every year of my life 7 – 1976 the Missouri Breaks

I know very little about the film which gave birth to this choice of score by John Williams. I know that it is a Western film which starred Marlon Brando and Jack Nicholson, but that’s only because they appear on the album artwork. Having looked at Wikipedia’s entry on the film, I see that itContinue reading “A John Williams Score for every year of my life 7 – 1976 the Missouri Breaks”

A John Williams Work for Every Year of my Life 5 – 1974 Earthquake

For this post I want to zoom in on one part of this score which struck me as soon as I heard it some years ago – the main theme. It encapsulates so much of the time, with upbeat funky additions to the mix, and that wonderful soaring John Williams horn melody. Honourable mention ofContinue reading “A John Williams Work for Every Year of my Life 5 – 1974 Earthquake”

The Lord of the Rings and other things

I’ve reawakened my long dormant soundcloud account, and I intend to use it often to showcase my new compositions as well as some of my older ones. Visit it to listen to my take on the world which Tolkien gave us in The Lord of the Rings. I’ve also uploaded an album of songs aboutContinue reading “The Lord of the Rings and other things”

Where did it all start? And where is it going?

My son asked me the other day (because even at 15 he seems to mistakenly think that I am a fount of all wisdom – until I ask him to do something of course!) when humans started to write. I answered that even the cavepeople drew on the walls – imbuing their drawings with meaning.Continue reading “Where did it all start? And where is it going?”

The Stories in a Face

I find people’s faces endlessly fascinating. A face doesn’t have to be beautiful to be memorable. Sometimes it is the imperfections in a face which give it it’s character. But what is really fascinating is the way that a face tells the story of it’s journey through life. A child’s face is often almost likeContinue reading “The Stories in a Face”

A Special Commission

Every commission is special. Of course it is – if someone asks you (and pays you) to paint a particular scene, or pet, or person, its because the subject matter is important. That’s why I love to paint commissions. It’s terrifying at the same time, because you just never know if what you produce willContinue reading “A Special Commission”

The Faces of those Who Knew him

I’ve been working for a number of years on a series of dramatic monologues (most of which I have performed myself) from the point of view of people who came into contact with a certain historical person. Some loved him, some hated him, and i have tried to capture that dichotomy in the different readings.Continue reading “The Faces of those Who Knew him”

A John Williams work for every year of my life (almost)

I fell in love , as so many people did, with the music of John Williams as a child, without knowing anything about the man who gave us so much incredible memorable music. His main themes are amongst some of the most recognisable and hummable tunes in musical history. But it’s not just his mainContinue reading “A John Williams work for every year of my life (almost)”