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My Art and Music – Creative Musings

A John Williams Score for Every Year of my Life 1981 – The Raiders of the Lost Ark

With this, the first in the series of Indiana Jones films, John Williams created yet another outstanding opus – that surrounding the wisecracking, whip-swinging, fedora-wearing hero and sometimes archaeologist, Indiana Jones. Harrison Ford may have played the titular hero (and it’s a wonder that despite his resemblances and affinities to a certain smuggler in a … Continue reading A John Williams Score for Every Year of my Life 1981 – The Raiders of the Lost Ark

When is it Finished?

I suffer from George Lucas Syndrome. Now before you all grab your medical encyclopaedias to look that up, actually, it does exist, but not in the way I mean it. Apparently the urban meaning is “A situation in which sci-fi movies often sacrifice good-quality acting and a coherent story in order to milk in the special effects.” But that’s not the … Continue reading When is it Finished?

Writer’s Block

I’m sure all creatives, people who try to make a living from their creations, suffer this at some point. And it’s not, by the way, confined to writers. I’ve been fighting with a new song all day, and it still isn’t playing ball. My ideas sound hackneyed, flat. And that’s just to me. I wouldn’t … Continue reading Writer’s Block

A3 Calendars

Well, it’s that time of year again – I start thinking about Christmas and the New Year. It may seem ridiculously early, but for those of us who are in the business of designing cards and calendars, our work began some time ago. So I have my beautiful A3 sized wall-hanging Calendars for sale on … Continue reading A3 Calendars

A John Williams Score for Every Year of my Life 1980 – The Empire Strikes Back

It’s a while since I wrote one of these posts on the work of my favourite composer, John Williams. I’ve had Covid, but that’s not why. The truth is, since I left teaching to become wholly freelance with my own music and art, I haven’t had a great deal of time to write. And that’s … Continue reading A John Williams Score for Every Year of my Life 1980 – The Empire Strikes Back

My life as a Freelancer

I took a risk at Easter. I left teaching, in order to give my time to painting and to music composition. So far, it’s been the best decision I could have made, because I’ve had more work than I know what to do with. In fact, I’ve been so busy doing paid work for other … Continue reading My life as a Freelancer

Surface ripples: Tank Water cover reveal

Originally posted on Michael Burge Media:
THE COVER OF my debut novel Tank Water is ready to share with the world! Created by Kim Lock, lead designer of MidnightSun Publishing since 2013, this cover stood out from the group of samples I was sent, and didn’t need much tweaking at all. Life-giving water captured in…

The Urge to be Better

There was a painting I did last year which I thought was pretty good. I thought it worked, and I like the amount of detail I’d been able to use. The source photo hadn’t been that great, but I thought the end product was worth the effort. I look at that painting now, and all … Continue reading The Urge to be Better

Life Changes

Well, since I last blogged, there have been some changes. Well, one in particular. I took the step in Easter of this year of leaving teaching. So I am now (and have been for the past one and a half months) a full-time creative freelancer. So what is it like? Well, I’ve been fortunate. Since … Continue reading Life Changes

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 know … Continue 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 two … Continue 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 suspect … Continue reading What makes a good melody?

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

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 a … Continue reading The Gifts of the Pandemic

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

There’s No Normal

Originally posted on TheEnlightenedMind622:
“There is no normal for us to go back to. People sleeping in the streets wasn’t normal; children living in poverty wasn’t normal; neither was our taxes helping to bomb the people of Yemen. Using other people’s lives to pile up objects wasn’t normal, the whole thing was absurd. Governments are…

A John Williams Work for every Year of my Life 4: Cinderella Liberty

In some ways John Williams’ music for Cinderella Liberty was a departure from the style he was beginning to make his own in the early seventies; certainly in the context of the soundtracks which he’d composed in the years before, such as Jane Eyre, the Cowboys, it almost feels like a different composer. It is … Continue reading A John Williams Work for every Year of my Life 4: Cinderella Liberty

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 like … Continue reading The Stories in a Face

Gloria!

About 20 years ago I wrote a setting of the Gloria for SATB choir and orchestra. It has yet to receive it’s first live performance, but I present it here, performed by the wonderful instrument sounds of the Spitfire Audio orchestral instruments, and the very clever EW Symphonic Choirs – a sample library of full … Continue reading Gloria!

Return to Jane Eyre

I’ve been working on a piano transcription of the Theme from Jane Eyre, my choice of John Williams Score from 1970. I’ve just posted it to youtube. There will be more to follow – I’m going to do a number of John Williams themes – especially some of his less well-known ones, or at least … Continue reading Return to Jane Eyre

A John Williams work for every year of my life 2: The Fiddler on the Roof.

In 1971 John Williams won his first Oscar, for his adaptation and incidental music for “Fiddler on the Roof”. I can not claim to know this film, or the musical, well at all. When I was in secondary school I remember singing “Sunrise, Sunset” in the school choir. That was the extent of my knowledge … Continue reading A John Williams work for every year of my life 2: The Fiddler on the Roof.

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 will … Continue reading A Special Commission

What’s in a lyric?

Well if you want to live, hear the warning I give,And don’t you go to Castle DraculaYoung man, lend me an ear, don’t go anywhere nearAnd please don’t go, sir please don’t go I write musicals. Musicals for performance by Primary aged children. But I happen to think that even if the music and lyrics … Continue reading What’s in a lyric?

Why did I ever start this???

There are a few pieces of artwork over the years which have almost defeated me. Like an unruly toddler who embarrasses you when you take them to the supermarket. I could quite cheerfully have left these to sit forgotten in some dark corner. They’re the paintings which I got halfway through and thought “Why, oh … Continue reading Why did I ever start this???

Leaving my Mark

I always thought I’d be rich and famous by the time I was 30. I thought I’d be “discovered”. And here I am, entering my second half century, and still not there. Yes, I make some money out of my paintings, out of my music. But not enough to pay the mortgage. Not enough to … Continue reading Leaving my Mark

Life Imitating Art

I painted a sea-scene a few years ago from a photograph given to me by a friend. I loved the painting when I’d finished it – it’s always been one of my favourites. It has just the right amount of land, of sea, and sky. It has movement in the waves, and those wonderful pillars … Continue reading Life Imitating Art

My Pre-Raphaelite Phase

When I was in my late teens and early twenties, I was deeply enamoured with the group of Victorian artists who styled themselves as the Pre-Raphaelites. They were very much of the belief that contemporary Victorian art was morally and technically deficient, and stated that a return to the purity of artists before the high … Continue reading My Pre-Raphaelite Phase

Where does it come from?

I’ve been asked quite often how I go about writing a new piece of music. People it seems are often fascinated with the process a composer, especially a songwriter, go through to create something. And the answer is… I don’t know. If I’m writing a song, do the lyrics come first or the music? Sometimes … Continue reading Where does it come from?

Art in a Time of Pandemic

It’s been hard for creatives this year. It’s been hard for everyone. But for the many many people who depend on selling artwork, or creating live performances, it’s been really hard. In the past few years, I’ve used Open Studios as the main forum for selling my original paintings. Where I would normally sell 30 … Continue reading Art in a Time of Pandemic

About Me

I’m now a full-time fine artist and composer, having left teaching in Easter 2021. This blog is just a little outlet for my creative musings, both on art and music, and Creativity in general.

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