Saturday 17 December 2016

Completing the Music Score for Saint Bernadette of Lourdes and the Holy Rosary Production

Today I completed the music score for our new production 'Saint Bernadette of Lourdes and the Holy Rosary'.  This music score goes for me into the category of 'the toughs'.  It was a tough one, some are easy and others are particularly difficult; This was one of those.
When I began this music score the other day, I had been in the middle of 'Holy Spirit of Serenity' music CD, so I put it aside and changed direction.  The first 15 minutes went very well and had the correct atmosphere and I was able to use some good soundscapes such as 'Talking to the Wind' which added a subtle element of mystery. 
I had to stop writing yesterday and go to work and then try to pick up the thread of it today.  After much thought I decided that at this point in the production a change of direction was needed.  I searched for a while for some soundscapes but a lot of them that I have are quite sinister; great for writing for the English Martyrs films and adding tension, but not what I was looking for.
Screenshot from St Robert Southwell.  I really enjoyed writing this score.
Eventually I worked with 2 soundscapes: 'Divine Rest' and 'Peace'.  During lunch I thought about deleting a whole previous section but then instead I decided to do a whole key-shift and it worked before I dropped everything away except the 'Divine Rest' and 'Peace'.  This is something I don't usually do - to leave the score very empty but it created just the right mood for a whole section about Contemplation and prayer.
With the addition of warm strings and cello, back and forth with flute and piano I had reached the 20 minute mark.  I was inspired at this point to use Track 5 from 'Holy Spirit of Serenity' that I wrote last week.  I very rarely use pre-written tracks in my music scores but as this score was so meditative and fits so nicely with the Holy Spirit of Serenity theme, I tried it out.  It's amazing how everything is guided, it fitted so well and it seems appropriate to use it since I am immersed in this album at this current time.
It was as if I had pre-written this part of the score for Saint Bernadette in advance.
Encountering the Saints
I am very moved by this saint.  It seems for me that I really meet a saint when I write a music score for one of our Mary's Dowry Productions films.  It was again true in this case.  Today I feel I met Saint Bernadette of Lourdes and what an honour I feel it is to be named after this saint!
What I was struck most by was her simplicity in life and in prayer.  We brought the Holy Rosary to the forefront of this production.  I knew that the Rosary played a big part in this film, but seeing St. Bernadette pray, and hearing how she was asked as a child if she kept sweets in her apron, but it was her Rosary - she was always praying it.  This was reinforced by the Popes at Lourdes and in my own life, faithfulness to the Rosary has proven key.  Saint Bernadette shows how such a simple thing can achieve wonders.
I also loved how Our Lady smiled at Saint Bernadette when the Saint sprinkled Holy Water on the apparition.  I was pleased to use 'Mystica' female choirs adding a very mystical atmosphere to the apparitions.  I have not used these samples much and this was a great opportunity.  This mystical atmosphere became moving after the 25 minute mark and the Holy Spirit of Serenity Track 5 addition.  It was like choirs from Heaven.  I really felt that Heaven and Earth met and am pleased that the music portrays both this heavenly and moving element as well as the simple beauty of Saint Bernadette's life.
For more information visit:
This film will be released over the following week.

Thursday 15 December 2016

Writing the Music Score for Saint Bernadette of Lourdes and the Holy Rosary Film

Today I finalized track 6 for Holy Spirit of Serenity music CD and set it aside in order to begin the music score for 'Saint Bernadette of Lourdes and The Holy Rosary'. 
As I was still in the mode of Holy Spirit of Serenity, having been immersed in it for a week, I was pleased that this film begins with a lot of beautiful nature and animals and is very pleasant.  I have this time begun this score quite orchestrally, something I've not focused on for a while - a lot of our recent productions have been quite mystical and contemplative.
The day has proved a success with 2 minutes written with strings, flutes, harps and celtic harp, cello, bassoon occasionally dropping away to just strings and 'Mystica' female choirs which I thought created a good subtle mood of Heaven visiting Earth at Lourdes.
I am now onto underscore as the narration begins.  Since I rely on improvisation and inspiration I look forward to finding out what happens next. 

Saturday 10 December 2016

New Music CD Albums Underway....Ancient Fusion Lord of the Rings Style and Relaxing Contemplative

I am currently working on 2 separate music albums.  The next in my Ancient English Fusion Music Series following on from Journeys, Worlds, Dreams, Lands, Realms and Kingdoms will be Valleys.  I have so far been working on it for 2 years and have completed 4 tracks.
New for this album is 'Francesca Genco' - The Voice of Gaia.  There are some beautiful sounds out there that have real potential for music fusion.  It's interesting to use them in a religious context and I shall try to incorporate her amazing voice in an upcoming film soundtrack too.  Right now, I'm finding it inspiring to use whilst writing for 'Valleys'.

This week I put aside 'Valleys' in order to start the next in the 'Holy Spirit Music Series' - "Holy Spirit of Serenity".  It took me a while to get going as the last one I wrote was in 2014 - Holy Spirit of Tranquility and I have a new system now, the reverb was all different and I have had to order a new MIDI controller as my current one is sending out random commands and shooting up the volume when I don't want it to!
With that sorted I have felt amazingly calm the past few days whilst writing for this album and the first 4 tracks are complete.  It should become a bit easier tomorrow when my new MIDI controller arrives.
Holy Spirit Music CD Series
The Holy Spirit Music Series is proving very popular and useful and I'm really pleased about that.  I hope 'Holy Spirit of Serenity' proves a good addition to the series.  To find out more about the Holy Spirit Music Series visit this link!

Tuesday 6 December 2016

Writing the Instrumental Music Album 'LANDS' and what it's all about.....

From about 1995 to 2001 I had spent a lot of time writing piano solos.  As a pianist I found that I would want to play a certain type of music but was unable to find that music in music shops.  I focused on writing music that I could play on the piano that would not be 'classical' or 'jazz' but would be reflective, moving, background, tuneful and interesting.  My inspiration for writing was in the titles that my sister would give me.  Each title sparked my imagination and I would try to reflect this through music. 
My earliest pieces were titles such as 'Fawn in the Valley', 'Vineyard in Flower', 'Wine of the Pomegranates' so I began to get into the habit of imagining beautiful landscapes, flowers, animals, vast scenes, panoramas, lakes, rivers, fields - the beauty of earth.  Sometimes I would print out a picture of a natural scene and stick it on the piano for inspiration too. 
With about 60 pieces under my belt I set about taking several pieces and expanding them into instrumental CD tracks.  I used first a keyboard and then a Clavinova digital piano in order to add other instruments.
I spent a couple of years working with those original piano solo ideas and created a beautiful style of reflective, atmospheric, calming and tranquil pieces which formed the albums 'Worlds' Dreams' and 'Journeys'.
After this I wanted to do something different and I embarked upon 'Lands'.  At the time the 'Lord of the Rings' films were coming out and what I liked about them was the scenery.  I had imagined for years this type of ancient, mysterious world, panoramic views of canyons, green hills, forests, and presented this through music. 
Now I could actually see the type of images I had been writing about and I felt even more inspired.  With 'Lands' I was able to embrace this further and write with more drums, recorders and a more ancient English style.  'Lands' to this day remains my favourite album. 
There is so much in it and it's just what I like to hear.  Lord of the Rings added that fantasy element, a slight mystical and magical dimension which added more depth to my music.  Some of the track titles for 'Lands' are:
Empire of the Kings
Valley of the 12 Tombs
and now writing and imagining these vast lands and empires, I also could imagine those ancient statues which reflected the past; with the idea of elves and mystery I could add an almost magical fantasy dimension to the idea of the pieces and it just generally enhanced the atmosphere. 
'Empire of the Kings' track encompasses not only imaginative vistas but a whole history of Kingdoms and people, instruments and a way of life, plus a spiritual and otherworldly atmosphere.  This was all important groundwork to eventually writing soundtracks for the Mary's Dowry Productions films.  Imagination is key.
Lands has 13 tracks, all of which were written with instruments on the Clavinova.  The album takes a more 'ancient English' or 'Lord of the Rings Medieval' tone, with a depth of mystery with a great deal of stories and history being told through the pieces.  The track listing is as follows:
1. The Valley of the Twelve Tombs (3:48)
2. City of the Jagged Mountains (4:44)
3. The Hollow of Mists (4:15)
4. The Winding Grassland of Rivers (3:56)
5. The Kingdom of Sands (3:37)
6. Country of Frost (3:00)
7. City of Reeds (5:47)
8.  The Forgotten Realm of Rhyme (3:52)
9. The Land of the Trees (3:34)
10.  The Empire of the Kings (5:58)
11.  Collapsing City of Clouds (3:42)
12. Kingdom of the Grey Lakes (5:02)
13. Cobweb Deserts (3:41)
I had been in touch with a really nice man who ran a 'Reflective Music' website and was promoting my albums.  He suggested making my tracks a bit longer and this was great advice.  Now that I was not taking piano solos which I had already written, and re-arranging them, but writing whole new pieces instrumentally, I could keep this in mind.  Notice how the track length times are longer on this album. 
The album LANDS is an assemblage of imaginative pieces. Each tune takes you into a land of visual imagery. As you listen, let yourself be taken through winding grasslands, past rivers, across deserts, on top of mountains. Visit new realms where kings once feasted and battles were fought, but all that remains is the moving memory of the history that once was. Travel to Egypt in the Egyptian themed 'The Kingdom of Sands' where the native Oud gently accompanies playful yet haunting flutes. Hold back the tears as you explore the deserted streets of the 'Forgotten Realm of Rhyme' as the sweet and mystical melody of the piano tells its own story. This album will gently relax and inspire you to meditate while escaping into new lands. The perfect mingling of instruments, from Spanish Guitar, flute, bassoon, clarinet, piano, drum and panflute contrast perfectly touching on the medieval and the mysterious. Tender Gothic choir and charming nature sounds are certain to arouse the spirit within
In 2007 I enhanced this album even more and upgraded some of the instruments to VST sounds.  'LANDS' is available to buy worldwide on CD at  To listen to samples visit my You Tube Channel!

Sunday 4 December 2016

Video Trailer for Reflective Music CD Album 'JOURNEYS'

To listen to samples from the music CD album 'Journeys' watch the new video trailer below:

In this video I used pictures of pathways to illustrate 'journeys', some of them through forests, others through the snow.  I also used beautiful scenery footage from our production of 'Saint Bede: England's Doctor of the Church' and conveniently I found a nice image of the saint walking down a nice path which fitted nicely with the theme of this album which is very peaceful, reflective and calming.  The album 'Journeys' is available on CD worldwide at

Saturday 3 December 2016

How it All Began......Unexpectedly becoming a Music Composer.

I thought I would take the time to write about how my music composition came about.  I learned the piano from the age of about 5 as well as various other instruments. 

I wanted to learn many instruments, I always complained about never having enough arms to play them all at once.  At high school we had to compose a piece of music as part of our studies.  It was not something I had ever considered doing but my teacher told me right away this was something I had a natural flair for and that I should pursue.  I really felt drawn to it.  So I wrote more and more.

From then on I was to be found at the piano writing piano pieces and pieces for the ocarina and piano that my friends and I would play together.
I spent the next several years writing and ended up with a huge 2 volume bumper book of piano solos which I had bound.  I would play at birthday parties and events and people would ask for the CDs so I gradually made the piano solos available on CD.
I upgraded my piano to a Clavinova which opened doors to digital instruments.  I no longer needed all those arms to learn how to play the physical instruments, I could use the piano to play them digitally.  Thus, my piano solo albums became instrumental music albums and I have been writing them ever since.
I took the piano solos I had written over several years and expanded upon them, adding layers of instruments and harmonies.   This gave me 'Worlds', 'Dreams' and 'Journeys' which were all taken from some of the piano solos. 
I set the remaining piano solos aside after these 3 albums and began writing new music directly as instrumental music, rather than beginning with piano solo and expanding, this was an amazing experience of writing the instrumental music album 'Lands' which to this day remains my favourite of all my albums. 
After 'Lands' I wrote 'Realms' directly over a period of 4 years.  This album has so much in it and is a bit different.  It was at the point of completing 'Realms' that I realized I had gone as far as I could after 10 years of writing and it was time to go to college.
The title of this degree course caught my attention right away.  I signed up and spent the next 3 years studying hard.  It was on this course that I was introduced to writing music to picture (film).  Until now I had written by taking a title my sister had written, e.g. 'The Valley of the 12 Tombs', imagining the visuals in my mind, and writing what I see interiorly.  I try to capture the mood of the title and dream up a whole story from the title and then try to tell this story through music.  This is what all my albums are - musical stories with real atmosphere and depth.
Writing music direct to film actually takes this idea further.  Learning this consequently gave birth to Mary's Dowry Productions 3 years later, but it also separated out in my mind my music albums (musical stories from my imagination) and my music film soundtracks (music written to an actual film story).  I now have two musical paths that I work on today.
The music albums that I have available today have been re-vamped and re-mastered.  The original 'Worlds', 'Dreams', 'Journeys', 'Lands' and 'Realms' use Clavinova sounds but have been re-mastered.  
 I use VSTs now - virtual instruments - which are incredible and just like live instruments.  I am continuing this series all the time under the heading 'Reflective Ancient English Fusion Music' and it really spans decades, the first pieces being written in the mid-nineties and the latest ones today.   'Kingdoms' was written from 2008-2010 and was part of my personal project for my degree.  It uses new sounds and expands my own style as I am constantly learning and experimenting. 
In 2010 I decided to begin a new range of CDs focusing specifically on meditative, contemplative, more peaceful music under the heading 'Holy Spirit Music Series'
Recently I have begun to make available the soundtracks from our Mary's Dowry Productions films under the heading 'Calm Your Spirit with Music'.  I spend a lot of time working on film scores, we have just produced our 70th DVD, so I do not get a lot of time to pursue the albums.  There are a lot of good tunes and very moving moods in the scores so I am gradually making them available as albums in themselves.  3 are available so far.
So that is the story of my music and the different branches of albums, how they came about and what they entail.  This blog takes each individual album and writes about it in more depth so if you want to know more, take a look.  I am also compiling video trailers for the albums which gives you a better chance of hearing examples.  These trailers will be up here and also on our You Tube channel too.  If you would like any more information about the music please write to me through our website 

Thursday 1 December 2016

Calm Your Spirit With Music This Christmas! - Christmas in a Nutshell Music CD

Are you fed up with going to the supermarkets at this time of year and hearing rowdy, distracting, distressing Christmas songs?  Why not try 'Christmas in a Nutshell'.  Following on from my other music albums, this album improvises moods and sounds using all my usual instruments and style but centring around themes from popular Christmas carols such as "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" and "Silent Night". 
The CD is instrumental and great for background, chilling out and calming down this Christmas.  Why not give it a go?  
Priced at £10.00 the CD is available from and