Saturday 30 November 2019

VALLEYS - New Instrumental CD ALBUM now available!!

Last week, I was so inspired!  After all these years I managed to finish my album "VALLEYS" and release it on CD.  It has been such a long process but I brought together some of the tracks I had worked on from John Henry Newman and England the Dowry of Mary films and really worked with them with the titles that I had and it just all came together into a beautiful CD that I am so pleased with! My last album in this particular series is "KINGDOMS".  I worked on this album from 2007-2010. 

In about 2011 I asked my sister for some music track titles and have worked from a few postit notes since then, gradually forming an outline of an album.  Last week I chose the final titles and their places in the album and how many there would be.  I still have about five titles left over which I shall carry over onto my next album which I believe will be entitled "Canyons".

A Complete Instrumental Fusion Audio CD.

Take a journey with your imagination in this new long-awaited instrumental album Valleys. Travel the Lunar Valleys with soundscapes and piano blending with emotional cello only to lose yourself in the Ancient Mist of the Hidden Glen where mysterious folk dance to ancient drums whilst recorders and baroque guitars intertwine as they sing their tunes. Allow the music to transport you through the Glacial Ice Valley with sounds of panpipes, mysterious strings and beautiful cello. Feel yourself uplifted when you reach the Vale of Neath as guitars, drums, Celtic harps and horns accompany the delightful low Irish whistle. There are so many secret worlds hidden in the Valleys of countless lands waiting to be explored through music in this original, stirring and absorbing album.

Here are the final tracks:

Track Listing:

1. Lady of the Valleys (5.30)
2. Ancient Mist of the Hidden Glen (3:17)
3. Meltwater Valley (5:19)
4. Passage of the Wild Mountain Cove (4:35)
5. Light of the Valley Floor (4:23)
6. Into the Lunar Valleys (4:01)
7. Through the Glacial Ice Valley (4:58)
8. The Vale of Neath (5:46)
9. Journey of the Hidden Strait (3:26)
10. Into the Wooded Dale (4:12)
11. Waterfalls in the Hanging Valley (5:10)
12. Secret of the Hollow (5:12)

The album is now available worldwide on CD through our website and also through AMAZON UK and AMAZON COM.  Below, a trailer to hear some of the music:

Tuesday 19 November 2019


This week, I decided to try to write another track of instrumental music for our latest upcoming film "England: The Dowry of Mary".  It's quite straightforward as I love to think about old England and all things that inspire me.  For the first track I was thinking about Glastonbury Tor.  This week however, I just could not get into it, instead I found myself thinking about other things, "The Man in the High Castle" which we have been watching, melancholy, reflective, significant and emotional. 

Also, the first Jack Reacher novel which really struck me as he spent time in prison and then found out his brother had been murdered.  A lot of my early piano compositions reflect what I was reading at the time, "Larkspur of Charm" is specifically a Nancy Drew book I had just finished.  It still reminds me of it to this day.  Composing music is a great way to become lost in thought.

None of these reflections brought about the desired result of music suitable for the history of England!  In the end, I decided to forget it and go with my inspiration and work on tracks for VALLEYS instead.  Yesterday I wrote a new piece called "Through the Glacial Ice Valley".  It began as a piece for Mary's Dowry, but as it was quite dark I looked at my list of titles and chose a suitable one then wrote the rest of it.  I thoroughly enjoyed it!!  It just goes to show, I should always write what I am inspired to, not force it.

I like to use fantasy art for inspiration.  I found nice Ice glacier photographs but then narrowed my search down to include fantasy art, that way the picture tells a story.  My pieces are based on imagination, telling a story through music.  

This painting tells so much so I could think about the journey of all these ships into the mysterious landscape and what the story behind it all is.  I brought in panpipes and Celtic harps for that sparkle and cold feeling.  It's great, I'm so pleased with it.  At this point I suddenly felt the restraints and the lack of inspiration I have been feeling for many months fall away!!  I felt my old self, how I used to write and I decided that I would really knuckle down and complete this album.

I decided to go back to my other two tracks that I wrote for the upcoming Mary's Dowry film and utilize them in this album too, they can still be used in the film.  Also the two tracks that I wrote for "John Henry Newman" film as I had already extended the first one for use in this album and I love the whole new middle section.  With a few adjustments I have completed 10 tracks for this album and drawn together a lot of titles that have been all over the place waiting for 5 years.  I am currently working on extending and finalizing these pieces ready for the final few brand new compositions which will complete this album at long last.  So inspired.  

Thursday 14 November 2019

Music Tracks for "England: The Dowry of Mary" Film

I have not been feeling very inspired lately to write music.  Whether or not it's because I have burnt myself out with our latest film on John Henry Newman, launching it in time for his Canonization, or because we then had a holiday of just chilling out which is very rare, and I cannot seem to get back into writing, I don't know.  

New saints October 13th 2019
This week I decided that our next production "England: The Dowry of Mary" needs to have some progress made with it!  So I took the bull by the horns and cleared my desk so that I could actually get to my computer.  Now with a clear working area I decided to write some tracks based on "Olde England".  This is my favourite thing to write, I have always loved the sound of Old English instruments like recorder, lute, harpsichord, Baroque guitar, so I use them all the time as pretty much the foundation of my composition style.  

Because "England: The Dowry of Mary" film is going to be even longer than our Newman film I decided to take a similar approach and write some tracks in advance as that worked well with the longer Newman score.  So, I called the first track the original title of "Tracks for Dowry film 1" and set to work.  I am enjoying using all my favourite instruments and improvising what inspires me when I think about the history of our country.  As the film begins with Glastonbury, I have always found this a fascinating place.  I pictured the Glastonbury Tor in my mind and wrote what I felt.  

I write best when I hit record and improvise, then I go over what I have written layer by layer adding in more improvised subtle harmonies with other instruments so that the piece grows.  Today I have embarked upon a second piece, this time leading with the Baroque guitar.  I don't usually lead with the Baroque guitar.  Most of the time I am writing a live underscore to narrative and I find that it's a bit overpowering as it requires quite a high velocity in order to be heard.  Because I am writing audio tracks that can be worked with and lowered in volume if needed, I have felt free to pretty much do what I want.  So today I have written a 4 minute track led by Baroque guitar and moving into other lead instruments such as Alto Recorder and then harpsichord.  

The piece today has four separate sections with each of these instruments intertwining themselves around the rest.  I have filled out the entire score with strings, Symphonic choirs and a variety of soundscapes and it has come together quite nicely.  I now have two pieces written so am feeling better about the upcoming film score for this latest film.  This film will be a great project bringing in twelve years worth of productions on English saints and Martyrs. 

The Martyrs Collection 1. Each individual film has a full music score composed directly
 I have already decided to draw upon old scores for this film as much of the martyrs and reformation history will be covered in the context of England as the Dowry of Mary.  We also have presentations from The Shrines of Our Lady of Consolation, West Grinstead and Our Lady of England, Storrington.  
The statue at The Shrine of Our Lady of England, Storrington

Presenting from the Priory gardens in Storrington
Spoken presentation requires no music so this is a different type of film score that leaves me more free to draw upon both audio, SFX, new music and new music tracks that I am currently writing in advance.  Some of the presentations even have bells ringing in the background from the Shrines which worked out great!  A very long and complex project but it will be so worth it, I cannot wait to have this film complete!  I just know it's going to be a great film but the process of "allowing yourself to be used" as an instrument to produce the film is always a very exhausting thing.