Intone (2015)

Originally posted on Nicola Dale:

101_2868In 2013, composer Ailis ni Riain and I were commissioned to create “Intone” – an installation for Durham Brass Festival. This piece is now being shown at Platform One, as part of Lucky Dog Music‘s curatorial forays into Todmorden, a rural market town in West Yorkshire.

The work will be on show, 11am – 5pm, Thurs – Sun, 5-29 March 2015 (admission is free and the venue is easy to find – just jump out of the train at Todmorden and into the gallery on platform 1!).

A video about this piece is available here.

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Beautiful Keyed Bugle By Charles Joseph Sax

Charles-Joseph Sax (1790-1865), the father of Adolphe Sax, made this B-flat keyed bugle in his Brussels workshop in 1842. Since Charles was trained not only as an instrument maker, but also as a joiner and cabinet maker, it is likely that he also made the instrument’s decorative wooden case (veneered with purple-heart and inlaid with striped holly). Fortunately, the name of the original owner of the keyed bugle was inlaid on the case: L. Honbert, who was from the small Belgian town of Menin in west Flanders–about 30 miles south of Bruges. Charles-Joseph’s seven-key bugle is modeled after the French design, but it also displays some unique features, such as two keys that are positioned at about the same distance from the bell and used simultaneously. The most striking French characteristic is the rack-and-pinion tuning slide design. The post or pillar key-work is very modern for the time and was adapted from woodwind designs.

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Even Lady Gaga Is Getting In On The Act…


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RIP – The Great Clark Terry…

Sad news today from the world of trumpet playing. The death of the great Clark Terry will be felt world wide. Here is a nice tribute from the Ottawa Citizen.

RIP, Clark Terry

Clark Terry, the legendary trumpeter who played with everyone from Count Basie and Duke Ellington to Thelonious Monk to Oscar Peterson to McCoy Tyner to Cecil Taylor to Elvin Jones to Quincy Jones to the Tonight Show band, died Saturday, surrounded by family, students and friends.

Terry, known by the nickname CT in jazz circles, was 94, and had been in ill health for some years, living with diabetes and having lost his eyesight and some of his limbs. He had entered hospice care a little more than a week ago.

The St. Louis, Missouri-born Terry was tremendously influential over his life in music. Trumpeters Quincy Jones and Miles Davis were mentored by Terry early in their careers, and most recently, Terry’s relationship with the young pianist Justin Kauflin was the of the moving documentary Keep On Keepin’ On, which had been spoken of as a potential Oscar contender this year, but was nominated.

One of the most moving pieces of jazz-related writing that I’ve read recently isWynton Marsalis’ account of how he and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra paid a visit last December to the hospitalized Terry. If you want to know what the jazz tradition is, you can’t do any better than to read Marsalis’ piece of writing. Here’s just its conclusion:

“We recognized that he also did that for many thousands of other musicians throughout his career. He lived as a jazzman, full of soul and sophistication, sass, grit and mother wit, and he made us want to become real jazz musicians. Continue reading

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Herb Alpert – Going Strong At 80 Years Old…





“To me the Arts are the catalyst to having a fulfilling life,” says Herb Alpert, who has not only excelled as a musician responsible for record sales over 72 million, with 28 albums making the Billboard charts. He was also the co-founder of A&M Records, at one time the world’s most successful independent label.

If that isn’t enough, the nine-time Grammy Award winner is also an accomplished painter, and sculptor. He is well known for his philanthropic activities. His Herb Alpert Foundation has donated more than 130 million dollars towards Arts education. In 2013, he was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Obama.

During the 1960s. his band The Tijuana Brass had five number one albums, which included such memorable hits as “A Taste Of Honey,” “Zorba The Greek,” “Tijuana Taxi” and “Spanish Flea.” In 1966, they sold more albums than Beatles. The 1979 instrumental hit “Rise” made him the only artist to hit the top of the Billboard singles charts as both instrumentalist and singer, the other record being his 1968 vocal hit “This Guy’s In Love With You.” Continue reading

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Sound Advice…


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Music in Your DNA and A New Species of Human?

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Musical Humour – Groan…


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Domestic Violins…


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The French Horn Player…

The French Horn Player...

The French Horn Player…

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