The first piece of the year has been written! So it’s probably the right time for the first performance of the year. In 2013 that dubious honour goes to Glasgow’s Ensemble Thing who are playing my new piece next Wednesday (23rd January) at The Old Hairdresser’s in what’s shaping-up to be an awesome gig. I say “my new piece” because it hasn’t got a title yet (hot-off-the-press); suggestions on a postcard, please, or perhaps in the comments below.
Also in the concert is another chance to hear my clarinet work My Life in Ventriloquism and two pieces taken from John De Simone’s Panic Diary. Oh… and Fredric Rzewski’s epic Coming Together. All for only three of your British pounds.
We are ventriloquists. We are not ventriloquists.
PS: Is it too late to wish you all a Happy New Year? Probably not… Happy New year!
…and then two come along at once.
Friday 27th April sees the performance of my two most recent pieces as part of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland‘s annual week of new music; PLUG. The lunchtime concert at 1pm features, amongst other things, my Postlude to Nightfishing for solo violin and the evening concert at 7:30pm includes the brand-new My Life in Ventriloquism for solo clarinet.
The theme for this year’s PLUG is “Postludes”. Composers at the Conservatoire were asked to write short pieces that somehow reflected upon works performed in previous PLUG festivals, the only catch being these originals are not being performed again this year. In the case of my postlude, which is based on Oliver Searle‘s Nightfishing, original work and postlude are divorced by a couple of years (but you can hear to Ol’s piece here – recommended listening!). I was attracted to the uneasy stillness at the beginning of this piece; instead of borrowing its dots I borrowed its atmosphere and took it from there. Postlude to Nightfishing will be performed by Darragh Morgan.
I am a ventriloquist of sorts (gottle o’ geer), aren’t all composers? We are forever throwing our voices and speaking through others. My Life in Ventriloquism is a quick foray into an art form where the relationship between act and audience is fundamentally different to that of the concert hall. Ventriloquism as entertainment relies upon an acknowledged deceit and the suspension of disbelief on the part of the audience (it’s a puppet!) whilst the concert hall and related industry is mostly concerned with notions of authenticity and truth. These differences between art forms interest me greatly. More on ventriloquism in a future post but for now these ideas have spawned an 11-minute virtuosic clarinet piece which will be played on the 27th by Jenny Stephenson.
I’m not sure what other pieces are on the bill, although the lunchtime concert will feature a work by Richard Ayres and the evening performance includes new music for new films made at the RCS. More details on the performances page when I know them.
A little confession: I’m not entirely sure this piece works as an audio recording. If you do listen, bear in mind that the voice of the composer is disembodied – the “composer” isn’t in the room and his voice is delivered through loudspeakers. Without pictures, however, you won’t see the physical exertions of the ensemble as they react to this voice. It’s deliberately physical music.
As normal, Struction was conceived as a concert piece (and these days I’m always thinking about the relationship between music its context) and hearing this recording reinforces my belief that live musical performance and audio recordings are two completely different mediums, each with their idiosyncrasies. Why do we so often consider them the same when composing?
This week I’m fortunate enough to be a member of Benjamin Zander’s conducting class at the London Master Classes, held annually at the Royal Academy of Music in London. I’d like to share one of the things he said…
“We’ve tamed Beethoven, this wild animal shaking his fist at the world. We want to play his dangerous music in our cars when driving down the road. Our job is to bring Beethoven back to life”
Like new music? Like Edinburgh? Like intimate, red-painted concert halls? Then you’ll like this…
As I’m beginning several new pieces at the moment I thought I would share the few ground rules / points of departure I set myself as I begin each new work. Most of what I write these days is concerned with PhD-related research and the pieces are generally conceived outwith any commissioning system. This list is ever-changing and not particularly original, but here it is in its current form…
1) New music is necessary because we, as a society, change and develop our ideas from time to time. New ideas necessitate new art and the reappraisal of old art.
2) Music is not an architectonic, autonomous object which is appreciated in isolation from performance. It barters a moment-by-moment relationship between its creators and receivers.
3) There are no defaults. Some things that were once held sacred are only parameters awaiting adjustment.
4) If a piece of music has meaning (of any type), that meaning is located entirely within the listener.
5) We assimilate meaning not only from content but also from context, and there is no such thing as a neutral context.
6) I am not the caretaker of a tradition, I do not diligently continue the work of previous generations.
7) Intuition isn’t a dirty word.
One of the highlights of the RSAMD year is the annual Plug festival of new music of which the 2011 variety took place a couple of weeks ago. It’s usually a good week for the composition department, both musically and socially, as the Academy puts on around ten concerts of new work (almost) exclusively created by its students and staff. This year there were, apparently, 35 new works for various ensembles and a further 30 new German songs which formed part of the department’s “Glasgow Liederbuch” project. I say “apparently” because unfortunately I was unable to make most of the concerts due to a string of other commitments and rehearsals for my own piece, Struction (how attempted to get the thoughts in my head into your head using only five instruments, five instrumentalists, metronome sound and MIDI), which was performed by the Red Note Ensemble on the Friday evening of the festival.
I’ve blogged about the creation of Struction before. In its final version it became a 25-minute blast; five instrumental lines, often demanding and virtuosic, are set to an unrelenting, totally audible clicktrack with the composer’s voice booming over the top issuing ad hoc instructions to the performers and apparently composing / recomposing the piece as it goes along. There are occasions when a computer-realized performance of the piece plays in tandem with the real-life instrumentalists, all of whom are amplified. My thanks go to Tim Cooper for all his hard work in engineering the live sound for this performance and for graciously putting-up with me changing my mind every few minutes. I hope to get an audio recording on this site as soon as possible.
One of the necessities of the PhD process (of which this piece forms a part) is the complete documentation of research; consequently I have 31 work-in-progress versions of the score, a “complete” intermediate demo of the piece, three versions of the recorded voice part (including two hours of out-takes), several versions of the tape track, four written documents discussing the piece and a lot more besides. Although I always know that the piece I’ve just finished is a little different from the one I set-out to write this excess of documentation allows me to reflect on how, when and why the piece shifted, conceptually and musically, before settling down into its final form. For me the end product touched on several topics, including, to greater and lesser extent, the relationship between composer, performers and audience, the compositional process, the relationship between people and technology, and role-playing/performativity. However, it was this final element, that I performed the role of “The Composer” whilst also being the piece’s composer, which changed the most since the genesis of the work. (A quick aside; did the performers play the role of Performers during the performance?) Originally I had planned to characterize The Composer differently; he was to be my tyrannical alter ego, overbearing, over-demanding and cruel (hence the working title Struction (shut up and listen)). It all got a bit hammy so the Composer’s persona was scaled-down and became perhaps a little more autobiographical. Not only did this allow for more humour in the piece, which in turn added another dimension to The Composer’s characterization, but it made The Composer a more universal figure; the (often ludicrous) demands made by the composer’s pre-recorded voice were not the rantings of a madman but became characteristic of a system that sees the composer as auteur. These themes will be revisited in future work; Struction is definitely the first chapter, not a conclusion.
I was very pleased with the concert. Red Note pitched the performance just right, having found the flow and humour of the piece early on they threw themselves into the wilder passages and played the quieter moments with great poise. The performance was probably best summed-up by a composer colleague of mine who, when asked how he thought the ensemble did with the piece, responded “they played the arse off it”. I’m inclined to agree, and, for a performance of this piece, there’s probably no greater compliment.
Please forgive the vague salutation; I’d prefer to make this a more personal missive. Would you permit me to address you by your forename, perhaps? If you’d rather we stuck to a more formal code then that’s fine with me too, although I may need to enquire as to whether you are really a sir before calling you such. You see, the problem is I don’t know who you are. I don’t even know why you’d indulge me by reading this letter in the first place. However, seeing as you’ve nearly read to the end of the first paragraph, it’d be impolite of me to give-up now so I’ll continue on the proviso that the purpose of this correspondence will be made clear to you in due course. I promise you that.
I’m only writing now to share a concern of mine that (surprisingly to some) actually involves you. Recently, during a pre-concert interview on the opening night of Glasgow’s Minimal festival, the American composer Ingram Marshall mentioned how he was greatly concerned about the quality of sound that reaches his audience’s ears. His interviewer was rather surprised at this remark and declared it was unusual to find a composer occupied with such matters; “Most composers feel that thinking about the audience would compromise their work”, the interviewer said.
Reader, I found that comment by the interviewer very odd. The relationship between a composer and an audience is a complicated one, particularly on the rare occasion that the composer in question is still alive. However, who are these “most composers” that don’t consider the audience when they write? Is there still a clique of composers up an ivory tower somewhere, all Beatles-hair and narrow lapels?
A composer who considers the reception of a work, how it could be heard, isn’t necessarily populist. Nor is it a case of “giving the audience what it wants” (a difficult task, members of an audience are seldom unified by exactly the same desires) or even “writing down” to the listener (a patronising position). It’s simply about communication. I have chosen the topic of this letter, for example, and I’m going to make sure you, a complete stranger, understand it. I don’t want to waste your time. Hearing/reading your work through the ears/eyes of an audience is essential if you are to remain cogent. It’s the same for all communicators: orators, writers, composers etc. No matter the subject of a piece of music, be it completely abstract or “about something” (on the subject of memory, say), it must be explicit, interesting and understandable. Otherwise you leave people you don’t know personally, your audience, in the dark and you have wasted both their time and your own.
If a composer has something to say (and why should anyone pay attention if they don’t?), I believe it needs to be said as clearly as possible. I think I’ve achieved that in this note to you. I can only hope to also achieve it in my compositional work.
This is a cross-post with the Composing Oneself blog.
There has been much furore in the blogosphere recently concerning the views of Jonathan Harvey, one of the most well-respected of British composers. Specifically, during a broadcast interview with Bob Shingleton for Future Radio, Harvey suggested that classical concerts of the future could use electronic amplification in order to attract younger audiences. His comments were covered by the national media including The Guardian and The Telegraph.
Firstly, what he actually said: “….the mass of young people don’t like concert halls… They wouldn’t normally go to one except for amplified music. They have no concept of what it is to hear music as soft as a pin dropping and that kind of delicacy and refinement. So there’s a big divide between amplified music and non-amplified music and the two cultures. I think what the future must bring is things which are considered blasphemous like amplifying classical music in an atmosphere were people can come and go, where they can even talk, perhaps, and it wouldn’t be sacrilege and they can certainly leave in the middle of a movement if they feel like it. These are the sort of situations where young people’s music takes place”.
He goes on to note that many people are being deprived of classical music due to the off-putting nature of concert hall etiquette. Notice at no point did he advocate the electronic amplification of all classical concerts, although try telling that to a few hysterical bloggers (including Fiona Maddocks in The Observer).
There are a few issues here that have been bundled together: namely, the use of amplification in the concert hall and the supposed relationship between concert hall protocol and the absence of young people in the audience.
Those who have been horrified by the suggestion of amplification in classical gigs (and there have been many) are presumably concerned with the amplification of music that wasn’t originally intended to be made louder. There is plenty of (new-ish) music that intentionally mixes live, unamplified sound with amplified recordings (including many works by Jonathan Harvey himself). But is there nothing to be said for the artistic use of amplification in old-music concerts?
Much of the frothy indignation appearing on the web this week over the issue has been a result of considering “amplification” as synonymous with rock-’n'-roll volume levels. Whilst cranked-up decibel levels would indeed affront our well-developed listening culture, can the same be said for the subtle use of amplification for musical reasons? For me, arguments that assert that any use of amplification would automatically distort the intentions of performers (and indeed composers) is a false one; works originally intended for small, intimate venues are now routinely played in cavernous auditoriums. For example, I have attended numerous concerts in churches with unbearably-long reverberation times. Were the resulting muddy textures and lack of clarity any more of a distortion of the composer’s/performer’s goals than a bit of electronic enhancement? Why do we allow (albeit grudgingly) the distortions that unsympathetic architecture inflicts upon music but not the enhancements that a sensitive electronic amplification could bring? Just think of all the wonderful, subtle shades of piano that could be expressed by means of amplification, for example, which are usually lost when a soloist is required to project into a large concert space above the sound of a symphony orchestra. Electronic amplification can theoretically be used as an expressive tool to add nuance to a musical performance, not just to make it louder (and let’s not forget that the Royal Festival Hall used electro-acoustic “assisted resonance” from 1964 to 1999).
Many performers may feel aggrieved by the suggestion of amplification, its “interference” with their performance, the lack of total control of sound that performers desire, not to mention the difficulties in monitoring one’s performance in a miked-up situation. Performers are trained to project their sound by working with (and sometimes against) the acoustics of the performance space, this ability being a necessary and prized asset. Sound production is a personal thing for musicians and working with a sound engineer would naturally enforce a degree of collaboration.
However, if used, amplification creates another layer of artistic opportunities; the decisions that have to be made are similar to those of the recording process (for example the type of microphones used, their placement, how the sound is mixed, which frequencies are attenuated etc). The common suggestion that there aren’t many people who could be trusted to amplify classical music (ostensibly because live sound engineers usually “only” work in the pop domain) is nonsense. Not only would the regular amplification of concerts create better training opportunities for classical sound engineers but many commentators seem to underestimate the complexity of recording, producing and mastering a pop track to professional standards (you can’t just plug in and turn up to eleven if you want the finished product to sound good). If amplification is used, a fine rapport with a good sound engineer would be essential; it’s no wonder that the Kronos Quartet (who only ever performed amplified) consider their sound engineer, Scott Fraser, to be an intrinsic member of the ensemble (read about his work here ).
So the (incorrect) assertion that amplification is a blunt, unsympathetic tool cannot be reason enough to dismiss it out of hand. Nor can the difficulties of achieving a good sound-balance (amplifying a whole orchestra is a difficult and expensive exercise, although certainly not impossible). The main reason not to amplify is that amplification for the sake of amplification is not necessary; Jonathan Harvey’s comments, although well-meaning, teeter on the edge of the cliché that the yoof are unable to appreciate subtlety, can’t sit still and can only exhibit one mode of behaviour when attending musical performances. The desire of the audience to talk and move around (thus the need for blanket amplification) is overstated; people don’t talk at the cinema and nor do they feel the need to go for a wander. However, Harvey’s underlying suggestion, that music should be presented in a manner familiar and comfortable to its targeted audience, seems rather like stating the obvious to me. Classical music doesn’t belong to one age group, social class or income-bracket, it belongs to anyone who cares to listen. However, that mode of listening (in a live scenario) is dictated by a social convention which is upheld by one particular social class and age group. It doesn’t suit everyone, so why not supplement it with other modes of listening?
Of course, some have; the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment present late-evening classics at the Roundhouse as part of their “Nightshift” series; Icebreaker, like Kronos, only ever perform amplified; in Scotland the Red Note ensemble have taken over where Paragon left off by regularly performing new music in bars. There are probably many more examples although these remain the exceptions rather than the norm. Maybe Harvey hints at a future where, having lost the aged audience and associated ticket sales, what is now considered outreach work will become an everyday occurrence for established musical ensembles.
Meanwhile there are several schemes that encourage young people to go to standard classical events including Manchester’s Sonic Card and Glasgow’s Fonic Card (disclaimer: I was slightly involved with the Glasgow version). These two schemes are independent of each other (the similarity of name is entirely coincidental….) and both work by offering cheap tickets coupled with a core of young volunteers who publicise the gigs and engage with the young audience. This lends both schemes an air of “for us, by us” authenticity despite being backed by major arts organisations; to get more young people into the concert hall you need to engage and invite them.
Tellingly, the flurry of indignation aimed towards Harvey refers only to a short extract of an excellent interview. In the unedited version (listen to it here) the composer speaks gently but passionately about a variety of subjects (including Benjamin Britten, Hans Keller, Milton Babbitt, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Rudolf Steiner, Buddhism, serialism and spectralism) for over forty minutes. His comments regarding the future of the concert hall occupy less than ninety seconds. Whilst there is plenty of room for debate over the way classical music is presented it seems a pity on this occasion that it replaces discussion of the other things Jonathan Harvey speaks of, not to mention his music. If we’re all getting hot under the collar over concert protocol rather than the music itself, what message does that send to those who haven’t yet experienced live classical music?
Here is a short sketch of mine that was performed by the ReDo string quartet during the 5th International Workshop for Composers in Mazsalaca, Latvia, last week. I can’t praise ReDo highly enough; they are four young, very talented players with so much warmth and enthusiasm for music (“we’ll play anything so long as it’s good”). It was a pleasure to spend time in their company, in and out of the rehearsal room.
ReDo with composers: back row l-r; Peteris Ozolins (cello), Rei Munakata (composer), Arturs Gailis (viola), me, Konstantins Paturskis (2nd violin); front row l-r; Anitra Tumsevica (composer), Madara Jaugiete (1st violin); Photograph by Andris Dzenitis.
I’m back home in Glasgow having just returning from a busy and inspiring week at the 5th International Workshop for Young Composers that was held in Mazsalaca, Latvia. I was one of twenty young composers from around the globe selected to study with lecturers David Lang, Pär Lindgren and Richard Ayres. We also worked with either the incredibly young and talented Latvian string quartet ReDo or the veteran French group Ensemble Aleph, who were also documenting the whole process by interviewing participants and lecturers.
One of the most interesting questions to arise during these interviews was probably the simplest; “why do you write contemporary music?”. This is a tougher question than it would first appear. Not simply why write but why write in this style, with these mannerisms. My usual answer to why I write “contemporary” music is that I am a contemporary person (either that or I smell pretty good for a cadaver) but, if I’m honest, this only goes a small way into explaining why we/I write as we do.
Throughout the week in Mazsalaca, common themes became apparent in the work of the composer-participants, despite the wide variety of (very good) pieces presented in our late-night sessions; unsurprisingly, simple triadic harmonies were absent, melodic intervals were often jagged and extreme changes in instrumental colour occurred frequently (these are all nods to the major stylistic trends of the Twentieth Century). References to earlier times were more covert, although Patricia Alessandrini has written some wonderful, almost-cryptic, homages to the repertoire, and the interplay of two contrasting musical ideas (like a distilled, non-tonal sonata) was widespread. Influence from other arts seemed limited to the dramatic Palladio by Graham Flett which featured the penitent composer carrying a large bass drum on his bare back during performance.
Listening to work of my colleagues suggested that the composers of our generation have found themselves at the end of a linear history and (apparently) chosen which elements of the past to expunge and which to nurture in order to create the music of now. This linear view of time (Haydn begat Mozart, who begat Beethoven who begat…[many years]…..us) is different to that of Richard Ayres who considers time as accumulative rather than linear. For example, despite the fact that Mozart died in 1791 his music is still with us and is very much part of our culture. So if his musical world is still contemporary with us in the present day, why do today’s composers forbid themselves from using it? Why do we allow the stylistic tics of the Twentieth Century to infiltrate our music but not those of the Eighteenth? Our culture carries our musical ancestors as if they are still alive but as a writer of contemporary music we consider the soundworld of classicism, romanticism et al. to be at the “wrong” end of time’s arrow (I am, of course, ignoring neo-classicism etc. for the purposes of this argument – that tin of worms can be opened another day). Many of us, in order to be current, (post-)modern and necessary, accept the broad musical language of now as a given, as a system in which we operate; it’s as if we have a box labelled “contemporary music” which many of us are keen to jump into it, or possibly don’t even realize that we are already inside. The box doesn’t just prescribe musical attributes, our choice of notes and gestures, but governs every aspect of our work. There was a lot of talk about boxes last week from both Richard Ayres and David Lang.
A (metaphorical) box can be a spur to creativity but also a hindrance, the constraints set by these boxes affect the music we create in many unobvious ways. The way things are done is the largest box of all. From the set-up of a concert hall (including its quasi-religious rituals), the concert hall itself, the standardized durations and instrumentation of commissions to the way composers are expected to interact with performers is a box, a product of the way things have been done many times in the past. These constraints produce a certain way of working, a certain way of composing and ultimately a certain way of listening. These boxes are all very convenient, of course (and they make everything so easy to categorize), but a composer needs to construct their own, or at least acknowledge the extent of existing confines, in order to reach the full potential of their creativity. Only then will we be truly contemporary.
How does one write a piece of music about privacy? How does one write a piece about slavery, conspiracy or authority? Is it possible to write a piece that explores issues of fiction and non-fiction, truth and lies?
It was this type of question that saw me begin an extended bout of research (read: PhD) at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. For a few years I’d had a general frustration that I felt unable to write music about topics that genuinely interested me, topics that are essentially extra-musical or at least rarely explored in the musical domain.
So where to begin? How can a composer put across, in a clear manner without relying on programme notes, non-musical ideas in a piece of music? For me the key lies not just in musical parameters but also in the manner of performance. This research project has, since inception, implicitly acknowledged that the act of composition is the creation of a performance in its entirety rather than the construction of a text which is to be interpreted and then performed within the confines of a pre-existing performance grammar. I maintain that the separation between text and performance is an artificial one; music is a performing art but traditionally the physical nature of the performance itself has fallen outside the jurisdiction of the composer in strictly instrumental / vocal music. Traditional concert performance practice has been widely deconstructed in academic circles particularly since the 1980s (and if you want to find out why in fact “a concert hall is a place middle-class white people can feel safe together”, and not simply a neutral auditorium for the preservation of music by dead white men, read Musicking by Christopher Small). Despite this, however, concert hall performances still usually require the composer to utilize pre-existing performance protocol rather than allowing him / her to create new means of expression that may be more fitting to the ultimate aims of the work.
So, my starting point for this project was the following (rather broad) question;
How can consideration of the theatrical elements of performance benefit the conceptual content of a musical work?
Here, the term “theatrical elements of performance” refers to the visual nature of performance as opposed to the purely musical and could encompass, for example, the physical movements of the performers, lighting, costume, the location of performance and even the medium of dissemination (does the work have to be performed live? What about an audio recording, for example, or video?). In what way do these changes from the norm affect the way the piece is heard and how does this affect the relationship between the work and audience? Is it possible to delve into non-musical topics, such as authority, fiction and privacy, in this manner? We shall find out in due course.
A few years ago I was privileged to have a work of mine feature in a composition workshop given by a renowned Scottish orchestra. It proved to be a pivotal experience for me, but not in the way I could have predicted. I had written quite a fun piece, all melodic riffs and catchy rhythms, that ended with a single, undulating tune echoed from the beginning of the work. Even though this melody was taken-up by most of the ensemble, including three woodwind parts, I didn’t want this phrase to be broken anywhere; putting in places for woodwind players to breathe seemed implausible. So, I took the decision (rather naively, perhaps) that the performers would just have to choose the places to breathe themselves; I assumed that they’d take a breath when necessary in the most musically-sympathetic place.
Well, I was wrong. What actually happened (rather predictably, with the benefit of hindsight) was that my refusal to comply with the practicalities of playing wind instruments resulted in those players continuing the phrase until they literally couldn’t play any further. At this point they desperately gasped for breath, having starved themselves of oxygen for far too long. And I thought: “Well, how weird is that?! Something that I wrote on a piece of paper resulted in three people I have never met before half-asphyxiating themselves!”. It occurred to me that the written score is not just for transmitting musical ideas but also a kind of encoded choreography that the performers adhere to, a series of physical instructions that govern the movement of the group for the duration of a performance.
A second experience, in contrast to this, occurred more recently. Whilst looking over some of my sketches (for a piece that was ultimately abandoned), an instrumental student at the RSAMD complained to me about the way I had written something; “That’s typical of you composers”, she said, “you’re always trying to control us. But you can’t”.
This seemed to juxtapose my experiences in the orchestral workshop and got me thinking; is not all written music a form of control? After all, if you write “down bow” over a note, that symbol controls the violinist’s right arm for a split-second; a semi-breve dictates how a brass player’s natural breathing is interrupted etc. If these actions are all required to create the composer’s music, does this mean the composer has authority over these actions as well as the music itself?
So, I set upon writing a piece that looked into the idea of a musical score being a document that creates a contract of control between composer and performers rather than an artefact that is ultimately independent of the composer and is realized / interpreted by others. The piece is currently entitled Struction (shut-up and listen) and is quite a theatrical work for small ensemble and the composer’s (pre-recorded) voice which makes demands of the instrumentalist, seemingly on a whim. The pre-recorded composer is called Thomas Butler, he shares my name and voice but is essentially a fictional character. He is demanding, often rude, and unrealistic in his expectations of what performers are able to do (quite unlike the real Thomas Butler, I would hope).
Struction isn’t finished yet; it’s currently about seven minutes too short and there’s plenty more to explore in the concept. I’ll write more about this piece as it happens.
This is my second attempt at a first post, the original having suffered at the hands of an unfortunate administrative error by my webhost (but that’s another story, the moral of which is “make backups!”). So I’d like to say hello again and welcome you to the weblog, the friendly first-person area in an otherwise austere third-person website.
Here you’ll find information on my current composition projects, ongoing research and general musings on music (new and old). Updates may be a little sporadic but hopefully interesting (we’ll see).
Please join in the discussion, I’d be interested to hear your views. Happy reading!