of current projects, projects to come and maybe a little bit about
past projects ...
are you still doing workshops?" came the enquiry a couple of
weeks ago. I knew it was well past the time I should update this
page. So, with apologies to people who may glance at this page to
see if I'm still trading ... I am, but as is glaringly obvious,
I have been very slow to add any news this year. Once again, life
has thrown other things my way, but I am slowly adjusting to whatever
passes for normal these days and getting used to having to do things
differently. The biggest difference, of course, is that it now takes
longer to sort out whatever equipment is needed for whatever job
I am doing and it is usually miles from where I happen to be. Oh
well, a bit of extra planning doesn't hurt I suppose. Living on
a boat has its charms, but sometimes I would like to have ready
access to my instruments and resources.
projects with The
News of the Victory, Hoofbeat,
The King's Lynn Community Samba Band,
Bishy Barnabeat, the Neil
Cousin Band and my solo songwriter project have continued.
this year is Snakecharmer, a new ceilidh duo with Steve
Bingham. We had our first ceilidh on Lifeboat Plain in Sheringham
for their carnival fortnight on the last day of July. Using Steve's
expertise in live looping I have written a new set of tunes and
arranged them in several parts, so that we can build a big sound
with just two people. While Steve is controlling the looping technology
and playing the violin parts I add guitar and percussion and call
the dances. Is it another first in the folk dancing world? I know
of nothing else like it locally. Again the feedback from the festival
organisers was very positive.
Music school projects have also been continuing. Thanks again to
the lovely staff at Walpole Cross Keys School and Yaxham
School who have helped me stay afloat with regular work. New
this year has been regular work with long-time friend and fellow
Bright, at Hintlesham and Chattisham School in Suffolk.
The school has presented us with some challenging projects, but
we have helped them come up with performances of original music
using a range of percussion. At their "Olympic Games Opening
Ceremony" we employed all the KS2 pupils (about sixty of them)
playing a range of percussion instruments from Africa, Cuba and
Brazil, alongside pupils playing guitars, violin, keyboards and
singing on an extended specially devised piece. The promenading
audience of parents and friends were very complimentary and the
pupils gave a splendid and enthusiastic performance. The hall looked
amazing filled as it was with congas, djembes, dun-duns, and samba
percussion along with the school's extensive tuned percussion set.
We are going back into the school after the summer holiday for another
Children's Our World
Festival took place this year in Old Buckenham Primary
School. Sadly, it was the only one this year, but it was fun
working with all the regulars including Tony
Jackson, the Nachdar
Sansaar Bhangra Dancers , Jenny Cunningham and others.
Downham Market cluster of primary schools hosted the annual infant
music festival again this year. It is extraordinary to think that
I put the first of these events on in 1987 and we have not missed
a year since. That makes twenty-six consecutive years of leading
these festivals and they are still just as much fun as ever. That
kind of longevity brings its own problems though. I bumped into
a young lady who has started working at a farm near where I live
these days and she recognised me from a festival many years ago.
At least she didn't say, "You used to have hair ..." The
dates are booked for next year already - 13th/14th June 2013.
enjoyed very much opportunities to work again in King's Lynn
Nursery and Arden Grove School in Norwich as well as
visits to Thomas Clarkson Academy in Wisbech (steel pan workshop)
and Teversham Primary School in Cambridge (samba workshop).
This month has been busier than usual with ceilidhs and other performances
and the diary is looking reasonably healthy for the Autumn term.