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News of projects in 2007...



4th December 2007

The King's Lynn Community Samba Band will be playing in King's Lynn town centre (near Argos) on Thursday evening, 6th December, between 7 and 8pm. King's Lynn is in Norfolk in the UK.

Hoofbeat will be entertaining shoppers in Thetford (also in Norfolk) the following day, Friday evening December 7th from 6.30pm outside King's House, the town council offices. We'll be including some first performances of new music in the programme, including one of my new compositions, "Was It Ever Like This".

As if you needed suggestions for seasonal gifts I have a couple of ideas. "A Rainbow Over the Freeway", the Sparks tribute cd containing my version of "Frankly Scarlett, I Don't Give a Damn" is now available from a dedicated MySpace page here price £11.49. All proceeds from this go to the Rainbow Trust Children's Charity. The mini-cd "NotV" by The News of the Victory is also still available from here for just £6.00 plus p&p. Superb stocking fillers both.

In the absence of other news I thought I would share something utterly amazing ... if it turns out to be true. Today amongst the daily crop of spam e-mail I received a message from a company in Manchester offering to put at the top of Google rankings. While I'm not exactly sure what that might involve (apart from, I suppose, a hefty fee) I thought I would Google DeeP Music and see where it came without their help. Naturally it was top already. At the bottom of the first page of search engine results was Now is nothing to do with, but I thought I would see what their site was about. As it happens it's fascinating and very far-out science. Apparently a black hole in the constellation of Perseus is responsible for emitting the lowest note, a B-flat, ever discovered. It is literally, at 57 octaves below middle C, the deepest music known in the universe. Of course it is too deep for us to hear. As anyone who has experienced the DeeP Sound Show will remember, the human ear can only theoretically handle sounds between 20 Hz and 20 kHz. In practice, of course, our range of hearing (specially as we mature into adulthood) is considerably narrower than that. This cosmic B-flat is, apparently, a million billion times deeper than the limits of human hearing. So whereas our theoretical lowest limit of hearing is a sound vibrating at 20 cycles every second, a single cycle of this cosmic B-flat wave takes about ten million years. Naturally, someone has used this information to compose some truly cosmic music. So, if you have 311.04 trillion years to spare surf over to to see what five bars of deep music really looks like.


14th November 2007

I'm pleased to report that everything seems to be functioning well with the two new websites. You can still access The News of the Victory site through the links on the left or, if you can't be bothered to click around, click here.

The past school half term has seen the projects already reported in addition to regular ongoing work in Norfolk village schools in Mileham, Yaxham and Walpole Cross Keys.

  • With the kind permission of head teachers and pupils at Walpole Cross Keys Primary School and Balfour Junior School and the poet, Wes Magee, I have put up some recordings of work carried out by pupils during the past few months using music technology. Click to listen to the recordings made by pupils at Walpole Cross Keys (one class of Y3-Y6 pupils working in small groups) in Norfolk and at Balfour Junior School in Brighton (three classes of Y3 pupils working in class sized groups). Some details of the contexts of the projects can be found on the linked pages.
  • Greetings to Eleanor Gibson and the adult African drumming group at Wadenhoe, near Oundle, Cambs. Many thanks for inviting me to run a workshop for you this week. Good luck with the new rhythms we played, Jansa, Wasulunke and Kuku!
  • Earlier in the day of the Wadenhoe drumming workshop I attended a day at The Cut in Halesworth, Suffolk, where Sound Sense had organised a day dedicated to the use of the Sound Beam. It was interesting to see what other people were doing with this movement sensing controller and was also good to renew acquaintances with artists and performers not encountered for many years.

It's not often that any of my work is reviewed, but I recently recorded a track for a cd, which is intended to raise money for the Rainbow Trust Children's Charity, featuring the music of American group, Sparks. The official launch of the cd is scheduled for 29th November in London. Among masses of other performers involved in this project are ex-members of Sparks, The Autons (who are probably too young to have ex-members) and Jello Biafra. If you can cope with the hyperbole of a fan adulation site administered by their management company the full details are here. Otherwise I shall bask in the imagined success of a job completed and submitted ... even if the cd edit of my contribution was carried out without reference to me or to the form of the music. It's tough being a prima donna sometimes!

Review by Robert Walsha of "A Rainbow Over The Freeway"

"This wasn’t supposed to be that good ... I’ve always held the theory that the very uniqueness of Sparks made them a nigh impossible band to cover well. Indeed, how many truly great Sparks cover versions can anyone recall? I rest my case.

Or so I thought. A Rainbow Over The Freeway rather blows that theory out of the water. In spades.

Most of the recordings here are clearly labours of love. It really shows. Throughout, the quality of Ron and Russell Mael’s songwriting shines through, undimmed even on those recordings that take the songs to far off and audacious places.

Special mention on this front must be made of Derek Paice’s rereading of ‘Frankly Scarlett I Don’t Give A Damn’, a fabulous collage of sound that, in instrumentation at least, comes over vaguely Four Tet and wouldn’t sound out of place on a Wire Magazine ‘Very Best Of The Wire Tapper’ CD. For the uninitiated, this is a compliment! ...

This collection brings out the sheer quality of Sparks’ music and, coupled with such varied treatments, could even help make the ambivalent and even downright Sparks-antipathetic realise what they’ve been missing.

You know what, Ron and Russell themselves should feel dead proud of what their offspring have created!"

Naturally I've only reproduced the trumpet-blowing highlights here. You get about half of my version of "Frankly Scarlett ..." on the cd. The full track will be available as part of the whole album in its eventual download version. I'll post further details when available.


25th October 2007

The move of DeeP Music to a different server has prompted me, at last, to register a separate domain for The News of the Victory ( ). As I write it is not yet active, but I am expecting to come on-stream at any time and it should be up and running by the time I post this news bulletin. Whilst waiting I have been working on tidying up both the DeeP Music and The News of the Victory sites and have attempted to make the navigation a little clearer throughout both, whilst updating information and generally making things look a little more interesting. Apart from incorporating some better looking Flash buttons on The NotV site (maybe not a stunning feature, but it feels like quite an achievement …) I have included a very short video of the samba band at this year's Rose Fair, courtesy of YouTube on the KLCSB page. I hope you enjoy it. With any luck it might interest you enough to want to come along to rehearsals and join in with us …? You can see there is still some space on the lorry for extra players at next year's Rose Fair, for which we have already been booked. We shall certainly be looking to recruit new people after Christmas, although lapsed sambistas would be welcome to come along anytime. Hope to see you soon.


20th October 2007

First of all, many apologies to anyone who may have tried to view this website over the past few weeks, specially if you were hoping to see new information! For some reason, and for several weeks, I have been unable to log on to the site in order to edit the pages that needed a little tweaking (and yes, the bills have all been paid!). It was the last straw when the site disappeared altogether for a few days. The company which has provided my internet services for the past nine years ignored my phone calls and e-mails requesting support and an explanation. After nearly three weeks of being ignored I made arrangements to move the site to another hosting company's server. If you have ever played this particular game you will know it involves getting the present host to release the domain so that it can be registered with the new provider ... see where this is heading? Since I was unable to get any response from the old provider I believe that's Catch 22. Thankfully there is a body that deals with registrations who agreed (after I had explained the situation and provided proof of identity) to over-ride the usual procedure and allow me to register the change myself, which I did on 17th October. It has taken from then till now for various computers to click and whirr so that I can get access to a new server on which to upload the site. Still the fact that you are reading this tale means it is up and running ... at last!

DeeP Music activity has taken me back to schools in Mileham, Yaxham and Walpole Cross Keys. This week I also took the DeeP Sound Show to Balfour Junior School in Brighton. Quite a trek and not enough time to explore the city (I didn't realise it was a city till I saw the signs bidding me welcome). Many thanks to staff and Y3 pupils who made the day fun and I trust they discovered something new about the nature of sound.

The King's Lynn Community Samba Band continues to rumble along. Many thanks to the small and dedicated band of regulars who keep the continuity going while so many others explore more of a revolving door form of participation. We are very keen to attract a larger, more stable group. We have bookings in the diary and are continuing to receive enquiries. A larger group can provide a more impressive sound, specially if all members of the group have attended enough rehearsals so they know what they are doing. Come along and try us out. You may enjoy it. Playing loud percussion is just the antidote to so many of life's frustrations!

The live bands have been busy. Hoofbeat has had an active summer and is settling nicely with its latest lineup and is getting ready for more outdoor performances ... in December! We've added some new music to the repertoire, including a new composition from me.

The News of the Victory has two public ceilidhs coming up. Strange how we go for months on a diet of weddings and other private functions. Then two public ceilidhs come up within four days of each other. Check out the details here. We've also been booked to play at Swanton Morley for next year's Dereham Festival. That should be fun too. We introduced several of my new tunes when we played in Bury at the end of September to a small but very appreciative dance crowd. I've also been calling dances for Hodmedod, Beatroot and Peach Fruit.


29th July 2007

Happy holidays to all!

Flying visit back to England for a wedding reception ceilidh with The News of the Victory. It was a good one too. How nice when people want to dance! Have been to a couple of the Tour Au Loup performances of Brin de Montagne given by La Compagnie de St Romain in Reignier, Haute-Savoie, this week. Unfortunately, several of these spectacular outdoor shows have been rained off. Photographs from this year's performances can be found here. My musical setting of Bruno Forel's text can be heard in the second scene, complete with an amazing dancing wolf routine choreographed by Anne Chomlafel.

Have taken the opportunity to see some interesting musical performances this month. It makes a change to watch others perform. I was fortunate to take in two Proms on the same day. One featuring stunning symphonies by Bernstein and Ives and a world premier of a new orchestral piece, Substratum, by Sam Hayden. The other was an early music performance including the great 40-part "Spem in alium" by Tallis and the first performance in over three hundred years of the Mass by Alessandro Striggio, "Ecco si beato giorno" that apparently inspired it. This piece breaks spectacularly into 60 parts towards the end. The following day I saw Brazilian band, Monobloco, perform in Norwich. Truly music for the mind, spirit and the body in one week.


10th July 2007

Apologies that there has been no news update here for so long. The last few weeks have been busy. Good thing too considering so many schools shut their doors to visitors during May, when SATs become a priority. Pleased to report lots of percussion workshops and interesting composition workshops within and extending outside the normal boundary and into North Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire.

Norfolk Music Works received an Awards for All grant to encourage groups in West and North Norfolk to experiment with one-off music "taster" sessions. I have lead several samba and djembe workshops under this scheme for a variety of groups.

The last few days have been particularly exciting with five Children's Our World Festivals, and gigs with The News of the Victory, Hoofbeat and the King's Lynn Community Samba Band over the weekend just gone. Tomorrow I make what appears to be an annual visit to Caister High School to support their samba lessons with an input of outside ideas.


27th April 2007

Latin Grooves performance last night was a resounding success. The group gave a performance (of the piece devised in the workshops) before the main City of London Sinfonia concert kicked off in the King's Lynn Corn Exchange and a confident performance it was too. Well done and thanks to all. Listen to a recording of the piece in rehearsal here.


18th April 2007

What an exciting few days. The Latin Grooves project, a collaboration between Norfolk Music Works and the City of London Sinfonia took off last week. What fun to lead a project like this! The participating youngsters are all aged between 10 and 17 and we have a 19-piece band consisting of percussion (lots of it including marimba and vibes), flutes, saxes, trumpet, trombone, clarinet, electric guitars, bass, cello and drumkit. In two days the group devised a new piece which is still without a proper title. It'll probably end up just being called "Latin Grooves" or (if Mark Fawcett has his way ... and why not?) "Latino Groover". We shall perform the piece just before the CLS begin their programme at the King's Lynn Corn Exchange on Thursday, 26th April. My thanks to Mark for his support and work over those two days and the days to come and special thanks to Lee Butler, Tim Gunnell and David Whitson from the orchestra. This is proving to be a good project and it's great having such fab musicians to work with. As ever, my thanks to Ema Holman and Jennie Clarke at NMW for the sterling leg work involved in setting up projects like this.

Today saw the first outing for the revamped DeeP Sound Show at Bretton Woods School in Peterborough. The day has been organised by the school in collaboration with Walton School as part of their integration project in preparation for both schools' closure at the end of this term and their amalgamation into a brand new media and arts specialist school, The Voyager School, in September. It's the first time a secondary school has taken the show, which I actually put together with key stage two in mind. It was useful to get feedback (fortunately not much of it through the p.a. system, though!) from the music and science staff from both schools who felt that it was useful for students and for teachers to see how a musician tackles the task of explaining scientific ideas. Sixteen of the Y7 students took part in devising a new electronic soundscape (with voice and tabla contributions) celebrating The Voyager School's creation. Thanks to all at the school for making me very welcome and for the enthusiastic response to the DeeP Sound Show which I now know meets some of the requirements for teaching about energy at KS3!


16th April 2007

A few months ago I led a series of African drumming workshops at Scaltback Middle School in Newmarket for a small group of pupils. Today it was the turn of the staff to get an insight into the fun to be had and the concentration required for learning a multi-part rhythm in a short amount of time. This will feed into the school's ongoing drumming project.


5th March 2007

I have tended to put links to other sites as they seem relevant to a topic. However, not everything fits in neatly, so I am thinking of adding a dedicated links page. Until I organise this properly I'd like to acknowledge the support of some of the DeeP Music's supporters who aren't mentioned elsewhere. Thanks to Pete Shaw for his informative Peterborough Folk Diary of listings and events. Similarly thanks go to Martin Kiff for the extraordinary Webfeet database of folk information. More locally, see Wisbech Folk Club's nice green website!

4th March 2007

Apologies that February seems to have slipped past without anything much happening. Actually that's not true. It's just that I didn't write any information about it.

  • The King's Lynn Community Samba Band is going from strength to strength. It is very exciting that our recent recruitment drive attracted a number of new players, some of whom even came back after their first time with us! It looks like we are really going to be able to undertake some performances under our own name this year. During the past couple of years the only way we have been able to muster a credible force was to play with Eastern Bloco. Whilst that has been a great experience it is good to have the choice and to be able to offer our music within our own local community. We have received some interest for carnivals and the like for this summer, so watch this space and the samba pages for further news.
  • Likewise, Hoofbeat is picking up again. Despite being on our 4th accordian player and having slimmed the percussion line to one person, we have been reworking old material and breaking in new pieces. I'm really pleased with the way the band is playing two of my compositions. More to report when dates for the summer are confirmed.
  • Work in schools continuing for DeeP Music. There seems to have been a lot of interest in African music workshops recently and I have taken these to schools in Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and Surrey over the past month. Interest in composition workshops coming in from as far away as Scunthorpe! It sounds like a long distance, but actually it looks closer than Ipswich from DeeP Music hq.
  • Regular projects are ongoing in Mileham, Walpole Cross Keys and Yaxham. At Walpole Cross Keys the pupils are composing soundscapes inspired by Wes McGee's poem, "Woodland Haiku". At the moment we are working on recording and editing their ideas using the wonders of Logic running on an Apple notebook computer to manipulate their sounds.
  • Exciting new project, "Latin Grooves" announced, by Norfolk Music Works. I shall be taking the lead as resident composer working with members of the City of London Sinfonia and young musicians from Fakenham along with their tutor, Mark Fawcett. The devised work will form part of the pre-concert programme for the CLS concert at the Corn Exchange in King's Lynn on 26th April 2007.

30th January 2007

  • At last I can report that the phones and e-mail seem to be working again as they should. I'm like a kid in a toy shop with the new whizzy broadband connection. I've been playing with the MySpace page for The News of the Victory and that has encouraged me to look around the site a bit.What a lot of fantastically talented people there are in the world. What amazing times we live in to enjoy all these connections. BB (before broadband, not a reference to a certain reality television experience) my trips to MySpace and YouTube were spoiled by the stuttering music and non-moving movies. Not any more. I really must do some work. Music to copy for yet another new violinist who will be depping for Steve in March. Keep an eye on the fiddlers page of the NotV section if you are interested.
  • The King's Lynn Community Samba Band is going through some changes at the moment. Following a publicity drive we have been able to attract a whole lot of new people. In fact we have been doubling the numbers at rehearsals. While it is yet early days to see how many will want to stay it looks as though we could well end up with enough members to start taking on bookings under our own name again. It's been a few years since we could do that. Of course, before we get to that stage we all have a lot of ground to cover. I'm very excited about the prospects here. Of course we still intend to perform with Eastern Bloco. Reps from the constituent bands meet soon to decide this year's programme.

18th January 2007

  • Many apologies, but the e-mail problem is also affecting phone calls to the landline. Corrections are in hand and, hopefully, all should be working properly by the end of next week. The good news is that e-mails are now getting through again!

14th January 2007

  • E-mail contacts. Owing to reasons beyond the control of DeeP Music you may experience some difficulty getting through by e-mail over the next couple of weeks. Until the new connection is in place and securely up and running please hassle me by phone if you don't get a reply to your enquiry as quickly as you would like! BT's decision to withdraw their Home Highway service has had a number of expensive knock-on effects, but hopefully everything will be sorted soon ... In the meantime, I hope you won't have too many difficulties.
  • I've been dipping un pied dans l'eau or, rather, into in a bid to let more people know about The News of the Victory. An interactive, though presently fledgling, website has been set up here At the moment the only music available is the live recording of Smash the Windows that's on this site Strangely, the My Space mp3 player is very stuttery if you have a slower internet connection. To get the benefit of the full experience you have to listen via the DeeP Music page. Weird!
  • You will soon be able to order any items on sale from DeeP Music via a shopping page on this website and payments will be able to be made using the secure PayPal service.

Happy New Year for 2007!