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News of projects in 2009 ...

4th December 2009

As mentioned below, Hoofbeat go into the studio this Sunday to start recording. It will make a nice change to be able to offer people a studio recording of our music. It looks like one of the recordings will be one of my pieces, "Was It Ever Like this?" The venues for the Hoofbeat concerts on 13th, 14th and 15th May 2010 have been decided, I think. I want to let you know, but I don't know whether the information has been officially released yet, so I'd better not (although it looks as though we'll be playing in village halls near Fakenham, Ipswich and Dereham).

The approach to Christmas is traditionally a time for me to catch up with writing and composition projects. After Christmas I am looking forward to working on the Rural Rhythms project in Mundesley Junior School, which will also involve members of the City of London Sinfonia and has been organised by Norfolk Music Works with funding from Youth Music. I am also looking forward to meeting and working with artists, performers and teachers on a project at Woodlands Primary School in Bradwell sponsored by Creative Partnerships. Additionally I am starting another block of work in each of Yaxham and Walpole Cross Keys primary schools in January.



19th November 2009

Once again I am embarrassed to have ignored you all and failed to update this news section for months. Things are still happening in the DeeP Music world, even if it doesn't look like it.

Apart from the usual school visits (thank you Yaxham and Walpole Cross Keys Schools!) this season has been mainly one of performances. The News of the Victory, Hodmedod, Beatroot and Peach Fruit have all be busy ceilidhing. Brides and grooms all over East Anglia have been enjoying our music. The News of the Victory played for October's Keir Hardie Ceilidh series. Unusually there was a small audience, but it did give me the chance to try calling some untested dances and I gave the band five or six new tunes they'd never seen before. The organisers encourage us to treat a KH ceilidh like a paid rehearsal, but I'm never sure if the audience get that part of the deal …

The King's Lynn Community Samba Band is still recruiting. It seems to be a never-ending task. However, we are picking up in numbers and are delighted to have been introduced to dancer, Ruby Yates, who has kindly donated time to help our dancers up their game. Of course, while it is a delight for us to be able to focus on the playing it is an immeasurably greater delight for our audiences to have our dancers to watch while they listen to us play. Ruby dances professionally and a recent pop video project for her has seen her working with Holly Johnson on a re-mix and re-release of "Relax" by Frankie Goes To Hollywood. We gave the KLCS band and dancers an outing at this year's Food Fortnight event, "Around the World in Eighty Recipes" in King's Lynn.

Hoofbeat has been awarded a place on a rural arts touring scheme. This means a small tour in May 2010 (13th , 14th, 15th ). I'll let you all know when I know where these shows will be. Hoofbeat is also heading into the studios to record in December. With any luck we'll have a cd to sell at the performances too.

I've also spent some fun time in the studio with Neil Cousin playing lots of percussion on a song on his forthcoming cd. Hey, I'm a band!



24th June 2009

The summer season is in full swing and there are gigs aplenty for the King's Lynn Community Samba Band. We have some new costumes we are keen to try out so, over the next few weeks, we are taking part in carnivals and performances in Hunstanton (Carnival on 28th June), Wisbech (Rose Fair on 4th July) and King's Lynn (Hanse Festival 1st August where we are listed simply as "...and much more" among the quayside events). As ever, we are keen to attract more players and dancers. If you think you might be interested come and see us and chat to the members ... though preferably not when they are actually playing!

The News of the Victory is also undertaking a couple of free (although contributions to the cause would be welcomed) outdoor ceilidhs in July. Let's hope for good weather at the East and West Rudham Arts Festival Ceilidh on the Playing Field on 11th July and the village green at Great Massingham the following weekend on the 18th. Last year we played for the Massingham event and the weather could not have been better. We are hoping not to have a repeat of the infamous chip van incident!

I've been delighted to renew old acquaintances and make one or two new ones through a project this week organised by the Norwich Excellence Partnership. Pupils in several schools in the Larkman and West Earlham area have been enjoying DeeP Music African drumming workshops. I've also been back to Heacham Infant School this week, again with my carload of djembes and other drums. At the end of the day there's usually an audience of unbelievers who will not accept that my car will hold that many drums ... proving it will is a simple yet satisfying entertainment.

Clackclose Primary School in Downham Market was the venue for the annual Infant Music Festival spread over two mornings and led by Derek, who would like to thank Tina Neale and staff from the thirteen participating schools for their continued support. This year marked the 22nd year we have held this event. Oddly it did not snow, rain, hail or flood and no children were lost in a fog, blown away by the wind or even got on another school's coach at the end of the event. As always, it was thoroughly enjoyable. I stayed on at Clackclose to run some samba sessions for pupils at their "Cultural Day", although we had to wait for the birds of prey to finish hurtling around and above the field before we could begin.

I'm very much looking forward to this year's Our World Festivals which are being held in schools throughout the region in July. More in the next bulletin.


30th April 2009

The amazing violinist, Steve Bingham, is giving a first performance of one of my compositions tomorrow. Titled "Who Called?" it's a piece I wrote it for electric violin and electronic loops.

Steve says:

"Entitled "Ascension" the concert will consist of my trade mark eclectic mix of music: There'll be solo Bach and multi-tracked Telemann and Pachelbel for a baroque touch. Unaccompanied Piazzolla, alongside traditional and not-so traditional folk music from Scandinavia, Eastern Europe and Ireland. World premieres of a new looping piece by Derek Paice and a new arrangement of 'All Along The Watchrower' (Bob Dylan) by Phil Toms, plus performances of pieces written for me by Andrew Keeling and Laurie Dunkin-Wedd. There will also be my own arrangements of works by Philip Glass, George Harrison, Yes and Coldplay.

Alongside myself and a violin on stage, there will also be a 4-string electric violin, a 5-string electric violin, a laptop, midi pedals, a bass pedal unit and a child's bicycle horn! There'll also be a guest appearance by violist Brenda Stewart."


1st April 2009

The best laid plans and all that ... Upon discovering that one of their teachers was retiring the pupils at Walpole Cross Keys School decided that it would be a far better idea to write a song for him than to stick to the project the head had asked me to prepare for this term. Who am I to argue with logic such as this? ... Actually, I did check with the head before we got too far into it. Today, though, the school held a special assembly where the whole school sang the pupils' song, "You Rock, Mr Gee" to an audience of staff, parents, a gurgling baby and Mr Gee. He has taught part-time at the school for many years, but what they remember the most is chocolate cake, baked by Mrs Gee ... or so it says in the song. Best wishes, Roger, for a long and happy retirement.

As promised in the last news entry NotV, by The News of the Victory, is now available from The News of the Victory - Notv


16th March 2009

It has only taken me fifteen months to find out how to do it, but NotV, the mini-cd by The News of the Victory is now coming onstream as an MP3 download. At the moment it only seems to be available on Amazon and, so I've heard, Napster. However, it should be fully live by early April when it will also be available from i-Tunes and Rhapsody, for those who know about such things.


20th February 2009

The term is already halfway through and I have neglected the unknown dozens who look to this column for inspiration. Apologies to you all. The year began with The News of the Victory's annual outing to Norwich to play for the Keir Hardie Ceilidh series in January. We were delighted to see so many dancers there and once more I spent the evening proving my own incompetence by calling dances I'd never called before to tunes I'd never before asked the band to play. I wonder if anyone noticed?!

Pupils from Walpole Cross Keys School in Norfolk have been enjoying more DeeP Music Workshops this term. The key stage one class have been composing and exploring music related to traditional tales while the older ones have been working on music to describe "Fantasy Island".

Yaxham Primary School, also in Norfolk, have been working on musical ideas related to their ongoing curriculum. Y5/6 pupils have been using the places where they live to provide inspiration for compositions. Y3/4 have been working on music reinforcing their understanding of ostinati and pulse, while the KS1 pupils have been mixing working on using instruments imaginatively to explore longer and shorter sounds with seeing and hearing the African instruments I have been bringing in. All pupils have been singing too, and I have finally (after years of avoiding the song altogether) found a way of singing the very funny "Three Men They Went a-Hunting" that keeps the humour and ditches the racism. I am aware that all songs are a snapshop of the time in which they were created, but I think I prefer to sing words with which I feel comfortable, whilst ensuring that the singers know why I may have altered the text.

I was very pleased to be called back to Sheringham High School for a day of samba workshops with Y9 pupils at the end of January.

I also took the opportunity of attending this year's Straw Bear Festival at Whittlesea for the first time in the many years since I was a regular participant. It turned out to be one of the coldest days I have ever spent standing around watching groups of dancers displaying their terpsichorean skills in various morris traditions. At one point I was dragged on to a dance floor to do combat by broom with young and energetic Jasmine. I survived although I'm not entirely sure it was with honour! Here's the evidence for you to decide.

Hoofbeat is going from strength to strength as Dawn, our newest member, is really settling in. I have contributed another composition to the band and they do a lovely job of celebrating "Ray's First Day". We are looking forward to more performances later in the year. We did enjoy playing in King's Lynn Town Centre at Christmas and hope to see you soon in a town centre or village feast near you.


1st January 2009