… to bring you this mildly interesting (if you’re lucky) blog. I will throw one or two titbits of Garner-ian trivia your way: should they strike a chord, read on dear friend; should they fall on deaf ears, duck and avoid a fate worse than boredom.
The first such titbit is news of my recent return from the East, where I was touring with the truly smashing folks of the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Zipping from one delightful audience to the next, we visited such mysterious territories as Qatar (sandy), Japan (tall), Korea (mountainous) and Taiwan (exotic). [do pay attention – there’ll be a pop quiz next blog] Particularly notable experiences included a white-knuckled desert dune trip in a super jeep, a perilous lone hike into the Bukhansan National Park, a face-to-face encounter with some NBA basketball players whilst dressed as Ali G, and veggie chicken nuggets in the backstreets of Taipei. What more could you want from life? Here are some very haphazardly selected pictures:
Back in England (rainy), I have recently released a new video with the talented Neeta Sarl, Sam Ryan and Steve Barnegren. This live cover of the song ‘Perfect Darkness’ written by Fink has already been watched over 3,000 times and shared by the artist online. It’s a wonderfully dark soulful tune by one of my favourite bands of all time. Here’s our version:
Whilst on the subject of new recordings, allow me to direct your attention towards my jazz quartet’s latest release. ‘Live at Mallord Street’ was recorded, as you may have surmised, live in Chelsea in front of a real-life genuinely 100% living audience (who seemed to have a pretty jolly evening – and indeed were still alive when they left). You can listen right here, right now, on this very page, or take a stroll over to the dedicated page to read a little more (and potentially give it a download with a donation… go on… just reach into that imaginary online purse and dig out some digital paper… keep us musicians posting irritatingly beseeching blogs… HOORAY thank you!)… Click here to head that way.
Aloha! (that’s as much joy as I can summon up on this ‘beautiful summer’s day)
I hope you’re having a beautiful summery day! Here’s a quick post about some exciting new media. This video of my jazz quartet was recorded live at a private concert in Chelsea. It’s a jazzed-up version of ‘The Gymnopedist’ by the very talented solo artist Jono McCleery, who I’m delighted has shared the video himself and given it his blessing. A few other tunes from this concert will soon be released in the form of a free EP for your downloading delectation!
In April, I did a session of covers with my good friend and talented singer/producer Neeta Sarl (of Polaroid 85)and drummer/percussionist Steve Barnegren. This is the first track we are releasing. It’s a cover of a tune by the up-and-coming artist Jono McCleery who is certainly worth checking out. This is ‘Stand Proud’.
I am currently at a tinz (damn German kezboard) village near Dresden in Germany, attending the Moritzburg Festival Academy. Great people, lovely place and nice music. What more could you want?! (That’s a rhetorical question.) Next week I’m off to sunny (hopefully) France with the Park Quartet in Combret sur Rance. Here are a few pictures of my trip to Dresden (where we performed in the Volkswagen Factory) and a brand-spanking new video featuring Clement Rooney. It’s the grunge classic ‘Teen Spirit’ by Nirvana.
Here’s a Submotion Orchestra cover (excellent band – check out their début album). This is a wonderful tune featuring beautiful strings on the original. I made my best attempt at sub-bass on a violin – you’ll need more than your laptop speakers to hear it! I’m away from real-life for the next four weeks, so this is my last offering for awhile. Sayonara!
On October 18th, I will be performing the world premiere of Louis Mander‘s sonata for violin and piano (see Diary for detailed info). Louis is an up-and-coming composer who I was very lucky to work with, albeit briefly, very recently. There are more exciting things further down the line, including a new opera by Louis, bits of which I have already had the fortune to play.
My quartet (Park Quartet) has received a very pleasant review (see page 5) recently in the Anglo-Netherlands Society Newsletter, of all places:
Ably led by Eunsley Park, the Park Quartet opened the evening’s events with Haydn’s Vivace Assai (from a set known as the London Quartets), Debussy’s Clair de Lune and Elgar’s Chanson de Matin. The Park Quartet fully demonstrated the strengths which have led to these third year BMus students being selected to represent the RCM in inter-collegiate competitions.
In other news, here’s the second video I am releasing from my April video session with pianist Clement Rooney. ‘Somebody That I Used To Know’ is an excellent song by Belgian-Australian artist Gotye, featuring Kimbra, and is the first refreshing tune that I have discovered in the top ten for a woefully long time. It’s worth checking out more of this man’s music, my favourite album being ‘Like Drawing Blood’. I hope Clem and I have managed to do him justice.
Good day to you all. Aren’t we having delightful English weather? But hey, where would England be without green and pleasant lands? With my exodus of the country looming for the remaining summer, I leave you with the first of a series of covers done by myself and pianist Clement Rooney in April. This is Outkast’s ‘Roses’.