Firstly, sorry about my lack of guitar skill in the video above. I don’t practice nearly often enough!
This piece is intended to be like a short musical narrative of a relaxing scene. What I see in my mind’s eye is a peaceful and sunny afternoon beside a lake, where you can leave life’s troubles behind for a little while.
I originally wrote it in 2002 for acoustic guitar, and named it “Dolce Serenade” (“dolce” roughly translates to “sweet”). It’s never been performed or published before though, and I’ve tweaked it a little over the years, including changing the name to be a bit more down-to-earth. I’ve opted for an electric guitar in the video above mainly because I don’t have a decent microphone for recording acoustic! 🙂 Read more Lakeside ›
This is an original composition by me, inspired by the ups, downs, and occasional dysfunctions of family life. I wrote it over the course of an afternoon, having been unwell for a few weeks and feeling the need to be creative! Read more Family ›
This is an original composition by me, and it’s still a work-in-progress!
Click the Play button below to listen, or you can listen at SoundCloud.
About this composition
This is a fairly rough first version of a sci-fi inspired composition. It’s a totally different direction to my usual stuff (sorry if that took you by surprise!). The basic themes I was exploring were loss and isolation, followed by a determination to fight back against a grave injustice. If, like me, you’re a Doctor Who fan, then imagine the Doctor’s feelings about Gallifrey, and that’s kind of the direction I was going. Read more Avenging the Homeworld (v1) ›
I was basing this improvisation on the well-known lullaby, “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”. As with many traditional songs, the lyrics and the tune were written separately. The tune can be traced back to a French melody, called “Ah! vous dirai-je, Maman”, which was first published around the mid 18th century. Various versions of it have been used in other children’s songs (including the “Alphabet Song” and “Baa Baa Black Sheep”), as well as a number of classical compositions and Christmas carols.
“To a Wild Rose” is one of the most popular pieces composed by American musician Edward MacDowell. It is the first item from his 1896 collection “10 Woodland Sketches” (Opus 51), and the sheet music can be found free in various places online, such as the Petrucci Music Library. MacDowell was a romantic era musician who studied at the Paris Conservatoire, as well as Dr. Hoch’s Conservatory in Frankfurt. He later returned to America, and eventually became professor of music at Columbia University. Read more To a Wild Rose ›
The original lyrics for “What a Friend we Have in Jesus” were written in the 19th century by Irish poet Joseph Scriven, who was living in Canada at the time. The well known tune was composed several years later by a US attorney called Charles Converse. As with many hymns, there are now several variations, and it is known by quite different names in other languages, such as “World of Stars” in some Japanese translations. Read more What a Friend We Have in Jesus (blues piano) ›
A few people on YouTube asked for the sheet music for my Amazing Grace recording. I don’t think I could ever transcribe it fully, but I can give you a rough idea of the chords I was playing. Let me know if the formatting doesn’t work well for you, and I’ll maybe upload it as a PDF instead. Read more Blues chords for Amazing Grace ›
The original writer of this song is unknown, although it’s generally considered to be a traditional African American piece. As with many such songs, there are variations on the tune and the lyrics. However, the common theme is the desire to cross the river and enter the campground, referring to a person passing into heaven to be with God. Read more Deep River (blues piano) ›
Amazing Grace is one of the best known and loved hymns of all time. The lyrics were written in the 18th century by John Newton, who had been involved in slave trade but later turned away from it and became a church minister. The tune we typically associate with the hymn today is called “New Britain”. However, that wasn’t always the case. In fact, the lyrics weren’t set to that tune until nearly 30 years after Newton’s death.