07 June 2020

Welcome to my blog!

After a few years without a website, when the company that looked after it closed, I've now finally got a blog up and running and this is its first post! It's somewhat different from the website, because my activities have changed, and I've virtually given up singing (or, at least, singing for money!), am no longer on the recorded music societies' speakers' circuit and, though I'd love to do more conducting, the opportunities have never really arisen.

However, one of the things I'm happiest doing is writing, beginning many years ago with concert programme notes, and this still continues, with occasional forays into CD liner-note writing. Around the turn of the century I began to write music and arts reviews for the Church Times (I'm still happily doing this) and mainly but not exclusively musical obituaries for the Independent newspaper, and it was a very sad day when the print version of the Indy ceased and obituaries of the kind previously published were excluded. There was a great frisson being telephoned by the obituaries editor and asked to produce an obit and researching, writing and filing it within 12 to 24 hours. I miss that! (It was also pure pleasure to work with the Indy obituaries editors: first, Jamie Fergusson, then Diana Gower and last - but certainly not least - Chris Maume.) Obituaries have crept back into the Indy, but not to the same extent, and for a nominal fee only. Some of my 'advances' have been used in the digital edition (the first was of Sir Neville Marriner) and the Church Times has taken others.

Programme note writing is for anyone who wants them, some on a regular basis, and a particular pleasure has been writing for Midsummer Opera, not least because of its varied and eclectic repertoire - always a challenge, and for me stimulating because it often takes me far beyond my main areas of musical interest.

I'm also in sight of completing a major project that must for the moment remain under wraps but I hope may be revealed soon. Watch this space.

This blog will take a while to evolve, so please be patient, and keep visiting as, overtime, different features are added. One thing that is a welcome advantage over my previous website is that I can now control everything myself, without having to ask someone else to do so. On the other hand, my computer expertise, although pretty good, isn't as good as the professionals', so please forgive anything that isn't quite right. No doubt it will improve with time and practice.

This is all happening at the time of coronavirus, so to everyone reading this, keep safe and well - and keep coming back!

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