Writings and Articles ~ Books & CD
~ 'Close your eyes and see'... ~ Messiaen
~ OndesMartenot ~ Music Hire/Services ~ Percussion
Hire ~ Links
My musical education began around the age of fourteen, studying piano
and music theory to diploma level with Lina Collins of the Royal Academy
of Music London and later with Frank Stafford for arranging and orchestration.
In 1973/4 I studied electronic music and composition at the Royal College
of Music in London with Tristram Cary and Lawrence Casserley where I became
very much involved in the electronic treatment of the human voice and
of percussion. My interest in percussion led me at this time to extensive
research into Eastern musics - including Balinese and Javanese gamelan,
Indian classical music, Japanese traditional music gagaku etc. as well
as modern Western ideas in percussion, e.g. Messiaen,
Cage Steve Reich, Stockhausen
etc. During this time I also made detailed studies of the music of Messiaen
and Stockhausen in the
form of special projects.
From then I became increasingly involved in percussion as a performer
and have developed an extensive background, having played and worked within
jazz, classical (Western orchestral), rock and contemporary music.
I worked regularly over a period of 8 years as a member of an 'improvisation'
trio with two close musical friends where as a group we achieved a high
level of 'intuitive' playing. We rehearsed many aspects of structured and
unstructured improvisations, from the text pieces of Stockhausen
and pieces written by ourselves to free improvisations.
In late 1975 I met Trevor Taylor a fellow percussionist who shared the
same musical interests as myself. We formed a percussion ensemble of 6
players with the view of performing works in the UK. written for Les Percussions
de Strasboug, as well as little known percussion music by Cage, Haubenstuck-Ramati,
Benguerel, Hashagen, Takemitsu etc.
Later, Trevor and I decided to re-structure our approach and perform as
a duo. This enabled both of us to explore musical ideas and works that
previously were not possible, and as a result a strong musical and spiritual
rapport seemed to evolve in our work. A short tour in 1977 took in St
Andrews and Edinburgh festivals. This project also explored and made use
of electronic modulation of percussion as well as alpha wave and G.S.R
modulation (Galvanic Skin Resistance).
Trevor and I continued working for a while including projects with the
London Contemporary Chamber Ensemble and with composer Barry Anderson
In 1978/9 I toured the West Indies and Mexico with a cabaret showband.
My interest in contemporary jazz led to work with Graham Collier
Warren whose quartet toured the UK., Hungary and former
After attaining an L.R.A.M. in percussion and timpani I became interested
in specialist teaching on a part time basis and in 1985 began giving many lecture-recitals
in all aspects of percussion both occidental and oriental including
a recital/demonstration with Evelyn
Glennie at the Redbridge Music School where I am currently Head of Contemporary music, ICT, Percussion and Guitar.
In 1986 I was appointed percussion examiner for the Guildhall School of Music London, London and is now Senior Examiner and Instrumental Adviser for Trinity College London and this work has taken me to many overseas centres including Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, Malaysia, Hong Kong, China, Japan, India, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, South Africa, Indonesia and the Middle East.
I have worked regularly at the
Nordorff Robbins Music Therapy Centre holding workshops for
students and staff and continue to work in all areas of percussion performing in
many theatre productions and concerts with such names as Simon Callow,
Kate O Mara, Don Maclean, Rolf Harris etc. and the Scarborough Spa
Orchestra featured on BBC TV and Radio.
In 1994 I took part in the western world premiere of Moscow
Cheryomushki a musical by Shostakovitch at the Lyric
My work has extended into music technology, running a computer based
recording studio producing music for film, TV. and video of which
one of our pieces was broadcast throughout the UK. by Independent
Television News for their coverage of the 'Gulf War" in 1990.
The Scarborough Spa Orchestra
Together with Yvonne Forbes I have published 'Percussive
a book containing original graded compositions for snare drum, timpani
and tuned percussion some of which were used nationally as part of
the Trinity Guildhall
Since 2007 I have contributed to and co-ordinated the Trinity drum kit syllabus which have featured such names as Ralph Salmins, Dave Weckl, Mark Schulmann, Paul Clavis and Peter Erskine.
Works include many short 'library music' pieces, O-taiko-Do a piece
embracing many eastern styles including Japanese drumming, TerRor
Nova for African & Sth American percussion, samplers and keyboards,
‘Close your eyes and see...'
for orchestra, (FMR
records) written for youth orchestras and commemorates 50
years of the liberation of Auschwitz concentration camp. My piece Star Song for choir and
small ensemble was performed at the Royal Albert Hall as part of
a Christmas Celebrity Concert in 1995. In 1994 I wrote incidental
music for the Bronte play 'Wuthering Heights' and the same year
together with Andrew Parmley wrote original music for 'The Fair
Maid of the West'.
As well as writing and arranging, I continue to be very active as
a freelance musician in many different areas of creative music making,
including concert and theatre work. My provincial theatre work has
expanded to the role of musical director for such shows as Crazy
for You, Sweet Charity, Good News, Hello Dolly, Me and My Girl,
The Slipper and the Rose, Promises Promises, The Music Man, Brundibar
(Hans Krasa), Kinneret (Opera for All Productions), Mack & Mabel,
West Side Story, Carousel, Guys and Dolls and various
I was a former member of the Klezmer
Swingers a group who trace the roots of traditional Jewish
music through to jazz, and regularly appeared at the South Bank,
100 Club and Ronnie Scotts Club London.
I wrote regularly for the contemporary music magazine AVANT
where passed articles and reviews have been on Harry
and Karlheinz Stockhausen
whom I interviewed at his home in December 1997.
I am also included in Francois Baschet’s book Les Sculptures Sonores,
an historical account of the Baschet
Brother’s sound sculptures, as one of only two British percussionists
who have used them.
I am one of only a few British musicians to play the Ondes Martenot and offer workshop recitals to raise the profile of the instrument in the UK and abroad.
I am webmaster for The
Olivier Messiaen Page, the only dedicated web site
to the 20th century French composer.
Click on image for more details