1 Walsall Poem

July 27, 2015

I’m almost a published poet. I’ve been added to a collective effort celebrating Walsall wordsmiths in the form of a curated blog.

100 Walsall Poems is now live, and has been for a little while. My effort is included and I’m rather flattered to have been involved. I met the project curator Peace the Poet this afternoon on my walk from the office to the car.

He’s a pleasant chap with a positive disposition, and well known in the borough as a performer and poet.

By all means have a look at the project, and also check out the other things he is doing. It’s all about community and collaboration.

Numbers, numbers.

August 19, 2013

It’s my 200th post. I’m celebrating by geeking out with an idea I’ve had for a piece of music.

Joker, Ace, Two, Three

Read the rest of this entry »

The Grey Goose play ArtsFest

September 5, 2012

It wasn’t what I signed up for in January, but eight months later the Grey Goose Blues Band have a gig at ArtsFest, the big bash in Birmingham this weekend.

On Sunday evening, about half past seven, we’ll be playing on the Radio WM Introducing stage.

I can’t explain quite how exciting this is for me. It’s quite something to play at ArtsFest, which I’ve been lucky enough to do once or twice, but to hit a stage like this having been given airplay by local radio is just brilliant. I can’t wait!

Greenbelt – camping, mud, music, and children!

August 28, 2012

We’ve just returned from Greenbelt 2012. It’s not our first visit, but the first time we camped with the children. Read the rest of this entry »

An open invitation…

January 2, 2011

I need to find a fresh direction with some of the music I’m doing at the moment.

There is the more-than-half-my-lifetime spent playing in church, mostly on piano. There’s the misguided youth of playing cheesy covers and filling out the back row of a band or two, playing keyboards. There are the occasional choir things, the music degree, the range of odd or at least unexpected instruments I now own. I’m even getting to grips finally with the bouzouki.

What does all this sum to?

I feel like I should be beginning a new project or trying to work something out. I have plenty of particles of ideas, and a broad context in which I know some of this will be acceptable. I am, however, not about to release a concept album. That’s way too 70s for me.

But I do want to find something.

So, here it is. Please feel free to get on board. Or invite me on board. You can find some of my stuff here. I’m on twitter. Comment on this post. Whatever you do, get in touch and let’s make something.

Poorly Prepared

May 17, 2010

Regular readers (both of you) will no doubt be aware of my “other” blog – the poetry. I’ve been sticking all sorts of inane verse up for some time, completely separate to the inane stuf I stick up here. However, I felt it was time to come clean. I’m a poet. Worse than that, I’m not ashamed (much) of it.

So, if you fancy a mooch through my musings, take a look.

What’s the worst that could happen, right?

New stuff to organise, or Why Twitter rocks.

May 5, 2010

I’ve written a story. It’s only 500 words and I’d love to enter it into some flash fiction competition or other, but it’s difficult to know where to begin, or even how good the material is in the first place.

I’ve also (by coincidence) just exposed the world to some new songs which I have written, and now I’m wondering how to go about recording and publishing them.

Finally, I’ve just about got enough poems from the poetry blog I keep to publish a book. I tried to do it through blurb.com but now I’m wondering if it might not be easier to do it myself and use a local printer to make sure I have more direct control. How should I start to think about this then?

For all these little questions, I have used the network of friends and associates I have acquired over the last few months on Twitter. In fact, feel free to follow me if you’re at all interested. Their insight and help is great. Not sure who to go to for printing? Bash an enquiry over to a few friends who work in graphic design and media. Want to publish music and thinking of the huge task of doing it online? I happen to follow someone who knows about Bandcamp, and the uses this lovely little project can be to a tech-savvie but non-geeky band.

For all the things my wife says about wasting time on social networking, I have to admit that from finding out which is the greatest pizza delivery locally (Buddy’s: 01922 456456) to thrashing the makers of Zoo magazine about the Danny Dyer incident that broke today, Twitter and sites and services like it really hit the spot.

If it wasn’t for the fact that I have seen 40-page documents telling me how to “use” Twitter to get what I want, I’d be truly impressed. Generally I find it’s just a useful way to advertise, socialise, inform, communicate and debate.

It’s all Greek

May 2, 2009

Did you know that much of the New Testament language we use is not only based in Greek, but coloured or flavoured by Greek culture from the time of Christ and before?

Of course you did. I’ve known for some time that my audience is mostly scholars of ancient culture and biblical studies.

It does, however, present the odd problem when dealing with words out of context.

I’m beginning a project based on a text from the first chapter of John’s Gospel. The passage describes Christ as The Word (lots of capital letters) and in Greek that would be “logos” (obviously written in funky Greek letters, not this alphabet) (Ooh “Alphabet” – another Greek word hiding in our language)

Except that Logos has a distinct meaning in Greek culture before Christ which John is deliberately referring to. It’s OK for me to associate Christ and the Logos, but I now feel I need to undertake a couple of weeks undergraduate study to find out the relationship between the Greek Classical “Logos” and the Biblical use of the word, including how the use in John’s Gospel makes use of the pre-existing Greek meaning.

Phew! A quick consultation of Wikipedia proves two things – firstly that some people are really clued up on this, and secondly that they’re being edited randomly by people who aren’t. So much for the Internet I feel.

And what is this wonderful project I’m working on? It’s going to be called “logos” with a lower case L, and it’s going to be a music and art thing, ironically requiring no written words in any of the pieces which will make it up.

Is there a point to this? Yes, I wish to provide a focus for my creative energy other than the Musical I’m writing, and the other little composition projects I have on the boil. I also want to include as many other people as will give up their gifts for it. I like it when arty people work together even if it tends to get like a sack full of sleep-deprived freshly shaved cats sometimes.

It’s good to talk (Thanks, BT) but it’s sometimes even better not to talk and instead let the art do it’s job. Assuming I’ve identified a valid cause and use of art in the first place. I feel that discussion could require some further study as well. I get the horribly appealing idea that I should get on with doing the project and leave the undergraduate navel-gazing where it belongs – firmly in the past.

Which brings me full circle to dredging up a dead branch of the ancient tree of language and trying to apply a word from that language to a culture and concept some two thousand years anachronistic to the people who originally used it.