Saturday, 27 February 2010


A game of chess

Puttings things together and playing chess online with Izzy. What's the connection? The music was done in RAK (I've still one other piece which I haven't put up yet). I think the key is 'activity'. The activity of playing a game is something which creates a context for communication. What sort of activities could we establish in RAK? What might they do to communication and ethos? Great evening with friends yesterday in Japanese restaurant. Izzy had good time playing spoons and 139. House completed yesterday. Moving in Monday!

Sunday, 21 February 2010

RAK in pictures

Ras Al Khaimah museum and pictures from the graduation. More fusion music...

Spaceship RAK

These improvisations are slightly out of sequence..

Saturday, 20 February 2010

first improvisation

This is the first improvisation I did on arriving... Not quite got the hang of the keyboard yet. The music I was thinking of was a fusion of the schubert quintet slow movement and the call to prayer. In fact, everything is fusion here, the juxtaposition of opposites - always a recipe for creativity!

Friday, 19 February 2010

Getting used to things...

This was the second improvisation I did when I got here... Managed to get the sounds working from ambelton...

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

bored in airport

waiting for my flight (first to amsterdam, then to dubai). these moments of boredom are interesting. I don't feel bored in the way that might be experienced as suffering (like children being bored). My anxiety about flying, the newness of everything seem to balance the fact that I'm stuck here with nothing to do. The anxiety seems to mop up the boredom perhaps...

It's been a great few days. Isobel's Tudor day was great fun and my birthday was fantastic thanks largely to Astrid. I am very lucky and very happy.

Monday, 15 February 2010

Off to RAK

tommorrow... will be able to do some improvisations with my new M-Audio Oxygen 49 keyboard which is in my suitcase!

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

One project down, two to go...

Very good news on Euro bids. House looks like it's progressing too. Briefing on overseas visit next week rather like Q briefing James Bond! Saw dad yesterday at his hotel near Chester. Had nice meal. Izzy and Astrid came too.

Saturday, 6 February 2010


Have felt lethargic and bad-tempered today. As I write this, I might be coming out of it (not a moment too soon). Does the writing help? Maybe. Noting it down in context of everything else that I've noted down helps me to see that however much a feeling is in the moment, it is also a process. Like yesterdays blog, it is looking at the same thing from many angles: lethargy is simply when I'm fed up looking at it, but can't get away from it.

I will go back into communications-flow next week and feel entirely different... just watch! it happens over and over again! But now, even though I know that will happen, even though I might want to be there, I can't put myself there. I can't unblock myself; I only know the blockage will clear.

Friday, 5 February 2010

Looking at the same thing for a long time

I've been reflecting on what I've been doing with the improvisation/composition thing over the last few weeks. It's been a very deliberate attempt to concentrate on the same thing. The initial idea of the improvisations was simply to capture a moment and do something different every day. I think I'm moving away from that.

Concentration brings its own challenges, and in some ways it's not that different from the improvisation experience. Each time I open the same material, I find a different angle - almost like a different 'meditation'. It is a different kind of practice. With concentration comes unity as well as difference. The emerging focus as things may be gradually put together.

I write papers like this. When I was younger I wrote music like this, but lost the impetus (and the huge organisational commitment) to continue it.

What is the relationship between the meditation on a thing and the differences between those meditations, and the coordination and unity between them? This may be related to comtemplation vs action.

I heard a fascinating radio programme on Ibn khaldun. Amazing stuff.. must look more into this.

Thursday, 4 February 2010


.. and new beginnings. This improvisation still plays with the themes that I have been experimenting with over the last few weeks, but this time just playing with a single line (it grows into something richer). It was Oleg's last day today. Nice farewell gathering and good speeches. I'm very proud of the University of Bolton. House should be moving on tomorrow hopefully. Wing mirror blew off car yesterday.. fortunately just outside the garage so got it fixed. Feeling a weight lifting from me after the media event yesterday. Now for the PhD (at least until something else gets in the way!!)


Things moving very fast. Car good. Good presentation for media stuff. knackered. Need to re-ground (this is based on some Purcell I heard this morning)

Monday, 1 February 2010


I put this chat widget (being served from the Wookie server at Bolton) as part of a demonstration of the VLE and widgets. The demonstration went a bit pear-shaped due to computers not working - however, I'm not sure whether that really detracts from the point that the technology is really cool!