Here is a selection of the music that I have written over the past twenty years. Click on the underlined title to hear the mp3 file of music in a new window.
Strand Rag - Opus 19
My first attempt at writing for Big Band. Strand in the title has nothing to do with the place in London, but, describes the short strands or themes used in the piece of music.
Put That Back - Opus 20
A rhythmic bluesy number for Big Band with a title suggested by my wife's comment whilst writing this piece of music.
Carefree - Opus 22
A more mature piece for Big Band with solos for Alto Saxophone and Trumpet.
Let's Get On With The Show - Opus 23
For Show Band, my sister-in-law introduced me to show music. She was very keen on amateur opera-tics and was later to become musical director for a production of "The Pyjama Game" and asked me to do an arrangement of "Hernando's Hideaway" for the show. In this piece of music a haughty diva soprano played by the oboe makes her feelings known. This is NOT my sister-in-law I may add.
March (Dorothy) - Opus 32
This march is my one and only attempt at writing for Brass band. there is not much tonal variation available in this sort of music.
Concerto For Northumbrian Pipes - Opus 41
Written in memory of my father this concerto is for the instrument my father both made and played the Northumbrian Pipes. Using the call sign G3GDY my father was a "Ham" (amateur radio operator), the first part of this music "The Piper on the Air" is based upon the Morse for his name.
My father moved to the Norfolk Broads and became a keen sailor, I named the second part, a barcarolle, "The Piper On The Water". He built his own boat a Lysander class yacht, calling it after his favourite whisky "Islay Mist", it towed a dingy behind called "Wee Dram".
The final part of this music is a rondo called "This Is Very Interesting", a line he used to introduce one story or another that had been repeated many times before.
Shades O' Blue - Opus 10
The finger style guitar is my instrument although I don't play much these days. This was my first serious attempt at writing a piece for my instrument. It has a bluesy feel hence its title.
El Alma De España - Opus 34
The themes used in this Spanish style piece of music are based upon those I heard during my honeymoon in southern Spain, mainly at Miguel's bar in the town of Lorca.
Los Burros En La Playa - Opus 35
A Paso Doble with the rhythm of donkeys trotting on the beach according to my wife, hence the title.
Caprice in E minor - Opus 42
Scherzo in A minor - Opus 50
Adagio - Opus 60
Caprice in E major - Opus 62
Pavan for a childhood friend - Opus 65
Finding out on the internet that a childhood friend had died of cancer. My thoughts were saddened by the news and I reflected upon the good times that I had as a child with this friend, and hence I wrote this Pavan.
Tango - Opus 71
After seeing Louis Smith and Flavia Cacace dance the tango, and going on to win Strictly Come Dancing in 2012, I was inspired to write this Tango.
Northumbria - Opus 8
Scenes and traits of Northumberland.
Biddlestone - Opus 9
Dedicated to the memory of a fine piper Billy Pigg.
Perched high on a hillside above the ruins of Biddlestone Hall (now demolished) were a line of three cottages. In the extreme left one lived Billy Pigg, a piper now known for his recording called "The Border Minstrel". One disastrous summer holiday, my father decided to camp outside of what remained of Biddlestone Hall. We were soaked by the endless rain and sought refuge by the warm fire in the old hall, that Billy had stoked with wood salvaged from the debris lying around.
Apart from a few drips of water from the ceiling caught in some tin cans my brother and I placed beneath, the old hall was a lot dryer than outside. Based upon the rhythms and pitches of these drips, Billy Pigg wrote a polka which he called "The Tin Can Polka" and dedicated it to the two young lads who ran around emptying their contents when full.
Biddlestone (Air and Jig with variations, the normal piping competition entry) is my tribute to a remarkable piper that I was privileged to know personally.
Waltz - Opus 11
Called "Forgotten Chocolates and Cards", I forgot my seventh wedding anniversary so I hastily wrote this piece of music instead of them.
Cock A Snook - Opus 17
Written on the 2nd of May 1997, Sorry John.
March (Bensham) - Opus 43
Written for Bensham Hospital pain management clinic.
The Forgotten Region - Opus 44
I wrote this piece of music upon hearing the appalling news that Ellington Colliery was to close with the loss of 340 jobs. The North East of England's heritage of coal mining ended when this mine closed.
Listen out for the march (announced by a timpani solo) of the movers and shakers, i.e. those with a well paid job that say, "Don't worry we'll do all that we can to replace the lost jobs." In my experience these people never have nor never will do anything for the North East, we're just too far from Westminster to care: hence the title.
A Border Ballad - Opus 51
The King's soldiers prepare a trap for a reiver to be sprung when he drives his stolen cattle down a pass. Once the capture is made, the reiver is taken to the local town for trial.
The wife of the reiver pleads with her neighbours to mount a rescue for her husband.
Appalled at the news, the neighbours agree to rescue the reiver and ride off to the local town.
Upon reaching the town they find their neighbour is already on the scaffold, with a rope around his neck making his peace.
The rescue attempt has failed
Whickham Suite - Opus 64
1 Whickham Awakening - 2 Fellside - 3 Chase Park - 4 Wansford
Four pieces about the village in which I live.
Through The Glass Maze - Opus 65
Having listened to the minimalist music of Henryk Gorecki, Michael Nyman and Philip Glass I decided to try and write a minimalist piece myself.
This music is about some adventurers as they travel through a maze made of clear ice, hence giving the appearance of Glass. There are disputes as to who will lead the party through the maze, which path to take and and whether or not there is an exit. You know, the normal conflicts man has during his life.
Dance of the Hydra's Children - Opus 66
This slightly menacing waltz features the Xylophone as the teeth (the Hydra's Children). In the 1963 film of Jason and the Argonauts, King Aeëtes strews the Hydra's teeth onto the ground and says a prayer to Hecate to create an army of skeletons.
English Rhapsody - Opus 67
English Rhapsody my first attempt at writing for Full Orchestra, is a series of variations of a tune in the folk idiom.
Liverpool Symphony No.7 - Opus 68
First Movement - Second Movement - Third Movement - Fourth Movement
Conceived in the Adelphi Hotel Liverpool.
The first movement is marked Allegro, is in sonata form with a repeated exposition using the brass rhythmic theme. Then follows a rather quiet development using the falling idea first heard after the three introductory chords.
The second movement marked Andante is in ternary form, the first part has a single echoed theme. The second part at a slower tempo is announced by a brass fanfare.
The third movement marked Tempo di Minuet is a Minuet and Trio. After a Minuet in which the strings take the lead and then the thematic material is played by the full orchestra. The Trio follows a bridging section and is announced by the piccolo, flutes and first violins playing together.
The fourth movement marked Allegretto is a cheerful Sonata Rondo.
The Factory Shift - Opus 70
Two half shifts at machinery factory.
A Celebration Overture - Opus 72
We forgot our 25th wedding anniversary, this piece was written a year later.