The Bigger Picture day

Fantastic day spent with Dr. Maria Hayes, Blanche Rowen, Guto Dafis, Heulwen, Holly, Jordan and Nathe at the Bigger Picture business training. So much to take in and it was essential that I heard from people who are already working as musicians talking on a business level. Lots of advice, information and good practice tips. All organised by Blanche at Trac-Cymru.

Thanks to everybody involved.

Bigger Picture

I’m off to this even today:

The course includes:

•    Looking at the career pattern for creative self-employment
•    Deciding when and how to go self-employed
•    Time management and work options
•    Business basics
•    Money – National Insurance, tax, keeping and submitting accounts
•    Marketing and networking

I’ve been very much looking forward to this first step in my musical rebirth since I first found out about it. Which post again tonight.


Acoustic Soundboard

I recently joined this acoustic guitar forum: . It’s good to know there are so many talented guitarists and amateur (in the sense that they don’t get paid ‘big bucks’) luthiers in the UK.

Enjoying time spent there very much.

Vincent Moon

An interesting TED talk from Vincent Moon with a live performance by
Naná Vasconcelos that explains Vincent’s journeying around the globe filming live ‘folk’ music performances and posting them for free-access on the internet:

JONI MITCHELL – ” Live In Concert BBC 1970 “

The original, much imitated. Without Joni, female singer / songwriters would not be what they are.


The Fat Angel Sings

recorded in September 1970 at BBC studios in Shepherd Bush London, One of her finest early performances. Songs Include Chelsea Morning, Cactus Tree, My Old Man, For Free, California, Big Yellow Taxi, Both Sides Now, just an amazing vocal superb guitar playing and certainly the best ever female songwriter,

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Radio 3 for the Classical Music newbie

It is probably quite obvious to visitors that I have only just begun listening (with great enthusiasm) to “Classical Music”. Like most people in the “western world”, classical music has been a sonic wallpaper to my life – it is hard to escape as it is there across TV and radio adverts and film scores and TV programmes!

However, I’m now an official Classical Music fan.

I’ve been listening to radio 3 from the BBC and Classic FM avidly over the last few weeks and the resources available for free (and legally) there are incredible. I’d always thought that a performance of an orchestral piece was the same as any other of the same piece, after all, they’re all following the same musical score! However, the CD review – building a library  feature on Radio 3 demonstrates how far off the mark I am. I listened to the Mozart Coronation Mass broadcast several times this morning and I was amazed at the variations from one recorded version to another. I also learned about the difference between wedge and staccato on a musical score (yes, I am that musically ignorant) :).

All of this is of course obvious to anybody who knows anything about classical music or perhaps music in general but I don’t and it has been and will continue to be a great learning experience.

The reason I mention this is because it is having a profound effect on my arrangement of music for the guitar.

I began an arrangement of a tune I got from a Corrs album – “Lough Erin Shore” a few years ago. I later learned that the tune had been given words and titled “Gleanntáin Ghlas’ Ghaoth Dobhair” by Francie Mooney when I saw his daughter Mairead (of Altan) performing it on Transatlantic Sessions (series 4, episode 2, I think). I thought the arrangement was finished but now I have returned to the tune and revised it considerably adding melodies in different registers, variations on the tune and changing bass patterns and harmonies / pedal tones.

All things that a good finger style guitar player should do, you might argue. But remember, I’m nothing but a reformed rock and blues guitarist!


Photograph of Mairead ni Mhaonaigh. Copyright the BBC.
Photograph of Mairead ni Mhaonaigh. Copyright the BBC.
Photograph of Mairead and Francie Mooney. Source: Wikipedia.
Photograph of Mairead and Francie Mooney. Source: Wikipedia.
Photograph of the Corrs. Source: Wikipedia.
Photograph of the Corrs. Source: Wikipedia.





The weather here has been fine and warm all day and I’ve had the chance to listen to Classic FM and my Coke Studio Pakistan CDs whilst travelling in the car. I’m inspired to say how important artistic expression is – music, writing, art, dance et al. Gosh dang it all :).

I’m hoping to find time to properly update the blog in two weeks time.

Photograph of me solo at the Islwyn Acoustic Club
Solo at the Islwyn Acoustic Club