The launch of the latest version (version 6) of the magnificent Hauptwerk virtual pipe organ has stimulated me into producing a few recordings of Christmas music. This software produces an incredibly realistic sound. However, don’t get this software if you don’t have the computer to go with it. Because it copies all individual pipe sounds into RAM, it devours all the capabilities of my iMac Pro with 32 GB of memory. Even then, it cannot replay the highest-quality samples with […] . Click here to read the full article.
To say 2020 has been a challenging year for Spotlight Productions is an understatement. Their 2020 production of ‘Oliver the Musical’, scheduled for April 2020, had to be cancelled, much to the disappointment of the young people taking part and their families. At the time, there was an expectation/hope that things would be back to normal by the end of the year, allowing Oliver to delight packed audiences in April 2021. Early in the year, I’m not sure many people […] . Click here to read the full article.
The last few months have been very frustrating for Graham and Sarah Wilkinson and all the team at Spotlight Productions. They have had to cancel their annual show – ‘Oliver!’ – and income from their costume and scenery hiring ‘business’ used to fund their annual show has been decimated. Being the positive people they are, the unexpected lull has provided an opportunity to plan ahead and reshape Spotlight for the future. I’ve been really enjoying our regular Zoom and Skype […] . Click here to read the full article.
One of the most popular, and beautifully romantic, organ pieces is ‘The Swan’ (or Le Cygne) by the French composer Charles-Camille Saint-Saëns, who composed the piece as part of his Carnival of the Animals in 1868. Apparently, The Swan was the only movement from The Carnival of the Animals that the composer allowed to be played in public during his lifetime. Below, I have just recorded this piece, below, using the Hauptwerk Virtual Pipe Organ and using samples of the […] . Click here to read the full article.
‘Enigma Variations’ is one of Edward Elgar’s most famous orchestral works and ‘Nimrod’ is its most recognised melody. On its website, Classic FM describes Elgar’s Enigma Variations as “one of the greatest pieces of the 19th century”, and I certainly do not disagree with that. Below I recorded myself playing a version for church organ. This was produced using the Hauptwerk virtual pipe organ, which is widely regarded as the best sample-based organ in the world, athough it does require […] . Click here to read the full article.
What a strange period we are experiencing with the coronavirus pandemic sweeping across the world. It is having dramatic social and economic impacts, and causing people to be on ‘lockdown’ in their homes. While the pandemic is having an adverse financial impact on friends, I am loving the lockdown period for other reasons. It’s delightful having my daughters home from university and I am using some of the time to rekindle my passion for the church organ. I’ve had to […] . Click here to read the full article.
Known to many people in the local area, Angie is the regular pianist at our village Christmas carol singing event and teaches music at the local school. Angie also composes her own songs, being influenced by Carole King, Amy Winehouse and Nina Simone. I recorded two pieces on a Yamaha P-515 piano (replicating the Yamaha CFX grand piano). ‘Bête Noire’ was composed in the memory of her friend and pupil Ed Sloper, who died recently. The second piece was composed […] . Click here to read the full article.
I’ve known Mark Sturdy for many years and have seen his and my family grow up in the same village in Cambridgeshire. I’ve regularly taken photos of Mark and his band, and these photos were taken at two of the earliest occasions, both back in 2012. I’ve seen Mark perform ‘Hey There Delilah’ on several occasions. Mark kindly let me test my basic recording skills to capture his signature piece. Equipment used: Neumann U87 (vocal) and Rode NT4 (acoustic guitar) […] . Click here to read the full article.
I was asked by Rob Burton’s father to record Rob live at a Christmas concert in Spaldwick Church. He played a modern composition entitled ‘Braemar’ by Graham Fitkin, who is a British composer, pianist and conductor. This piece was premiered in St. Margaret’s, Braemar at the 2017 ‘One Fine Day’ Music Festival and was played by Rob Burton during the BBC Young Musician of the Year Woodwind Finals in April 2018. The saxophone was invented much later than other traditional […] . Click here to read the full article.
At the 2018 Christmas Carol concert held in Spaldwick Church, Ben Rice sang ‘The Three Kings’ in German. At Kimbolton School, he was active in a number of musical pursuits, including the school’s Chamber Choir. He played the role of Javert in the school’s production of ‘Les Misérables’ and achieved a Grade 8 with Distinction. Ben was invited to join the Rodolfus Choir, which is one of the leading young choirs in the UK (with its members aged between 16 […] . Click here to read the full article.
It was lovely to see saxophonist Rob Burton and his brother James perform together at the 2018 Christmas carol concert in Spaldwick Church. Despite it being an amazing year for Rob, winning the Woodwind Final of BBC Young Musician and getting through to the final of the competition, it was great to see the two brothers together for the Christmas period just having fun and not taking themselves too seriously. In the video below, saxophonist Rob Burton performs the piece […] . Click here to read the full article.