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I am a professional musician with over 30 years experience of teaching, performing and composing music. I can help you to meet your musical needs and make your musical projects happen. I’m based in the Midlands but I work around the UK and internationally and will travel if the project requires it.
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A selection from Chris's Youtube channel:
L a t e s t N e w s. . .
"April Is The Coolest Month"...
...and not least because of the music. Last weekend - a fine evening accompanying the Avon Singers, with Selina Strings & soprano Rachel Milestone... and a standing ovation. This weekend (13th/14th) there's 2 fab gigs - Vocal High at The Fleece on Saturday, and Pianoscapes in Malvern on Sunday. And don't forget to put May 17th in your diary - the first Excelsa Voces gig of 2019 is going to be a stunner...
Gigs In March
It's been a great month for gigs - the first Pianoscapes at Elmslie House in Malvern, and a lovely turnout for the most recent Pershore event (see 'Pianoscapes' page for pix)... Plus a full house and standing ovation for Tarantara last weekend in Alcester. And not forgetting the recent workshop for Vocal High at Worcester Cathedral - amazing free improvisation by our singers, in the beautiful acoustic chamber that is the Chapter House...
I've made a couple of (typically low-budget!) films to go with some excerpts from recordings of the most rcent Pianoscapes gig - here they are...
'Pianoscapes' goes to Poland
Feb 22nd: Still enjoying the afterglow of my Warsaw concert at The College of Europe last Sunday. A very enthusiastic audience of international students were treated to a programme ranging from music by Keith Jarrett, Bill Evans, Nils Frahm and yours truly, to Bach, Chopin (of course!), Gurdjieff and Scarlatti. Lovely feedback, including the comment 'Your concert was a moment of pure joy". Warsaw is a beautiful city and we hope to return soon... Meanwhile, 'Pianoscapes UK' goes on! - The Malvern Series begins on March 10th and the next Pershore performance is March 24th. See the 'Pianoscapes' page on this website.
To and From Warsaw
A great Pianoscapes concert on 27th January, featuring a flying visit from Warsaw - Ben (Son #1) came along to read a poem from his new collection, accompanied by yours truly on synth (there's a video on the 'Pianoscapes' page of this website). I'm excited to be 'returning the favour' later this month - a piano concert in Warsaw on 17th Feb. And also excited about the '2nd strand' of Pianoscape concerts, at Elmslie House in Malvern, which begin in March. Dates on the 'What's On' page. (Photo below - of Ben & I - by Sean Long).
Sea-ing is Believing...
20th January: An inspiring weekend with colleague and good friend Ed (Pinner), plotting the new Seeing 2 Sound production. Called 'Sea', it will take in all manner of things watery and oceanic... Here's a taster - one of the first recordings that we made together, which may well feature in the show...
2019 gets underway
6th January: Great day on Saturday, recording at Tardebigge Church with Tarantara for their new CD. 19 songs recorded in 6 hours: that must be some kind of record?? (pun intended!)
Here Comes 2019...
These last few days of December have seen a flurry of piano-related activity, as new music and inspirations come flying in from all directions. Music by John White, The Bad Plus, Adam Tendler, Jonathan Dove... the list is a long one and there is much listening (and practice!) to be done. Alongside this I'm composing (for Excelsa Voces), transcribing (Chilly Gonzales) and recording (a number of backing tracks for The Worcester Pavarotti - Luke Swatman)... Lots going on, and still another week before the teaching re-commences - I have Time!
November & December bring the annual round of Christmas concerts - with Tarantara and Avon Singers - but also some of my own: 3 Pianoscapes concerts, 2 exciting winter gigs with Excelsa Voces and the 'Winter Warmer' with our lovely choir Vocal High. See the 'What's On' page for details. Coming in 2019: music for cello & piano with Tom McMahon, and the next Seeing2Sound production with EP...
Excelsa Voces @ Tewkesbury Abbey - Fripp/Keeling premiere
22nd September: a fabulous night on Saturday, presenting our programme of contemporary and medieval music to an audience of c.350 spellbound listeners at Tewkesbury Abbey. World premiere of Robert Fripp / Andrew Keeling's 'Pie Jesu', plus performances of 'Lux' by Andrew Smith (who travelled from Norway to be there!) and music by Gavin Bryars, Whitacre, Hildegard, Fripp & Eno, Meredith Monk, Lauridsen... and music by yours truly. A very warm glow and a humbling experience. These fab pics by Max Nutbeem (Instagram: m_nutbeem)
Excelsa Voces 'in the round'
Friday 7th September: Last night at The Nest, Ledbury - a lovely audience, for a wonderful concert by the girls - albeit in a rather dry & challenging acoustic (or lack of...!). One email - 'Just got back from the yurt... really enjoyed tonight...liked the mix of music and your enthusiasm, not to mention lovely voices! Thank you"
From Landscapes to Pianoscapes
2nd September: after 10 days in the Outer Hebrides, on Uist and Berneray, I'm ready for the new term. A gig on Thursday 6th at The Nest, Ledbury, with Excelsa Voces, and then the big one on September 22nd at Tewkesbury Abbey (see www.excelsavoces.com for info, tickets etc). Equally importantly: the next round of Pianoscapes concerts, starting on 4th November!
If Music be the Food of Love...
Monday 13th August: Another very enjoyable lunchtime recital at Holland House, Cropthorne. On the menu: Elgar, Bach, Brubeck, Grieg, Byrd, Bill Evans, Francis Monkman and yours truly. Nice to see they've had the piano tuned - this made a 3-keyboard presentation possible! Here's me (before the audience arrives); next piano recital here: 19th October. See www.hollandhouse.org/
Live Soundtrack - Berlin
9 August: this week in Berlin has been great! Devising, then performing, a live soundtrack to the amazing cult film 'Penda's Fen' (David Rudkin & Alan Clarke), at the Brotsfabrik Kino in Caligariplatz. Lovely to work with old friend Hilary Jeffrey (trombone & electronics) and new friend Gianpaulo Peres (voice): the start of more collaborations, I hope!
Excelsa Voces at Edinburgh Festival
3rd August: 2 concerts at the Edinburgh Fringe - a lunchtime recital with Tom, and then the long-awaited evening event with Excelsa Voces and the premieres of my piece 'Logos', and the Robert Fripp/Andrew Keeling piece 'Pie Jesu'. A great response from the audience and a cracking weekend of music at the Festival. Looking forward to the Tewkesbury Abbey concert!
Treading the boards at Symphony Hall
16th June: Amazing to play for Tarantara in Birmingham Symphony Hall tonight...
VOCAL HIGH gigs coming your way
13th June: The choir are limbering up for our 2 gigs - June 29th and July 13th. They arte both going to be rather special, so get those dates in your diary and check out this rehearsal recording of 'The Rocky Road to Dublin'!
Mr Fripp approves!
7th June: Mr Fripp [King Crimson etc] seems to like the 2 recordings I sent him: a demo we've put together of the first section of 'Pie Jesu', and a recording of the improv from our Guild Chapel concert. Great! - so full steam ahead then, for the September 22nd premiere at Tewksesbury Abbey. Tickets now on sale - www.excelsavoces.com
Excelsa Voces @Guild Chapel
11th May - a wonderful concert with Excelsa Voces [www.excelsavoces.com] at the Guild Chapel. A very appreciative audience of c.50, and a fabulous review for the Stratford Herald -
From 'Oklahoma' to the Celestial vaults...
30th April 2018: Just finished a successful week at the Palace Theatre, Redditch with SOS and their enthusiastic production of 'Oklahoma'. Now limbering up for 2 exciting Excelsa Voces gigs: St Saviour's Church, Tetbury, on Friday 4th May, and the Guild Chapel in Stratford on Friday 11th. Guest artists -Tom McMahon (cello) and Emma Whitcroft (flute). Don't miss these unique and unforgettable concerts!
Robert Fripp's 'Pie Jesu' and Excelsa Voces concerts - May 2018
Exciting times ahead as rehearsals and preparations for the Excelsa Voces performances continue. Gigs in Tetbury and Stratford in May, and then the premiere of Fripp & Keeling's 'Pie Jesu' at Edinburgh Festival and Tewkesbury later in the summer. Read about it at www.excelsavoces.com and on the King Crimson website - www.dgmlive.com/news/Pie%20Jesu%20performed
'From the Tyne To the Delta' - cello / piano recital- March 23rd
A great night was had last Friday at the Elgar School of Music in Worcester: Tom and I presented the debut of our folk-inspired programme, 'From the Tyne to the Delta', to a lovely appreciative audience. Fave moments for me included 'The Burren No 1', a piano piece penned by me in 1989 (imagine that!); the Vaughan Williams '6 Studies'; Joby Talbot's 'February'; and Tom's stonking encore, 'Julie-O'. We're hoping to get more gigs for this show before the year is out - watch this space.
Tewkesbury Abbey - First Excelsa Voces concert of 2018!
March 9th - today Excelsa Voces, plus yours truly & our good friend Tom McMahon (cello), presented a taster of 'Musica Celestis' in the Abbey at Tewkesbury. What an incredible place to make music, and what a privelege to be there doing it. To an audience of c.70 we presented a programme of early & contemporary music which was very well recieved! More gigs coming in May, and work on the Robert Fripp / Andrew Keeling soundscape 'Pie Jesu' is well underway too: exciting times. I'm also preparing for the recital with Tom in Worcester (23rd March) which is a fantastic programme of traditonal-music inspired pieces from a variety of cultures - including a fantastic blues by American composer Carter Pann, gamelan-inspired music by Lou Harrison, English folksong arrangements by Vaughan Williams and Yours Truly, and more...
There's also the prospect of doing a live film soundtrack in Berlin later this year with fantabulous improviser (and long-time collaborator) Hilary Jeffrey, who operates the Tromboscillator... yes please to that.