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News and Muse...

By Al, Dec 16 2014 09:04PM

You long-suffering, patient few who keep visiting in the (almost) vain hope of seeing something's something new.

This has been the longest 'update' gap yet. Why? Well, partly because it's been an eventful year with extreme highs (eg. my wedding) and lows (my father's death). But also because of my undoubted skill and talent for procrastination - honestly, I am a master at it.

Anyway, just for you - and to wish you a Merry Christmas - my version of "O Come O Come Emmanuel" is ready for you to hear/see HERE.

By Al, Dec 14 2013 08:44PM

For those of you who wait patiently for weeks on end to hear anything from me, you'll (hopefully!) enjoy my arrangement of 'God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen'. You can hear it (and watch the video) HERE. Christmas greetings everybody!

By Al, Aug 21 2013 02:24PM

In terms of musical output, I'm all these things and more. It means I'm in total control of each of these roles, which is a good thing, right? After all, I can choose to change direction as and when I like: For example, I've had reasons to work on solo piano pieces in the past few months and I'm considering releasing an album of these pieces before 'Vision' (the next full-scale multi-instrument offering) - and if that's what I choose to do, nobody's there to stop me. And there's no-one to share the income with!

So...a good thing. Well, yes and no. You see, the flip-side of that is that I work best to deadlines. With no deadline, I tend to spend much too much time over-tinkering and micro-micro-arranging, so that proposed release dates slip by virtually unnoticed by me (but noticed, with frustration, by those eagerly awaiting the new album). Left to my own devices, my 'modus operandi' is, realistically, unlikely to change. A lot of it comes down to organisation, which is, to put it mildly, not my strong point, and I do understand that it tests the patience of all those who appreciate my music (I very much appreciate that patience!). So I beg your indulgence and assure you that creativity is happening, compositions are progressing and recording is taking place...bear with me!

By Al, May 6 2013 10:15PM

In 1943, Domenico Chiocchetti and his fellow prisoners-of-war, held captive on the tiny Orkney island of Lamb Holm, began making a place in which to worship. Starting with two Nissen huts bolted together, and utilising only basic materials, these men went on to create the breathtaking work of art known as 'The Italian Chapel'. Having now seen it first-hand, it really is breathtaking. Given the limited materials they had to work with, the degree of craftsmanship and ingenuity is remarkable.

You can see images of the chapel, along with other scenes from the islands, in my 'Orkney Collection', here.

To sum up my memories of the Orkneys - mostly flat, mostly fascinating...and mostly windy.

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