By Al, 06-May-2013 22:38:00
I've just started a new track, and I'm reworking a previously unfinished piece. Four pieces are well on the way to completion, and I've put together excerpts of these (including 'The Warmth of You', mentioned in a earlier post) as 'Vision...so far' which you can hear on the 'Music' page. As always, it's great to receive constructive feedback.
By Al, 06-May-2013 22:15:00
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.
By Al, 13-Feb-2013 21:48:00
So, after a hundred takes, the vocals for 'The Warmth of You' are done (although I'll probably add/change some later, knowing me). Thanks to the listening panel for valuable feedback, who are giving the song some amazingly positive reactions. I'll add an excerpt to the 'Music' page in the next few weeks so you can get a flavour for yourself.
Inspiration is likely to receive a major boost in spring, when I'll see the Italian chapel and Churchill Barriers first hand. I'll be taking plenty of photos from which will emerge the album's cover and booklet (and some will be posted here).
Tomorrow sees the release of Robert John Godfrey's ('The Enid') solo piano album, "The Art of Melody". He's always seemed like a very strange guy to me (a true English eccentric!) but he's also very talented and writes some truly beautiful music. I'm looking forward to this one.
By Al, 04-Dec-2012 13:54:00
Some of you will have seen/heard my arrangement of “O Little Town of Bethlehem” on YouTube. Well, I've reposted it with a brand new video. Watch it HERE to get yourself in the Christmas spirit!
By Al, 04-Dec-2012 13:03:00
I've been hard at work on the new album and, specifically, the first track to include vocals. The song (currently titled “The Warmth of You”) depicts the despondency of the Italian POWs on Orkney during WW2 and, in particular, their sense of separation from their religion. It's essentially a lament to the Virgin Mary and I've given it an emotional vocal (I'm hoping I haven't gone over-the-top with the angst – that's something for my much-appreciated 'Listening Panel' to report back on). To get that emotional feel to the vocal (and given that I, personally, am not religious) the song, in my mind, is about my lady rather than the Blessed one! I'll post a clip from the song in due course but there's more work to be done on it before that (the plan is for a powerful guitar solo to end the track).
And the title of this blog... I heard someone say this the other day. The guy was denoting surprise, though I've no idea of the origin or actual meaning of his phrase. Whatever, I did laugh!
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