Over the past six months I have written some new piano pieces. These “Songs Without Words” are relatively short and are unashamedly romantic in style.

Each track is a composition in its own right. However, they are connected to each other emotionally and intellectually. They are sincere expressions of my inner world, my “inscape” as it interacts with the “landscape” around me.

As I write this, we are still experiencing the demands of lockdown but, at least, there is a semblance of a return to some kind of normality in the not too distant future.

Music is a wonderful gift of communication and I have been touched throughout the pandemic by the way so many people have danced, sung and played music in order to keep everyone’s spirits high, bring us socially together and provide us with dreams of a better tomorrow.

I rather suspect it will take many years for people to absorb the enormity of the pandemic and its effects on our lives. Slowly but surely we will become less “anaesthetised” to the full social, psychological, cultural and economic damage and gradually awaken to the full horror of the death toll and of a world changed utterly. As with all change, however, it will bring positive outcomes as well. One thing for sure is that we will awaken gradually to a fuller awareness of the fragility of our existence.

I have always believed that communication through music can help us to come to terms with loss and bereavement and begin to dream again. It is in this spirit that I wrote these little pieces of piano music.

The songs have a different feel to my last album “Requiem” (2020). Whereas “Requiem” was about a world of loss and sorrow, hurt and anger, my latest set of songs is about a world of conciliation, new beginnings and tenderness.

“Where?” is a little melody that I found myself whistling. I wrote the melody down and then added a simple chord progression. I don’t do words – I’m useless with lyrics. This annoys me intensely because sometimes my little tunes suggest words and I hear little phrases in my head as I hum the song. As is characteristic of me, I select one of these little phrases as the basis for a title. Funnily enough, “Where?” seems to fit perfectly the sense of searching which I often experience as I walk in the woods.

If you are interested in my little piece “Where?”, it is available on most channels – Spotify, YouTube, Amazon, Apple and many more… click HERE

Spring 2020

Above is a link to the first single in my “Run for Cover” Lockdown 2020 series . It is a beautiful melody called “Hurt”, written by Christine Aguilera, Linda Perry and Mark Ronson . I hope it resonates with you.

I get the impression that things will never quite be the same again. Each of us, in hIs or her own way, will have been touched in some way by this pandemic. Many people will have lost loved ones, many their livelihoods and others their health and way of life. My heart goes out particularly to those who, for one reason or another, had very little to lose before the pandemic and have even less to lose now. All has changed utterly.

As for me, I will gradually return to some semblance of “normality” over the next few months. I feel humbled by the experiences of the last few weeks and sense more deeply than ever before my own vulnerability in the face of forces outside my control. I hope, however, that this deeply rooted sense will make me, in some lasting way, a better and more considerate person.

I have become aware of my changing perspective on life and of the things I should not take for granted: family, friends, the interconnectedness of people and the beauty of the world . Of course these changes did not begin with the pandemic – I’ve always seen myself as a pretty reflective kind of a guy – but somehow things have been brought into sharper focus.

Something I have always believed is that an awareness of my own vulnerability and fragility can provoke compassion in me for others. By being in touch with my own vulnerability, I can be more intensely aware of the vulnerability of others, making me, hopefully a little more attentive, empathic and compassionate towards them. Compassion has been much in evidence recently as many people put their lives on the line to nurture, care for and protect those more vulnerable than themselves. To me this is where hope and courage spring from and it is this, more than anything else, that restores my faith in the sheer “goodness” of humankind.

I try to express some of these feelings, thoughts and experiences through my musical compositions and to do this with immediacy. By this I mean that I do not spend endless hours creating a piece of music and crafting it to perfection or adding twiddly wee bits to make it sound clever. I simply compose directly from the heart with honesty and hope that there other hearts out there that not only listen but hear something of themselves reflected in the patterns of sound. It is in this deep sense that I consider music to be one of the profoundest forms of human communication and why I am, at rock bottom, unashamedly romantic.

Over spring I have been involved in a number of projects. Firstly, I have recorded a series of piano covers of popular contemporary music. They will be released over the next few weeks. Each reflects a mood of the times we live in and they have grown in meaning for me. I hope this is reflected in my interpretations of them.

Secondly, I have compiled two new albums, “Towards the Other Side of Nowhere” (Solo Piano) and “Pastoral” ( Piano with Orchestration) and these will be released later in the year.

Finally, I am in the process of writing a modern requiem in memory of two lovely friends who died recently due to Covid-19. This is still in process.

Run for Cover – a series of piano covers of popular contemporary music: