Saturday, 28 November 2015

28th Nov

This week I saw "Bridge Of Spies"...

I liked it. A lot.

In fact the last three BAFTA Scotland screenings have all been corkers: the above, Room and Carol.

I am right up for a bowl of this sometime too:

So I am working on some music for a thing. Hush Hush and all that.

Oh - the intro to this was in a pub quiz the other night and I thought, "Man that sounds goood"...

(That's the same pub quiz where our answer to "What animal has the most teeth in its mouth?" was "A shark eating a crocodile" didn't get a bonus point for Astonishing Hilarity. There's no justice.)

Just caught up with Peepshow and Catastrophe - double thumbs up. Toast Of London is waiting in the wings.

And tomorrow I'm going to see Ronnie Spector. Whoop!

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Another Fond Farewell

Today we said goodbye to Stewart Cruickshank - a lovely, lovely man.

(Iain Anderson recently paid fond tribute here to his former producer on BBC Radio Scotland).

There were lots of stories, memories and music. Phil Cunningham played a beautiful air called "On The Edge Of The White Rock" on solo accordion and, for a moment, seemed to stop time. If only. I have been to too many memorial services lately.

Carey Lander's Just Giving Page has now raised over £75k - so that is something positive.

There are two weeks left of the Songwriting Workshop that I am teaching at Glasgow University Centre For Open Studies. It has been a rewarding experience for me and the attending students seem to have been getting a lot out of the experience. The next class kicks off in January if you know anyone interested. (Scroll to page 46 here).

I saw a sneak preview of "Room". Great film. Amazing performance from a child actor:

I'll sign off with this. Lindsay Hutton reminded me today that Ben Vaughn played Maryhill many moons ago: I was drumming and Mr. Cruickshank, among others, was jiving to the likes of this...

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Jonathan And Bill And Bill And Stewart.


On Sunday I went to the BAFTA Scotland Awards. Lovely to see Bill Forsyth presenting Bill Paterson with his award. I had been meaning to watch "Comfort And Joy" for ages. It's not quite "Gregory's Girl" - but then what is?

Then last night I heard about the passing of Stewart Cruickshank - a former radio producer at BBC Scotland who helped SO MANY Scottish music folks. A lovely, enthusiastic, kind, warm, big-hearted man.

So anyway, I watched "Comfort And Joy".

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Oh! Carol

Just when I thought Classic FM had forgotten all about me, I got another play for "January Waltz" from Katie Breathwick. Yay.

This week I saw a BAFTA Scotland preview of "Carol", directed by Todd Haynes, scored by Carter Burwell. For some reason I particularly loved it. Cate Blanchette was particularly great, in my humble opinion. Ho many more times can I use type 'particularly'?

And here's the piece - inspiringly called "piece 6" - which I curated for You Can't Get There From Here at Sound Festival (thanks, BBC Scotland) - performed by Ensemble Thing.

And just to lower the tone before I go - my favourite extract from Tom Shield's Dairy...

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Co-composing and Spying

Have a listen here from around 1 hour and 8 mins to hear a report on "You Can't Get There From Here" - commissioned by Sound Festival, me and 5 other composers

And you can currently hear all six pieces in their entirety here.

Lucky you.

I saw the first episode of "London Spy" last night. I do like the slow-burning pace and sense of space...

And episode 2 of The Hunt was another cracker.

Right - off you go.

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Philip Glass, Don Costanzo and Classics Unwrapped

Last night in Glasgow I saw Maki Namekawa perform 20 x Philip Glass etudes.
Amazing performance.

Here is a clip of her playing No 6...

This week I had lunch at Don Costanzo. I recommend eating there before the Don retires at the end of the year. Yummy risotto. And his tiramisu is almost as good as mine.

Predictable TV highlights this week were Catastrophe and Detectorists (nice interview with the latter's writer/director/star McKenzie Crook here).

Anyway, enough of the pre-amble. Be sure to tune in to BBC Radio Scotland's Classics Unwrapped at 9pm tonight to hear a report on "You Can't Get There From Here" - the co-composition I worked on with Sonia Allori, Drew Hammond, Oliver Searle, John De Simone and Colin Broom; commissioned by Sound Festival and beautiful played by Ensemble Thing (and conducted by Tom Butler).

Tinkety-tonk, old fruit.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Belle And Simple Sebastian Minds

On Monday I went to the Save The Children gig at Glasgow's Armadillo organised by Stuart from Belle & Sebastian. 

Every B&S album seems to have a stand out track (State I'm In, I Fought In A War, etc.) and when they started their set with this it - hit the bullseye...

An hour later Jim Kerr and Charlie Burchill swanned onstage, to be backed by B&S, and RAISED THE ROOF. "I Promised You A Miracle" and "Don't You Forget About Me". JK's voice and his lion-in-winter-sporting-a-funeral-directors-crombie stage presence filled the place. Cue collective energy rush. If Jim had declared, "Who wants to be saved?" I'd likely've been off down the front banging a tambourine.

And all for a good cause.

Simple Belle & Sebastian (blowing) Minds

I enjoyed Catastrophe last night too.

If you have Sky I can recommend "Prisons: First & Last 24 Hours" and not just because I did the music. (But partly because I did the music.) Episode 2 tonight (Wed 4th Nov).

And speaking of good causes...

Monday, 2 November 2015

Nov 1st

Hello November.

Like the melding of the seasons, there is an existential comfort to be had in turning on BBC One on a Sunday night and watching an amazing new wildlife documentary narrated by David Attenborough (now aged 89)....

My favourite Halloween joke: 

Small child: "What's Dracula's favourite fruit?"
Us: "We don't know - what's Dracula's favourite fruit?"
Small child: "An apple."
Small child's mum: "A nectarine."

The Scotsman has a nice write up here of Sound Festival including a favourable mention for "You Can't Get There From Here", composed by me and five composer pals and performed by Ensemble Thing.

Message ends.