This site is full of music and words that I made (or helped to make), plus a few other bits and pieces that I think are important, or at least relevant.
I’d like the music and words and images and videos to speak for themselves. That said ...
I realise context is important, so here’s some context about me:
I come from (and am still based in) London England, third generation of working musicians (I once counted how many are blood relations and it’s somewhere between 20 and 30!!).
I was pushed through various expensive yet blinkered 20th century education systems (Private this, Royal that, International Blah), through which I acquired all the right skills to do all the wrong things.
I rebelled in a creatively liberating but financially calamitous way, and somehow over the course of a decade or so, developed - by painful trial and error - my own set of frameworks for approaching our infinitely fascinating yet utterly unpredictable world!
That unexpectedly took about 20 years, during which time I variously studied at, won research positions at, got rejected from, got funded by, got un-funded by, worked for, re-studied at, aborted studies at, etc etc. various historic prestigious renowned blah blah Anglo-American / European schools / universities / music conservatoires.
I also did freelance / contract work in these years, for quite a few music companies / orchestras / broadcasters / organisations / record labels / etc. Mainly as a violinist (that’s my trade!).
(Plus some epic tours and concerts backing big name artists at the top of their game ... I only realise years later just how much I learned from those experiences ... )
Without exception, all of these places were fundamentally dysfunctional, yet populated by some of the nicest / cleverest / most visionary people I’ve ever had the privilege to meet, and most of whom to this day I consider trusted colleagues / mentors / friends.
Everything I do stands on the shoulders (or perhaps brains?) of these wonderful, incredible people.
These same places were also inhabited by some of the most warped, embittered, misguided, incompetent and unhappy people ... who really shouldn’t have been in such highly paid positions of authority. (I was one of the lucky ones, and escaped lightly. I know many who didn’t.)
During this time I experimented with outrageously creative music projects that pushed the boundaries of what could be achieved through virtuosic string playing, boundless creativity, unconditional love, enthusiastic naivety, and a blithe ignorance of sound financial management.
This extended to projects involving famous people (politicians, musicians, actors) you’ve definitely heard of, some of whom doubled as private clients (events, festivals, tuition for the kids, ‘private background engagements’ in Switzerland, etc).
Inadvertently and ignorantly, I followed an entrepreneurial path of creating small organisations (today they would probably be called ‘social enterprises’), to solve problems that we had the enthusiasm, but neither the resources nor the experience, to resolve.
Major successes and failures included a record label, a technology project, a live music business, a concert series, a series of radio shows, and more.
Two were hits, most just about sort of worked (and even won some big awards - BBC, Shell, Deutsche Bank), and one was a complete and utter disaster which i regret to this day (always limit your downside, people!).
I have also spent significant amounts of time working with communities - particularly in Palestine and throughout the UK - where people, through no fault of their own, live in unbelievably difficult circumstances.
Those people and communities do not need charity, pity, or condescending intervention. They just need a fair, just world upon which to unleash their creative potential ... as does every human being.
That’s what motivates me to get up and work every day.
Somewhere in all of this a school was born, which - alongside two children - ate up most of my thirties...
As I began to gravitate gracelessly toward middle age, I discovered by accident that my aunt (whose publishing business is now gradually eliding with my school), spent the last 3 decades fighting the same battles I’ve been fighting since 2010 - that is, to provide (through music) a paradigm of education that’s fundamentally:
a) just and fair
b) recognises the creative potential of every human being
c) affordable at the point of use
So right now the focus is on making that fly. Systems, processes, people....
However, it’s become clear to me, for reasons that I can’t yet fully explain, that I need to lead from the front again. To be out there making music, making things happen, getting things started.
So I’m returning to my medium of choice ... (did I mention that I was a committed blogger in the early 2000s when blogs first became a thing?)
Anyway that’s how I got here, and it’s why I need an unfiltered platform to speak from for a while.
So, the blog is back...
Thank you again for reading