Wednesday…brings the second of Ben Carr’s Music Sessions at The Hideaway. Anyone can come along, bring an instrument and join in (I’ll be there with my flute). The whole evening’s great fun and you’ll meet some really nice people. Starts at 8pm.
Sunday…Gallows Ghost play The Hideaway and have asked me if I’d like to stand in for a few tunes as a guest musician. They’re lovely people and their music is great fun to play, so the answer is always yes!
Today’s discovery is… a new instrument called The Fluid Piano. The strings all have sliders that enable each note to be changed in pitch (by up to a whole tone) as the piano is being played. This also means that the piano can be tuned to the true harmonic series, making it much more compatible with traditional indian music, which doesn’t use the standard western tuning (twelve note equal temperament) and can often involve fluctuations in pitch.
Anyway, I hope you’re all having a good week and if you happen to be at any of these gigs, feel free to say hi (I’ll be the one with the flute and the long brown hair)!
On Wednesday 25th Jan, there was a brilliant session at the Royal Oak.
About a week before, my dad (Joe) and I had been asked we’d like to come and join in with some blues with Ben Carr and a few guest musicians. Neither of us knew exactly how it would work and we’d had no idea what we were going to play – just that it started at 8pm and that it’d probably be a lot of fun.
Ben Carr played his blues set first, with brother Tom Carr on double bass. Ben is an excellent guitarist and manages to organise things like this so quickly – I’m not sure that anyone else would be able to do it!
Next, Tez Locke played a set of completely original works and Ben asked if Doug “Big Toe” Smith and I would join in . Tez was the only one who’d played the songs before, but I joined in with improvised flute fills and harmonies and generally had a good time. People seemed to think we’d been playing together for ages, so it must have sounded fairly good, and we all really enjoyed it.
The last set was made up of three the musicians from Hamer and Isaacs gypsy swing band (Howard, Julian and Rosie) and my dad (Joe) joined them on saxophone with fills, harmonies and improvisations. They were amazing – Rosie has a stunning voice which suited the blues/swing style perfectly and meshed really well with the guitar and bass.
The evening ended with everyone joining in for the last blues and lots of chatting! The atmosphere was just so relaxed and appreciative that I don’t think there’s anyone who wouldn’t want to play there again.
On the 1st January I’ll be in Hope Cove at The Cottage Hotel playing jazz flute with John (keyboard) and Joe (sax) as part of “The Sterry Family”.
If you’ve not been to The Cottage before, it’s a hotel with a stunning sea view, really good food and the people running it are lovely (they’re even nice to musicians!!!). I chose to go there for my birthday meal because the atmosphere and food is so good (the puddings are delicious too).
Another day, another instrument…
Yesterday I played harp at The Cottage and it went down really well! I got to speak to some wonderful people afterwards about and brought my dad and sister along to listen.
People tend to ask quite a few questions about the harp, because it’s a fairly modern design. This particular model is a Smartwood Harp and is much lighter than some of the more traditional designs, which makes it much more convenient for travelling with. Most importantly, I enjoy playing it and it sounds good (the low notes in particular have a wonderful warm rich sound). I’m tempted to add levers soon, as I am finding the standard modes a bit restrictive, but overall I’m very happy with it.