Earlier this year, I was invited to record Martin Ellerby's new Cinnamon Concerto for a disc on the Polyphonic label, and this exciting recording has just been released. The recording took place on a very hot late summer day in the RNCM's fabulous Concert Hall, and the college's Wind Orchestra played brilliantly on a very tight schedule - we had just 2 hours to record the whole piece - it certainly has a lot of energy!!!.
Life as a saxophonist is always varied, colourful, unexpected and unpredictable - here are 2 photos I took from the stage on consecutive nights last week in Manchester - one is the view from the stage at the M.E.N. Arena during the Children in Need Rocks Manchester concert that was broadcast live to the UK on BBC1 and Radio 1 - I was on stage with Michael Buble, and the other is the view from the stage the following night when I was playing with Jeremy Sassoon's Trio in Dmitri's Bar in Manchester - both were really great gigs, but for very different reasons!!! Life is indeed a rollercoaster!!!!
"Scaredy Cat is the most coolest piece I have ever played...the guy who wrote it must be the most amazing dude ever!!" ( Alastair - yr9).
Scaredy Cat is one of my compositions for solo saxophone (and now clarinet and flute too) that features on the Grade 5 syllabus for a couple of exam boards. Published in the Solo Saxophone Book (http://www.astute-music.com) it has unexpectedly proven to be one of my most popular pieces, and I am constantly getting emails from young players asking all about the Scaredy Cat - what it's name is, what colour it is, etc, as well as lovely comments about the piece. The quote above was sent to me this week by one of my ex-students, who's Yr9 pupil came out with this quote in his lesson - kudos indeed!
It was also played down the phone on the Simon Mayo Radio 2 drive time show on the clarinet a while back, and features in concerts and exams all over the place. Scaredy Cat has become a legend thanks to all of you who bought it and play it!!! Do email in with any more sightings of the Scaredy Cat, and I'll post them up here!!!
If any of you creative folk out there are involved in any kind of new projects, running events, festivals, societies, companies, ensembles, anything creative, you should check out this great little book written by Derek Sivers, the founder of CDBaby - the first (and in my opinion) best online CD distribution resource for independent musicians.
Check out this fantastic new recording by the Michael Nyman Band with singer/songwriter David McAlmont. I was lucky enough to be asked to play on this CD, which we recorded in London in July 2009, and released in November 2009 (I play Alto Saxophone throughout). David wrote some incredible lyrics and melodies to go over the top of some of Michael's existing music, and the results are generating a real buzz - there's apparently talk of a Mercury Prize nomination, and the reviews are all excellent. Here's a clip, but do go to Michael's site (www.michaelnyman.com) for more info. We're off to Spain in February for a couple of live shows of this project too, and no doubt there will be more dates as the year progresses. -RB
“the chemistry clicks instantly on this bejewelled union.."
“sumptuous, memorable melodies"
**** Hi-Fi Choice