About my music

Why write music? 

Quite simply I believe it's something that God has gifted me to do. Some are artists, others mathematicians. I'm neither of those but have found over the years that for me, it's music.

How did it begin? It began with listening to a strange mixture of The Beatles, John Williams film music and Salvation Army brass band music - this music was always on in the car when I was a child. I would say that by the time I was 12 I knew the words to most of the Beatles songs, pretty much all of John William's most famous themes and had developed a keen interest in SA brass band music.

Added to that I've always been a bit of a frustrated artist, enjoy drawing and sketching. As I child I spent a great deal of time drawing space battle scenes from Star Wars. But I remember feeling frustrated that found that I couldn't draw everything. I remember thinking 'how the heck do you draw the sounds and the music?'  

So, at around the age of 14 I took my cornet, some printed music, sat down and worked out how to write a tune. I started off by arranging well-known melodies (mostly film and TV themes). For the harmony I used to record the melody line and then play it back so that, using a different instrument, I could play the second part along at the same time. Instruments in other pitches helped me work out my own transposition charts, I drafted my own key signature/transposition charts and went from there. 

The Incredible Hulk

In 1988 I completed my very first brass band arrangement. It was Joe Harnell's 'The Lonely Man' - the theme from the TV show The Incredible Hulk.  I wrote it for the Young People's band at Leeds Central Salvation Army and still have the original score (maybe I'll upload an image some time!) To be honest the piece was terrible, but today I am so grateful to my then YP band leader Chris Newing for sticking by me, helping me correct wrong notes and even allowing the thing to be played out. I hope there were not too many compensation claims!  

Since then I have simply sought to learn all I can about music. It might surprise you to hear but when choosing study options at around the age of 14, I wasn't really interested in music enough to study the subject. But once in my first job at around the age of 18 I thought it would be a good idea to take my Associated Board Grade 5 theory. Later at 20, I attended night school and studied A-level music. Maybe one day I'll take studies further, we'll see.
Right now, as a full time Salvation Army officer (Christian minister) involved with the work of the local church, my music writing is a ministry and also a hobby. Through music-making I am grateful to have been afforded the opportunity to meet all kinds of people all over the world.

Getting hold of my music 

As a Christian minister I don't write music for profit but simply offer it as a ministry tool. That means so far most of my music has been gifted to The Salvation Army - a Christian church and registered charity. 

As such my music to date has been published exclusively by that organisation through its music departments (for example the UK Army's Music Ministries Unit) and distributed through its trading divisions (for example the UK Salvation Army's music supplies shop: Salvationist Publishing & Supplies Ltd and World of Brass). Profits made by SP&S/World of Brass support the ongoing work of the SA. I think it's a pretty good cause to support. 

The Salvation Army

In general you will find that most of my music is published and available to purchase as above, but not everything is published and, as long as a piece is not a commissioned work (and therefore given to the commissioning band/organisation for 12 months exclusive use), or submitted for publication, it may be freely available.  Just contact me for details. 

If you're into downloading digital music, you might occasionally find a piece of mine on worldofbrasstunes.com