Now available on bandcamp

Mando Cover


Available on bandcamp





Nick Hobbs choreography

Luzerner Ballet


I have now reached the end of my collection of blogs which include a summary of the past year and an insight into a current project of mine. I hope that it has been at least remotely interesting to read.

I do try to keep some idea of imagery, moving image or speech during the process of researching ideas and sounds and very often, at least with my music, its only then at the moment that it is seen with the intended image or movement that it makes any sense.

I personally find that my music  needs to be listened in context with what it has been designed to accompany and that, I am supposing, is what bespoke music is all about.

here’s a clip of me playing the intro music to the production ‘the Odyssey’

All the best to you.


Although not all the music is ‘pinned down’ at this stage and much is left still open for change, I am about ready to write ideas for the opening and closing music that may play as the audience enters and leaves. I am going to keep it separate from the other thematic material and just have a ‘stand alone’ piece.

Although I have a piano at my disposal I have been itching to use an indian harmonium for ages and I want to capture a minimal element that perhaps resonates something from the early periods of musical development. Nothing too ‘cave-man-like’, something closer to the spiritual music of the 13th and 14th century (of course, with a little of me thrown in to boot)!

Here are some early reflections with the Indian Harmonium  and it goes without saying steeped in a cathedral type reverb.


What mythological story would be complete without a six-headed monster ? Well certainly not this one and as it rages upon the poor sailors paddling for their might, it will be my responsibility to add an atmospheric soundtrack to enhance the action.

I think the electric cello played through a sound processor will produce an exciting blend of mysterious atmosphere and danger. Here is a video clip of my initial trials commencing musically with a reasonably calm idea of the ocean and sailing etc. leading into a more dramatic theme. I am well aware that it is quite ‘over the top’ at this stage, but I am attempting to see where the music can go. This invariably means going to places thematically just so you know that you don’t want to go there (if that makes sense).

There are several occasions when a ‘sea shanty‘ is needed, there being often scenes in this production with many sailors. As I am not working literally when regarding the period i.e. trying to recreate music from 800 B.C.E, I will use a style typical of popular shanty (‘popular’ may not be the best choice of word).

As characters in the production will be learning this song, I am trying to keep it simple both in melody and in text. Easy to repeat, easy to remember etc. It’s too early to decide exactly upon a key signature also but in general I have found that the key of G major seems to hit the vocal range of most. In any case, when a note is too high or too low that is the ideal moment for a harmony note ever so popular when singing a shanty!

This clip shows just myself, no harmony, and a few verses. I am intending to ask the cast to write a line each so that they may each get chance to lead a verse. The instrument is a blend  of  Greek Bazouki and  Turkish Saz, one that I commissioned a few years ago by english luthier Paul Hathway.

Percussion is always an effective tool when used live in a theatrical setting and there will be several occasions in this production where it will be appropriate. I like to experiment for ideas and rhythms with a water drum as it has a full range of timbre and then convert that to a more comprehensive set of percussion later.

This particular idea is based upon the inter-play between two warriors that desire to kill each other and so I am trying to capture that energy with quick darting dynamic shifts. The rhythm will ultimately need to build into something more tangible as more protagonists enter the scene to do battle.

Here is a little snippet of rhythmic game.

Troy’s Water Drum played by Paul Pavey

For this particular sound, the horn has to lend itself perfectly. An instrument that signals announcement with regal and archetypal connotation. I would prefer to use a Shofar, possibly one of the first horns literally made from the horn of an antelope, however, given to its limitations of pitch (it having only 5 recognisable notes rising in fourths and fifths), I am going to use a Tenor Horn in Eb which is very similar to a French Horn in F.

There are going to be several different Gods in the production that will need a slightly different theme but all will share the same instrument. The horn will hallow the arrival of each God throughout the production and the following video clip represents my initial musical material. There will be a development that will vary depending on the severity of each God’s entry.

Announcing the Gods – Tenor Horn played by Paul Pavey