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Ian’s Blog

4 January 2017

Happy New Year! Amazingly it has been a year since my last blog so sorry for the delay. Let’s catch up briefly on the last busy year.

Vegfest in March was a good bash and I was able to get in excess of 200 views for my song and video Cargo of Shame as a result of entering into the FxEctive factor competition. I didn’t win but got lots of publicity for it. I also played at MBS events at Chelmsford in June and later on at Woodbridge in November.

I signed a recording deal with local record company Oakfield Records in May. We have gone on to releasing my album Inspired By Nature on iTunes and other retailers. In early December we released the charity Christmas single City Story. Proceeds from this are being donated to the homeless charity Shelter and to Veterans Aid who help homeless ex-armed forces personnel. We didn’t make the top 100 but have had in excess of 15 radio plays which we are hoping will yield some good sales. It has also been played regularly in the run up to Christmas on the British Forces Broadcasting Service and this has gone around the world. In late December I was pleased to be invited onto Rob Jones Time FM show to play the song live and chat a bit about my music.

So what with recording commitments it has been a very busy year. We spent 3 weeks holiday in America in October and I made a video of our trip on the California Zephyr. When I returned home I set the video clips to music and voila! Snake Train Boogie was born. You can now view this on YouTube.

One of my New Year resolutions is to write more blogs so keep checking in. I promise I’ll be more active in 2017!

28 January 2016

Happy belated new year, although the celebrations do seem a long distant memory!  2015 for me was all about working on my existing back catalogue. Indeed, I only composed one piece of music which was ‘Buttercups’, a jaunty little tribute to the goats of Buttercups Sanctuary in Kent. I have orchestrated ‘The Wave,’ worked on videos to a number of pieces from my 2 current albums and written a Christmas song but by far the most time has been taken up with Cargo of Shame (read on…)

I recently enjoyed performing 3 songs at the Cramphorn lunchtime concert on 20th January. Thank you to those who came along and it was so good to get so many lovely compliments after my performance. I will be working on all 3 songs this year. I shall be performing next at Vegfest Brighton, followed by the Woodbridge MBS event where, along with Cathy, I shall also be holding a Music Therapy and Relaxation workshop.

Cargo of Shame

I am pleased to announce the completion of the ‘Cargo of Shame’ project. This was originally a rock song penned by myself back in the 90’s about the campaign to stop the export of live animals from UK ports. At the time it received some airplay on Plymouth radio stations along with an interview which I did for Plymouth Sound radio.

Earlier in 2015 I had the idea to give this song a makeover with a more piano-based feel, adding lyrics which reflect a broader approach to the ongoing struggle against animal exploitation and abuse. Together with the production skills of Luke Bredin, we have created a powerful message highlighting the suffering of animals in our world.

The last 3 months have been spent working on the video. I have been kindly granted license by some of the big animal rights organisations to use footage and images from their own galleries. Of course this has meant viewing some harrowing videos and pictures but that has just made the task more important.

I will be debuting this song live at the FxEctive Factor event at Vegfest Brighton on Saturday 27th February.

I look forward to this message getting out into the wider world and helping to influence a more compassionate understanding of animals.

2 November 2015

Well a lot of time has elapsed since my last blog so it’s time for a catch-up.  My Cramphorn concert on April 1st had a good turnout of around 70 people.  No, they weren’t all friends and family! In fact just 2 and the wife were! Luckily in between concerts I am gamefully employed by The Mimosa restaurant in Colchester and Armstrongs in Clacton.  This gives me the chance to keep my fingers supple and try out my new compositions on an unsuspecting audience.  I also appeared at Vegfest Brighton in March which is always a real fun event to play at (you must come next year)!  I have some youtube footage from this event of me playing ‘A Little Light Breeze.’ So please look it up.  Then onto MBS Chelmsford in June which is another great local event in my calendar. I was able to introduce some of my artwork for sale at this event.  The concert for the animals of Hopefield Animal Sanctuary in the summer never happened due to red tape which was unfortunate but we hope this may take place in 2016.  MBS Colchester in October was another highlight of the year when I performed on stage with the brilliant Ramivana, and as well as the lovely ambience of the event I sold a lot of CDs, so thank you to those who came along and bought one.  As well as these performances I have been very busy working on videos to go with my pieces.  ‘The Beautiful Dream’, ‘The Lake’ and ‘Angelis Paridisi’ will be released on Youtube in the new year.  With all this work I have just composed my first piece of piano music in 9 months.  Well I’ve only got two pairs of hands!  It is a sweet little serenade called Buttercups and is dedicated to the goats of Buttercups goat sanctuary in Kent.  I am hoping to make a video for this in the future.  At the time of creating this blog I have been in the studio with producer Luke Bredin working on the recording of my song ‘Cargo of Shame’.  Also, you can now see me performing a number of my piano pieces on youtube.

10 May 2015

Spring, spring, spring…  I am busy recording more material, including Serenata in A minor, Cargo of Shame and the dynamic “Payback”, which has gone down well at festivals and I intend to perform at Hopefest.  Looking forward to MBS concerts. Also, I am delighted to be able to support Hopefield Animal Sanctuary by playing at Hopefest on 25 July, where we will be raising money to help secure the future of the sanctuary - the event will be open to all.

14 February 2015

2015 is well underway now, as is the orchestration of ‘The Wave’.  In fact, it’s almost complete.  This project has absorbed all my time over the last few months, and I am now looking forward to Spring and the renewed inspiration that brings!  I am also looking forward to my forthcoming concerts in March and April.

24 December 2014

I have recently set up a YouTube page and you can see me play ‘Ding Dong Boogie’ at the Cramphorn Theatre, which I composed for Christmas 2014.  Hope you enjoy it!

13 December 2014

Had a great concert on Wednesday and a good turnout so thanks to all who came along. It was nice to receive so much brilliant feedback afterwards. And a big thanks to Jeffery Wilson for his awesome Sax and Clarinet contribution to the event. Can’t wait for the next one on April 1st 2015.

7 December 2014

Well here we are in December and again I have had a good year writing 12 new pieces including an overture to ‘The Wave’ which I am now working on scoring for orchestra. I have also had successful concerts this year on the Vegfest and MBS festivals circuits. The year has also seen release of my second album ‘The Beautiful Dream.’  My most recent piece ‘Ding Dong Boogie’ has, as the title suggests, a Yuletide influence to it. This will be one of the pieces performed at my upcoming Cramphorn lunchtime concert on the 10th Dec. The concert will be a celebration of Boogie, Rag and Blues and will feature myself and Jeffery Wilson on clarinet.  As 2014 draws to an end I would like to wish you a merry Christmas and let’s hope for a good peaceful new year!

24 Octopber 2014

Just released new album after much hard work, entitled “The Beautiful Dream”, including artwork painted by myself.  Also playing at MBS Festival this weekend. Fingers crossed for the launch of the new album!

8 September 2014

Hope your summer has been great even though the weather has not been brilliant in Essex.  I enjoyed playing at the MBS festival West Mersea last weekend and met lots of great people. I even jammed with Gary playing Didgeridoo and other wind instruments he had constructed himself!

This has been a most prolific few months as I have created around 10 new pieces since April. Probably a record for me!  Included is one of my favourite pieces ‘The Robin in Snow’ which has been likened to pure Debussy.

I have also completed a powerful overture to ’The Wave’ and have reworked the Prestissimo in the middle to make the whole thing over 10 minutes long. I am practising through some tricky arpeggios at the moment in order that I may present the score for this piece to an orchestra to play along with myself on piano.

So lots going on here and the next performance I will be giving is the MBS festival in Colchester in October.

14 June 2014

I have just finished a run of festivals including Vegfest Brighton, Vegfest Bristol (in the rain!) and the first Mind Body and Spirit Festival at Chelmsford.  I’m pleased to report that I have been invited back by both events!  My next date should be MBS at Mersea Island on 6 September.  In the meantime I will be playing every other Sunday lunchtime at the Mimosa restaurant in Colchester.

11 May 2014

I enjoyed my April concert at the Cramphorn and thank you all those who turned up to listen. I was also grateful to Naomi for accompanying me on Cello and hope we can rekindle the partnership again soon. I am just in the process of completing and scoring my recent composition ‘Snake Train Boogie’ which I will be playing at my next concert at Vegfest Bristol on the 24th May. I will then be playing my more ambient music at Mind, body and spirit exhibition in Chelmsford on June 6/7th.

13April 2014

Well after a most enjoyable set at Vegfest Brighton in March I am moving on to my next Cramphorn lunchtime concert on Weds 16th April. For this I will be joined by the wonderful talents of Naomi Poole on cello. Come and hear some of my ‘Inspired by Nature’ pieces now with added cello along with some new additions including ‘The Hedgehog Dance.’

14 December 2013

I am pleased to announce dates 29th March 2014 at Vegfest Brighton and 24th May 2014 at Vegfest Bristol. Each live session is of ¾ hour duration and I will be opening the proceedings at 12 O’Clock with selections from my Inspired by Nature album and other recent piano material. If you can make it along then come and say hello!



In the meantime have a great Christmas and New Year!

19 October 2013

Hi there.  Thank you to all those who came to my ‘Inspired by Nature’ Cramphorn concert on 2 October.  I was told there were 92 people in the audience, including my Mum!  A record turnout for me, and a most enjoyable concert.  My next appearance is with the Environ Group on 13 November at the Cramphorn lunchtime concert, and I am now considering an evening concert in the beautiful garden room at the DeRougemont Manor Hotel, Great Warley.  I think this will happen sometime next Spring when the garden is in bloom and I will keep you informed on this.  In the meantime, I have submitted ‘Sunlight’ to the BBC and am hoping for some airplay with this one.  I have a new part-time job at the hospital which should help towards my recording costs, and hopefully there will be another album out soon!

29 September 2013

Well, the summer was good, but so quickly gone.  My lunchtime concert at the Cramphorn is now upon us.  I have entitled this ‘Inspired by Nature’ after my album and shall be playing a selection of music from this as well as a few new ones.  Once again, I will be joined by the talents of Jeffery Wilson and Katie Marsh.  Oh yes, and my piece Sunlight is now recorded and ready for promotion.

11 July 2013

Just got back from my honeymoon in Austria. Most enjoyable and inspiring!

I have just been booked for a lunchtime concert at the Cramphorn on Weds October 2nd.  Seems a long way off but it will soon come round.  I am also hoping to be featured in an environ group concert in Nov.  We seem to be enjoying a nice spell of weather (don’t speak too soon!) - this is reflected in my recently composed piece ‘Sunlight’ which I am hoping will levitate my career somewhat. Especially if we get another ’76.’ (now I am chancing my luck!)

2 June 2013

Recently returned from the Lake District where I was married to the lovely Cathy on 22 May.  Had a fantastic day!  The weather was excellent and the day finished with a concert of my own in the amazing bay window at Yewfield overlooking the Esthwaite Valley.  Also a mention for the two great May lunchtime concerts I did at Witham and Braintree - thanks to Betty Beal for those, and also to Johnty Wilks who came along and played occasional sax with me at Braintree!

30 April 2013

Well, here we are, already a 3rd of the way through the year.  I recently enjoyed performing at the ‘Sing a New Song’ concert in the Civic Theatre Chelmsford, which was very well patronised.  As part of the show I played backing piano to the formidable voice of Tom Tull.  We performed my Rosaria, a short and sweet piece, half in German and half in English.  I then welcomed on stage Johnty Wilks playing amazing  Alto sax on Piccadilly Saturday which I sung and played piano on. This song has an interesting history and I am hoping for great things with it.

I am honoured to have had my new piece ‘Nocturne in D’ chosen as the opener for the piano cloud groups piece selection for the week. There is a phenomenal amount of talent on there and so it is a compliment to be in the listing let alone be the opener.

I am looking forward to playing at Witham church lunchtime concert tomorrow and will be opening with Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata. The first time I have introduced another composer’s material into my repertoire.

6 January 2013

Happy New Year!  Have just returned from Madeira after working with my tribute band over the Christmas period.  We had a spectacular four days including New Year’s Eve in Funchal and it gives me a good positive springboard into 2013.

Need to get back to sorting out some gigs for this year!

I have recently renovated my jazz piece ‘A Little Light Breeze’ and it is now available on SoundCloud.

7 November 2012

Thanks to all for coming to my lunchtime concert at the Civic Theatre today.  It was a great turnout and I thoroughly enjoyed entertaining you with the likes of Daybreak, The Piralette and my finale The WaddleDuck.  Many thanks to Jeffery Wilson and Katie Marsh for their help on clarinet and to the lovely Lizzie for her dancing.

I will be appearing with the Environ Group on Wednesday 14 November at the Cramphorn Theatre at 1pm and hope to see you there!

16 October 2012

You can now find me on Facebook and Twitter.

28 September 2012

Well, Autumn is here, but brings with it its own inspiration!  We are currently working on a lunchtime concert on 7 November, to be held at the Civic Theatre in Chelmsford. This promises to be a great event, with contributions on clarinet and saxophone from Jeffery Wilson and Katie Marsh, and hopefully a surprise act? As usual, the music will be provided from my own catalogue of compositions and there should be some new ‘tasty’ little gems as well as some of my already popular classics.  So I hope to see you there!

22 July 2012

Thank you to everyone who came to the concert at Ingatestone Hall tonight. With the improved weather it was a truly memorable occasion for me, as I hope it was for everyone there.  I was pleased to have raised some money for Saint Francis Hospice as well, and I believe we raised in excess of £60 for the charity! Thank you also to Katie Marsh for her clarinet skills and for backing me on piano while I sung my aria.  For those not at the concert tonight, I have also finished recording my CD, which I hope to sell online soon.

27 June 2012

Thanks for all the compliments from those who attended my lunchtime concert for the New Friendship Club.  I enjoyed playing for the lovely ladies and the one gentleman.  It’s now less than one month until my concert at Ingatestone Hall so I’m busy practising  - it should be a good night!

5 May 2012

Thank you for a good turnout at my Cramphorn lunchtime concert on Wednesday. I hope everyone enjoyed listening to the music as much as I did playing it.  Thank you once again to Jeffery Wilson for accompanying me on clarinet on the Elephant Suite and Dušek’s Garden.  The debut of my full Lakeland Suite seemed to go down very well, and as I have already mentioned, is at an advanced stage of arrangement as a symphony.  I’m looking ahead to my forthcoming recital on 22 July and am busy working on material to complete the whole evening.

30 March 2012

I enjoyed performing at the Environ Group concert on Wednesday at the Cramphorn Theatre, and it was all well received by the audience.  Thanks to all in the group.  Also, congratulations to Jeffery on the performance of his highly impressive timpani concerto in Chelmsford last month - I attended and thoroughly enjoyed the evening with the Docklands Sinfonia.  My concert in September will be entitled “September Serenade” for which I have just composed an opening piece called “September Song”.  I am also working on converting my Lakeland Piano Suite into a symphony.  Only four weeks to go to my concert at the Cramphorn Theatre on 2 May, so lots of practice to do now!

15 February 2012

I am pleased to say that I have secured a concert at the lovely location of Ingatestone Hall on 22 July.  Thanks to Lord Petre for the invite.  I will be playing in the Stone Hall which holds 85 people and I am hoping for a full house.  We are also in the process of arranging a concert at the Headgate Theatre in Colchester for 9 September.  I am also looking forward to giving a concert to the New Friendship Club at The Chapel House in Chelmsford.

12 January 2012

Happy New Year to all!  I have now completed the Lakeland Suite in five movements, and am looking forward to performing it in its entirety for the first time on 2 May at the Cramphorn.  Before then, I will be working with the popular Environ Group on 28 March, which I am also looking forward to.  I hope you will be able to join me at my lunchtime concerts and I will keep you posted on any further developments.

9 November 2011

Hi.  I’ve been busy composing some additions to my Lakeland Suite, and have recently returned from a trip to the Lake District where I was in search of inspiration for the said works.  My manager, Cathy, is currently working on lining up some gigs for next year.  So far, we have a confirmed date for a return to the Cramphorn Theatre, for a lunchtime concert on 2 May.  I am planning to record a CD in the new year, so I can offer my music for sale at future performances. There are other gigs in the pipelne.  I am trying to get in to a performance at the cathedral in Chelmsford, but it is proving to be like breaking in to Fort Knox! Watch this space!  Also, we are thinking of arranging our own gigs so that I can bypass some of the waiting lists for playing at local venues.

16 September 2011

Hi, this is my first blog so I’ll keep it short and sweet. Thank you to all those who were able to make my debut lunchtime concert at the Cramphorn Theatre on weds. You were a great audience and I got a lot of good feedback afterwards.  We are busy sorting out some more dates and I will keep you informed of further concerts.  Thank you also to Jeffery for his clarinet accompaniment on Elephants’ Day Out.  Can’t wait for the next performance!