365/365 Talented Boy

365/365 Talented Boy
365/365 Talented Boy by rutty is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA

We are finishing off 2017 by visiting some good friends near Banbury. They have four amazing children – from 2 to 16 years old – and are some of the warming, most loving folks you could meet.

Their second child is a very talented young man. He’s exceptionally eloquant for his age and can bash out a solid tune on the piano, while singing with his lovely voice. He has a love for musical theatre, and I think he was playing and singing something from Matilda here.

We do love visiting our friends and wish we lived a little bit closer.

Our year closed off with the help of a murder mystery evening. I was a Belgian Chocolatier. I didn’t do the accent.

357/365 Top 100

357/365 Top 100
357/365 Top 100 by rutty is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA

My favourite music magazine, Metal Hammer, have been doing a ‘Top 100 Albums of the Year’ thing for a while now. These things are always contentious as they’re drawn from the mixed preferences of the mag’s writers, but there’s always a tonne of great bands on there, many of which I’ve not had a chance to listen to.

I tried to listen to every album on the 2015 list, but stopped somewhere in the 80s due to other new music coming out. I didn’t even try in 2016, but have become determined to finish the job this time.

I am definitely, positively going to listen to every single album on the 2017 Metal Hammer list. Oh yes.

I will note that there’s some stuff in the top 20 that I do not like (Black Dahlia Murder I’m particularly looking at you) and there’s the mystifying absence of The Von Hertzen Brothers. I’ve listened to their latest more than anything this year – Metal Hammer writers, what the hell is wrong with you?

I’m going to do mini reviews of each on my blog, just for writing practice. There are so many great music review sites out there, so I will also link some of those, along with where you can buy the albums in question. It’s important to support these bands after all.

I do still buy music, mostly from Pledge Music these days, although I subscribe to Apple Music. While this doesn’t pay the bands very well at all I also try and assist their finances by buying merchandise when I can. The subscription streaming model is great for listeners (and Apple, obviously) but pretty terrible for bands. We should all do what we can to support our favourite artists – buy their stuff and go and see them live!

117/365 No snowman


“117/365 No snowman” by rutty is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA

When did Frozen come out again? It seems eons ago, and yet the songs persist. They’re some of the catchiest songs ever produced for film and they refuse to go away, even when new films with catchy songs follow after. One look at the front page of this sheet of music and you’ll be singing ‘Let It Go’ all day.

Your’e welcome.

To be fair, this is a very good arrangement by Stephen Banna. It fits most of the best songs and music from the film into five minutes or so, and I do enjoy playing it.

75/365 Feroce con piu merda

75/365 Feroce con piu merda

I generally love how music is transcribed onto the page. The musical stave is a beautiful thing, with its notes, accents and Italian terms.

Sometimes us musicians like to augment the page with personal tags, something to remind us that a certain passage requires a particularly delicate touch or extra caution. It’s often easy to miss those pianissimo markings or awkward rhythms, so we often get our pencils out when the need arises.

It was not a surprise to me to see such a marking on the Michael Ball test piece Whitsun Wakes. Sometimes you really do have to give it the full welly.

Oh Shit

Oh shit

26th January 2015

The test piece for the 2015 Regional Championships Second Section has this little bit of horror about halfway through.

The composer, Kevin Norbury, no doubt had a bit of a chuckle when he wrote this.

Brass banders often struggle more with sharp keys. I know I much prefer to be playing in flats. I’m not entirely sure why this is.

Let It Go

Ruby is utterly obsessed with ‘Let It Go’ from Frozen. To be honest, so am I (just a little bit). I think it’s one of the finest, catchiest songs to come out in many a year.

This amazing video has been doing the rounds for a while, but it’s worth a watch. Brian Hull does an fantastic job using the various Disney/Pixar voices throughout.

Links for May 19th

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