It has been a very long time since my last blog entry, and for that I can only apologise. So much has happened in the past two months that I have wanted to post about, but I have simply been too busy focusing on other things! I have completely finished my uni course for the past month or so and I have been having a relaxing time, going on holiday to Poland with my girlfriend, and playing lots of gigs.
Firstly, I’d like to start off by talking about my final year recital, which took place in The Voodoo Rooms in Edinburgh on Tuesday 16th April 2013. My last blog post was around two weeks before my recital, and I was really enjoying the preparation with all of the musicians who are part of the performance.
The recital itself went very well and there was a great crowd to support myself, Alex and Isard who were performing that night. My recital started off with a solo performance of Strawberry Fields Forever by The Beatles. For this piece, I used a loop pedal to create ambient sounds to play the song over. Although I was quite worried about starting the recital off with a solo piece, I had practised this a lot and knew that if I was able to perform this piece well, it would build up my confidence for the rest of the recital. Unfortunately, the examiners had not turned on the camera for the start of my exam, however, I obtained an audio recording of most of what the camera missed.
Strawberry Fields Forever (The Beatles)
I’m afraid that if I go through the recital piece by piece this blog entry will end up a bit too long, so feel free to check out the rest of the videos I posted from my recital on the Video page.
A week after the recital I received my feedback from the examiners, and was awarded 84.4%. As I was hoping to score somewhere in the 80’s, I was delighted with this mark as it put me in a good position to obtain a First Class degree. A lot of the comments were really positive and I didn’t find myself disagreeing with any of the negatives.
You can see the programme for my performance below.
I will save more talk of uni, such as the Major Music Project, for my next blog entry. Instead I’d like to talk more about what is going on outside as I try to go full steam ahead with my professional career as a working musician. I have been performing a lot with Dead Man’s Shoes lately as the wedding season has started. I have had the opportunity to play some great venues recently, such as the Brig o’ Doon in Ayr, as well as the Glasgow Hilton Hotel (pictured below as we prepared to soundcheck).
The gig at the Glasgow Hilton was the annual Pink Ball, organised by Joan Robertson and presented by Radio Personality Gina McKie. This year’s event was the second year that the Pink Ball has taken place. It was attended by approximately 250 guests in the ballroom and around £20,000 was raised for a piece of equipment used to detect breast cancer that would be given to Victoria Infirmary, Glasgow. Dead Man’s Shoes provided the evening’s entertainment, and there was a great response from the crowd. It seemed like everyone had a great evening and it would be great to get the chance to do it again.
As well as performing, a few teaching opportunities have come up for me. I have recently been contacted by the Loud n Proud rock school based in Paisley to fill in with some guitar teaching which I am looking forward to. Additionally I will hopefully be doing some shadowing of instrumental instruction with Mike McGeary in schools with Edinburgh City Council, as well as doing some of the same after the summer back at my old college (North Glasgow College in Springburn), with the likes of Allan Bertam, Morph, and Campbell Owens.
More to come soon, hopefully!!