Out of my depth

Since my last post I have received a huge amount of encouragement and support, both over the internet and in real life. I have been hugely touched by this, so thank you everyone. It wasn’t a terribly easy post to write, but I am glad that I did. It is always going to be difficult to admit that you have a problem, but I think that it is important to be honest with people, especially those that you care about. I have been particularly touched by those professional melodeon players who have offered encouragement and sympathies, especially John Spiers, Jon Loomes and Andy Cutting. Continue reading

It has been too long

Hello everybody! It has been far too long; over three months have passed since last we spoke.

They have been an eventful three months, which is my principal excuse for inactivity. I was offered a job part way through January and am now working full time as an Acoustic Consultant (see this post for why), mainly looking at noise management for construction projects. Unfortunately it is a hefty commute away and so most of my time has been spent going to work, commuting and sleeping. I am now getting into the swing of things though, so fingers crossed I should have a bit more time soon. Continue reading

Training your Ears

Apologies for leaving this blog to rot for a few weeks, I’ve had other things on my mind. However, I woke up amazingly early this morning (0600!), so thought that I would post something. For those interested, I have a solo gig tonight at Redbourn Folk Club, supporting Brian Peters. Please do come along if you’re free.

The post this week is on ears. Now ears we all know, they are fleshy protuberances which enable us to hear with absolute clarity the pneumatic drill being used on the road outside. Your ears are amazing devices, which are sensitive to a huge range of frequencies and loudness (the response to none of which is entirely linear, making everything extremely complicated). They are, in my wholly biased opinion, one of the most amazing parts of the body. One has to wonder why it is that we simultaneously have exquisitely designed pieces of apparatus like the ear and hastily put together travesties like the ankle and elbow. But I digress.

Continue reading

Guarding the Tradition Part 3 – What might folk music become?

Yes, you did read the title correctly. After the success of Part 1 and Part 2, I have finally got round to writing Part 3. Welcome to more of my ramblings on folk music, for the last instalment of this series.

Before we get onto that though, a quick plug again for my new album with There and Back Again. Sales are picking up, so if you are interested in some semi-improvisatory folk music then head over to the shop. And also, if you happen to be in Bury St Edmunds this Friday the 21st September then I will be playing solo at the Milkmaid Folk Club, supporting the superb Nancy Kerr and James Fagan. Would be fantastic to see lots of you there. Continue reading

Happy Summer!

So, it seems like the good weather has finally arrived, hopefully here to stay. I had fairly good weather last weekend for Chagstock, the highlight of which was seeing the Martin Harley Band on the mainstage. I was playing with Marianne Neary and the gig went swimmingly – probably the best that we have so far done.

I have an exciting few weeks ahead of me. This weekend I am going to Warwick Folk Festival, playing with Gog Magog Molly. I’m then going to the English Acoustic Collective Summer School, which I am looking forward to immensely – a chance to play some music without any other distractions. After that it’s Sidmouth time – this is my 11th I think. I’ll be tutoring with Shooting Roots for the first time which should be fun, even though I’ve never done anything similar in my life. Then finally I’ll be dashing across the country to Broadstairs to play with There and Back Again, my piano trio. Continue reading

Musical Development problems – the Janko Keyboard

So, I have passed my Master of Engineering, which means that from next Thursday I can style myself “Mr Owen Woods, BA(Hons) MEng CertGSMD”. Not that I will in polite conversation mind, but it is rather daunting that it is an option. And with this revelation, it is beginning to sink in that I am going to leave this place. Which is not an unpleasant thought, it has been a tricky four years, but it isn’t wholly pleasant either. Continue reading