Kristjani Reilender

I have a new spot to practise. I’ve been trying to get back into playing box recently (see this post) with some success. What I’ve been trying to do is create times where playing the box is desirable, rather than just snatching some time and trying to be productive. I find productivity rather difficult on box, I tend to progress most when I’m supposed to be doing something else. I suspect I am not alone in that regard. Continue reading

A tribute to Tony Hall

It is a week of tributes apparently. I am going to break convention by making a tribute to someone whilst they are still alive. That person is Tony Hall.

I remember the first time that I ever heard Tony Hall. It was also the first time that I heard his name. It was at an amazing concert called “The Sound of Hohner” at the Manor Pavilion Theatre during Sidmouth Folk Week 2008 (I think). It was a concert which featured some of the best players of Hohner instruments around, including Tony Hall, John Kirkpatrick (another massive influence), Pete Coe, Ed Rennie (who organised it), Chris Parkinson and others. You had to be there and I’m fortunate in that I was. Continue reading

South Downs Jig and Owen’s Maggot

Firstly, please don’t forget that you can purchase There and Back Again’s new album at our  bandcamp page here: http://thereandbackagain.bandcamp.com/. For more details about the album, see here. I’ll stop posting updates here when we’ve sold enough to pay me back my investment, so keep buying!

I will shortly be writing about crooked tunes in more detail, but I thought that I would first share an English crooked tune or two with you, since I haven’t written many posts here about individual tunes. 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

Tradition and Aspiration

I am still battling with my MEng report (up to 37 pages, not including Appendices because I haven’t written them yet), so haven’t had the time to do a proper blog post. I’m beginning to put together the third part of my “Guarding the Tradition” series, in part inspired by the Bolivian ethnomusicology that I’m learning about whilst writing my project report. But to keep you going, I thought I’d share this article written by the legendary Martin Hayes on tradition and aspiration. He manages to put into words much of what I’ve been pondering over the past 6 months. Hope you enjoy it.

http://journalofmusic.com/focus/tradition-and-aspiration

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Old Molly Oxford and a Gig Plug

Hello everyone! How are you? Excellent, glad to hear it. Sorry I haven’t been in touch in such a long time, but events have conspired against me. Specifically, my finals, which are arguably (shock horror) more important than writing this blog. I am currently in the middle of my final report, so might have a few more inactive weeks ahead. I am also half way through writing the third part of “Inside and Out”, but to keep you going and informed I thought I’d write you this post on my next few weeks. Continue reading

Beauty in Music

The last few posts of mine have been fairly wordy, so this one will mostly be music. I’m going to have a busy few days, so this is to tide you over until I have some more free time.

One of my consuming interest, as you might expect is in musical instruments. I am fascinated by the idea of characteristic sound, the idea that by some quirk of their construction every instrument has a sound all of its own. And this isn’t just about melodeons, it applies to every instrument. Indeed my major project for my MEng is on just this topic, isolating the core sound of the Charango (stringed instrument from Bolivia).

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What a week!

I am a Part IIB Engineer, which for those of you not familiar with the bizarre and inexplicable Cambridge Tripos system means that I am currently studying for my Masters in Engineering (MEng) at Cambridge, being in my fourth year of four. You can imagine my delight when I realised that I had three different coursework deadlines for the week just gone (I would explain them, but can guarantee that nobody could ever possibly be interested). Continue reading