The Making of ‘Metaphysical Attractions’

I have a new album out this year. It’s called ‘Metaphysical Attractions’ and it’s turning out to be my favourite John Irvine Band album yet.

It’s taken me five years to get this one near completion. Mainly because I decided to write a sci-fi book trilogy after the completion of ‘Next Stop’ in 2013. But it has gradually come together.

It’s amazing how that happens; how the brain takes it’s own sweet time making the decisions (or at least mine does) that put things together. Continue reading “The Making of ‘Metaphysical Attractions’”

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The ‘Musical Ear’: What Is It? And Why Do We Need To Test It?

You’ll know from my other blogs on music education that I’m of the opinion that a lot of what is being examined in our young musicians (and mature ones, taking the dreaded graded exam journey) is outdated and irrelevent. The system has remained much the same for over 80 years, and shows no signs of changing anytime soon. Most exam systems we know have been changed several times of the years, so why have music exams (and I’m looking at you ABRSM) staunchly remained the same all of this time?

Continue reading “The ‘Musical Ear’: What Is It? And Why Do We Need To Test It?”

Being A Polymath: Does All That Math Add Up To Anything?

I often think of people who have concentrated solely on one artistic career – the writer who only writes, the musician who only plays – and wonder if they ever get a hankering for doing something different. Trying a new form or genre?

I’ve met very few people in my time who like to try their hand at a different art form than the one they normally do. Of course, having the time to do other things is hard to find. Continue reading “Being A Polymath: Does All That Math Add Up To Anything?”

Weighing Up The Scales: Does Your Left-hand Know What The Right-hand Is Doing?

So, a while back, I was teaching a bit of compositional theory (as you do) and I asked the students a seemingly outrageous question: “What is the purpose of the harmonic minor scale? Why is there a raised 7th in there?”

Blank looks.

But I was not deterred and thought I’d push them even further… “OK, what about the melodic minor scale? A raised 7th AND a raised 6th.”

Silence. Continue reading “Weighing Up The Scales: Does Your Left-hand Know What The Right-hand Is Doing?”