New cover for scores

Welcome to my new cover design for White Down Music printed scores, replacing the rather dull plain cream cover used previously. This beautiful image of White Down, from a photo by photographer son Simon Cook, fills the front and back of each score, shown below opened out, and we are very fortunate to live just a few minutes walk away from this part of the wild West Penwith Moors, a few miles from the Land's End Peninsular at the tip of Cornwall.
White Down open

Two new choral pieces

I have added 2 new vocal works, viewable under the Choral heading on the Navigation Bar. They are both light hearted and entertaining pieces which use words provided by members of local choirs, the Penzance Orpheus Ladies Choir and the Marazion Apollo Male Choir. Dora Laity has written a short poem of fishy love and longing which I set for SSA with a Piano accompaniment, called A Fishy Tale. The other is a series of Cornish based situations involving the frequently absent Jack, who is finally discovered in an unexpected place. This is Lesley's Song by Paul Hickson, who gave me both the words and a melody to work with. He tells me it is named after his wife who had to endure the piece's birth pangs. I have offered an alternative title, "Where's Jack"?

Reverie in D Minor

When I arranged Reverie for Piano and Violin I rather carelessly stayed with the original key of E Flat Minor, not a very amenable key for the Violin. Common sense has at last suggested that D Minor, just a semitone down, would be a much more accessible key, it lies much more comfortably and is now available under the Instrumental/Violin & Piano drop-down.

What is Music, who is She? or The Meaning of 'Song'.

Along with today's widespread fear and rejection of an almost obscene nine letter word - classical - shock horror!!! - goes the infuriating use of a four letter word - song - to describe anything and everything which has any sort of musical content, be it a brief piece for Japanese Nose Flute Sextet or a 90 minute Symphony. Our largely uncultured leaders regard many of the arts and it seems music in particular as trivial side issues beside the serious business of running the country - down. They seem wilfully to overlook the significant financial contributions made by the arts, film and music to our economy, (which you might imagine would speak strongly to their otherwise keen interest in matters financial) and as a result persist in under supporting this whole area to a disgraceful and indeed quite illogical extent. Music today exists with a boggling variety of styles, genres and cultural origins, amongst which the Western classical tradition forms just a part, but I would argue that as a western nation ourselves we should ensure that all children have at least a passing acquaintance with just a few of the wonders of western classical music created over the last 500 years or so, if only to show how much of today's world of Pop, Jazz, Folk, Rock, Blues, World ad infinitum would not exist without those centuries of creation and development behind them. In the process they could learn that one word does not sufficiently describe all music, that titles do matter and that all the variety of musical forms are not 'songs'; even if they make our hearts sing.
I have noticed responses to the very word classical vary from embarrassed laughter through hasty distancing to strident dissociation. Too many peoples definition of music refers only to that which falls within the whole wide range of 'popular' music and specifically rejects anything seen to lie under the 'classical' umbrella.

Do you get paid for your work?

Do you receive money for your work or do you just work for free? If you fall into the second category join the host of composers and performers who are widely expected to work for nothing. The creative community does actually need to eat and drive and buy books or go to the cinema, but the fruits of its compositions or performances, however much the composer or performer might enjoy or even hate producing them are considered by many not to be worthy of payment. Writers, actors, painters, sculptors, film makers et al are accepted as valid recipients of money for their efforts but music, almost uniquely, seems not to warrant such largesse. The Web has a lot to answer for in this matter with the ubiquitous availability of free and peer-to-peer web sites, but all this work of whatever genre, which has been so lovingly and often laboriously created by an actual human being somewhere on this wide world is happily taken, one could say stolen by many as their right to possess - for nothing.
See what Rosanne Cash, daughter of Johnny Cash had to say before Congress on this vital topic yesterday at: