I have always loved sharing music, and have devised and led music-making projects in schools, colleges, universities, galleries, musuems, community centres and temples on several continents. Music is an eternal fountain of sound – rhythm, harmonies and melodies that can uplift the heart and enlighten the mind, bringing inspiration, healing, peace, joy and ways to express deep feelings and understandings that are beyond words and that unite us across cultures, time and space.
I love making music with groups of children – the slightly anarchic sense of wonder and enthusiasm that shapes into beautiful and unpredictable musical compositions. Particularly when that is part of a cross-arts project, with painting, poetry, theatre, processions and inter-cultural exchanges.
In 1991 I worked together with composer Hugh Nankivell to create new music with schoolchildren and students of all ages from over 30 schools, colleges and universities across the North East of England. Large-scale music projects that bring together professional and community musicians from different ages and cultural backgrounds are challenging, fun and rewarding in equal measure. I’ve worked with Japanese traditional musicians and dancers in UK schools, collaborating with members of Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Northern Sinfonia, Opera North, Scottish Chamber Orchestra and others .
In 2001 the National Centre for the Children’s Book organized a music and songwriting project in tandem with an exhibition of artwork from Japanese children’s books. Together with my wife Noriko, who is a visual artist, we worked over a number of months to create new music, songs and artwork with hundreds of schoolchildren based on their inspiration from the stories. Read a review of that project here…
I have devised and led music projects at Durham, London and Plymouth Universities, and at Art Centres, Community Centres and over one hundred schools and colleges up and down the country.
The shakuhachi has never lost its original fascination for me, and my passion for this instrument is as strong as ever. I love to help people in getting started on the instrument, or to offer support in going deeper into the Zen repertoire in which the shakuhachi is seen as more of a spiritual tool than a musical instrument.
Contact me directly for more information about schools projects, one to one tuition or other music education needs.
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