James Bond 007 in Birmingham

Last Friday night I had the pleasure of attending one of the best evening concerts of late featuring, in my mind atleast, an absolutely fantastic world class orchestra, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, performing at their home venue the Symphony Hall in Birmingham, playing the music of James Bond.

From the moment we arrived we were transported into the world of 007 with the Monty Norman James Bond Theme right up until leaving the hall over two hours later. The concert took us through a whole raft of Bond themes, including some film underscore, from the early films such as ‘From Russia with Love’ and ‘Goldfinger’ to the latest release of ‘Quantum of Solace’. I think the jury is still out on quite whether some of the more recent Bond themes live up to their older counterparts but their inclusion made the experience complete, even if some of the newer arrangements didn’t perhaps quite use the orchestra to their full capacity.Although Carl Davies was unable to conduct the orchestra due to a minor operation, the concert still had his accessible approach to introducing the orchestra to wider audiences and his last minute replacement – Gareth Hudson – didn’t detract from the evening at all. His description and examples of what has helped define the unique John Barry sound, from the rasping trumpets, particular chord structures and the orchestral beds, were very interesting.

Seated towards the front I was able to experience the power and sheer joy of this mighty sound of iconic and tremendous film music and like so many, I’ve grown up listening to these themes played on the television, cinema and the hifi but these are all no match for hearing this type of music played live and by such quality musicians right in front of you.

The only thing preventing me from going to what should prove to be another amazing concert at the the Symhony Hall (the music of John Williams played by the CBSO) is another amazing concert (he says modestly), that being the second Fordante concert both taking place on the 24th January!

Gigbeth Music Festival taster a success

It was great to perform at the Birmingham Art Gallery & Museum last Saturday. The acoustics in the Round Room were absolutely fantastic even though we didn’t quite have enough time to do a thorough sound check! Thanks to Clare Edwards from the Gigbeth Music Festival for asking us to play and to all those who came and said hello.

Birmingham Art Gallery & Museum
Birmingham Art Gallery & Museum
Birmingham Art Gallery & Museum The Round Room

The feedback from the audience was very warm and welcoming and it was nice to be asked by several audience members where they could buy a CD of Fordante. I’m literally in the process of organising the recording of the new album and to fit this into the player’s busy schedules. However, I’m also keen to make sure that the correct music is selected for the album so it is an opportunity for the audiences on our imminent tour to help shape the album.

Birmingham Art Gallery & Museum The Round Room

Having said all of this we have managed to squeeze in a recording session this past week recording a couple of pieces that I’ll upload onto the site when they’re mixed and ready, to whet your appetite. Watch this space!

BBC Radio Shropshire Interview

I think today can pretty much be considered a day of promotion for the ensemble.  I’ve just come back from being interviewed by BBC Radio Shropshire at their Telford studio.  I don’t know why but put a microphone in front of me and any sense of cohesion in what I’m saying just disappears.  Fortunately it was all recorded for broadcasting in early December (prior to week of the Bridgnorth Concert) and interviewer Clare Ashford assured me of the wonders of editing.

I arrived home to find a rather large box of flyers outside my studio waiting for distribution. I thought I’d include a copy here for completeness just incase you don’t manage to pick one up from any of the libraries, leisure centres, tourist informations centres and other outlets that they shall appear in soon around South Shropshire.

Doing a Google search for ‘Fordante’ now is starting to return some results after contacting various sites for inclusion of the upcomming concerts.  Thank you to all those websites that have included us.  A special mention must be given to Mark from Iron Man Records and founder of the Birmingham Music Network that I’ve recently become part of and for his support and inclusion in his press release mailout.

fordante flyer

fordante flyer back

The tour dates have been confirmed

The first six dates have been announced. Fordante are playing the following dates:

Saturday 8th November Birmingham (as part of the Gigbeth Music Festival)

Saturday 13th December St Leonard’s Church, Bridgnorth, Shropshire

Saturday 24th January Cleobury Parish Hall, Cleobury Mortimer, Shropshire

Saturday 31st January The Victoria Hall, Broseley, Shropshire

Saturday 7th February The Red House, Albrighton, Shropshire

Saturday 28th February Chelmarsh Village Hall, Shropshire

Further information can be found on the Concerts page.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Arts Council (West Midlands) for their support and the Musicians Union for their assistance.

Fordante has launched

After several years of composing and arranging the new crossover classical music, Fordante has been launched!

New musical works inspired in part by the great baroque composers and brought up to date with the help of a contemporary filmic sound.

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Samples of the music are available in the Music tab.

Your comments will be most welcome.