This is just so much fun!

I wanted to share this with you, not because I think I’m great, but because I had so much fun making it.

Friends and family will know I’ve bought myself a Yamaha WX5 Wind Midi Controller for my 44th birthday. It looks like a clarinet, but it is more like a synthesizer keyboard that you play like a wind instrument. You can see a picture of it here.

I thought you might like an idea of what it sounds like, so I’ve uploaded some of my own recordings to give you an idea.

Some of them I just played from memory by ear because they’re tunes I love (Like the Dark Isle, The Parting Glass, and Basin Street Blues). Some of them are from a “Play along” music book I recently bought which has the backing tracks that you can play along to. For one of them (Beauty and the Beast) I took a midi of the the tune, removed the melody line, and dubbed my own melody line over the top. (I’ll promise to explain how to do this in my technical blog soon).

“Beauty and the Beast” is a very pretty melody. If you only listen to one of these tunes, I hope you listen to this one.

Anyway – here they are – the sounds of me having fun.

Piccolo voice:

The Dark Isle


The Parting Glass


Sway


Beauty and the Beast

Trombone voice:

I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free

Trumpet voice:

Basin Street Blues

Clarinet voice:

God Bless The Child

Tenor Saxophone voice:

Hit The Road Jack

The Singing Ship

The Singing Ship


The Singing Ship

Emu Park is a small town south of Yeppoon on the Central Queensland coast.

In May 1770, Captain James Cook sailed into the bay off the coast of this area, and named it Keppel Bay. It’s a stunning area dotted with coral reefs, idyllic tropical islands, and long wide beaches to the south.

“The Singing Ship” was erected in 1970 to honour the bicentenary of Cook’s voyage.

It is a magnificent sculpture which captures the essence of a sailing ship, with a small difference.

It sings.

Cleverly constructed tubes descend from “sail” to the “deck” of the structure. The prevailing winds pass through strategically placed holes in those tubes, causing them to resonate like a huge pipe organ. Or perhaps like the wind in the shrouds of a sailing ship.

The result is a gentle pleasant musical chord that rings out over the water.

I think this is wonderful work of art which aptly honours the memory of the great navigator, James Cook. It’s large and bright, with huge sweeping sail shape that gives an impression of motion. The musical tones add to that feeling. As you stand at its base, its not difficult to imagine that you’re on the deck of fantastic sailing ship, ploughing the waters of Keppel Bay.

This is public art as it should be – creatively capturing people’s imagination, engaging the senses, and reminding us of the great lives that have preceded us.

Dark as the dungeon

Dark as the dungeon

Dark as the dungeon

This song by Merle Travis is a great inspiration to not spend too much time in the office!

A great thought for a Friday afternoon.

DARK AS THE DUNGEON (Merle Travis)

Come all you young fellers so young and so fine

And seek not your fortune in the dark, dreary mine

It will form as a habit and seep in your soul

‘Til the blood of your veins runs as black as the coal

Chorus:

Where it’s dark as the dungeon and damp as the dew

Where the dangers are many and the pleasures are few

Where the rain never falls and the sun never shines

It’s dark as the dungeon way down in the mines

It’s many a man I have seen in my day

Who lived just to labor his whole life away

Like a fiend with his dope or a drunkard his wine

A man must have lust for the lure of the mine

I hope when I’m gone and the ages do roll

My body will blacken and form into coal

Then I’ll look down from the door of my Heavenly home

And pity the miner a-digging my bones

The midnight, the morning, the breaking of day

Are the same to the miner who labors away.

Where the demons of death often come by surprise,

One slip of the slate and you’re buried alive.