Album a Month – #1 Pinkbird Live (Live at St. James)

The first album from my ‘album a month’ series is available to stream! :DDDD

(Also available on Apple Music and other streaming services).

I’ve finally decided to release my back catalogue of music from the last four years. I felt that a live recording would be an interesting (and honest) way to start. The concert took place on November 11th 2016 at St. James’ Church, Islington, London. That day Leonard Cohen died and Donald Trump was elected president. It was a strange time to be singing.

read more

Making November

In June 2016, I shot my first film. I thought I’d write a post explaining why a composer might be interested in making movies… *curtains open.*

THE GEEKY PART: In the 18th century, Handel wrote oratorios — musical dramas that took place on stage with a chorus, soloists and orchestra. Arguably, this was the grandest scale of musical drama available to composers at the time. In the 19th century, Wagner brought opera to a whole new vista by incorporating dazzling special effect theatricals and weaving epic mythological plots into three hour-long visual-musical sagas. What is the ultimate dramatic medium now for composers? I feel that cinema has been underexplored by composers as auteurs. What if composers were not treated as subservient to their directors and conceived the entire musical, dramatic and plot arcs for the work? They would need to first learn about cinema, directing, screenwriting, story-craft, which is a life’s work in itself… On top of that their musical skills, counterpoint, orchestration, harmony, language… all of that needs to be in tip-top shape too. Hmm, tricky.  Admittedly, In my first film, I spent more time tackling purely cinematic problems rather than musical ones 

read more

The Syria I Remember

  In 2010 I took a trip to Syria. In light of current events, I wanted to share some personal impressions and photographs of Syria before the war. 

Aleppo, (Halep) is an ancient city in the north of Syria. Traders and merchants have travelled through this city for over a thousand years. It’s Ramadan.  At night, men haggle over chunks of lamb, women find new hijabs for their daughters, little boys sell coffee and pistachio cake, Beduins ride donkeys carrying birds in cages and cases of bulgur wheat to sell – he sees his friend selling saffron by the street.

“Asalem alakum keef halcum hayati!”

“Alhumdulilah, lesh, Ramadan!”

The souq of Aleppo is situated next to the city’s central citadel. Frankincense from the Gulf wafts, rugs from Iran fill tiny shops. Shopkeepers greet me and invite me in for tea.

read more