Category Archives: Writings

Includes writings on music, songwriting and music people.

Classic Scottish Albums: Glasvegas: Tartan Noir?

Episode 13 of the Classic Scottish Albums Podcast looks at the incredible debut album by Glasvegas. Link HERE The following is a paper I presented at the Singing Storytellers Symposium at the University of Cape Breton. Depending on which version

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Classic Scottish Albums: Glasvegas: Tartan Noir?

Episode 13 of the Classic Scottish Albums Podcast looks at the incredible debut album by Glasvegas. Link HERE The following is a paper I presented at the Singing Storytellers Symposium at the University of Cape Breton. Depending on which version

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New Music: Poundstore Riot & Rowan Ross

On the occasions I’m asked what might be required of those who desire a career in what is now typically referred to as the music industries plural I tend to invoke the name of a guy I first met as

New Music: Poundstore Riot & Rowan Ross

On the occasions I’m asked what might be required of those who desire a career in what is now typically referred to as the music industries plural I tend to invoke the name of a guy I first met as

The Windmills

The Windmills Of Your Mind: Variation and The School Of 1960s Pop David Scott The famous song The Windmills Of Your Mind, written by Michel Legrand with Alan and Marilyn Bergman is an example of a contemporary popular song built

The Windmills

The Windmills Of Your Mind: Variation and The School Of 1960s Pop David Scott The famous song The Windmills Of Your Mind, written by Michel Legrand with Alan and Marilyn Bergman is an example of a contemporary popular song built

Selected Lyrics: The Snow Lamb

The Snow Lamb was released on The Pearlfishers album A Sunflower at Christmas (MA 63, 2004). The lyric tells the story of an encounter between two children and the magical creature of the title who lures them into a forest

Selected Lyrics: The Snow Lamb

The Snow Lamb was released on The Pearlfishers album A Sunflower at Christmas (MA 63, 2004). The lyric tells the story of an encounter between two children and the magical creature of the title who lures them into a forest

Music and The Adult Folktale

I use this essay as the basis for a lecture on adapting artworks in the New Music Project module at UWS. The Florists of San Nicolao:  Music and the adult folktale Introduction. I wrote the short story The Florists of

Music and The Adult Folktale

I use this essay as the basis for a lecture on adapting artworks in the New Music Project module at UWS. The Florists of San Nicolao:  Music and the adult folktale Introduction. I wrote the short story The Florists of

The Florists Of San Nicolao

This short story, based on my song Haricot Bean & Bill, was written in 2010. An accompanying essay, Music And The Adult Folktale can be read here. The Florists Of San Nicolao When she thought back she just remembered looking.

The Florists Of San Nicolao

This short story, based on my song Haricot Bean & Bill, was written in 2010. An accompanying essay, Music And The Adult Folktale can be read here. The Florists Of San Nicolao When she thought back she just remembered looking.

Astrud Gilberto & The Walter Wanderley Trio: A Certain Smile, A Certain Sadness (Rev-Ola 2006)

I wrote this piece for the liner notes of the 2006 Rev-Ola re-issue of ACSACS. A friend of mine was recently asked to DJ at a nice little Glasgow bar on the occasional Sunday. “Sort of a Jazz in the

Astrud Gilberto & The Walter Wanderley Trio: A Certain Smile, A Certain Sadness (Rev-Ola 2006)

I wrote this piece for the liner notes of the 2006 Rev-Ola re-issue of ACSACS. A friend of mine was recently asked to DJ at a nice little Glasgow bar on the occasional Sunday. “Sort of a Jazz in the

Conversations With The Creative Selves

I’m thinking about different definitions of the concept of transformation in a songwriting context, examples of elements coming together and transforming into a new musical expression: places, memories, shards of melody, visual images. The fabled mixture of inspiration and perspiration

Conversations With The Creative Selves

I’m thinking about different definitions of the concept of transformation in a songwriting context, examples of elements coming together and transforming into a new musical expression: places, memories, shards of melody, visual images. The fabled mixture of inspiration and perspiration

Strawberries In The Snow: A Short Tour Round A Song

Strawberries In The Snow, released on The Pearlfishers 1998 album The Young Picnickers, and in a different arrangement on the expanded edition of A Sunflower At Christmas (2009) is a song that brings technical craft to bear on a seed

Strawberries In The Snow: A Short Tour Round A Song

Strawberries In The Snow, released on The Pearlfishers 1998 album The Young Picnickers, and in a different arrangement on the expanded edition of A Sunflower At Christmas (2009) is a song that brings technical craft to bear on a seed

BMX Bandits: My Chain (Rev-Ola, 2006)

From my first floor studio at East Kilbride Arts Centre you can look through tall windows to see a park with trees, climbing frames for children and an odd sculpture that looks a bit like an unexploded bomb. It’s called

BMX Bandits: My Chain (Rev-Ola, 2006)

From my first floor studio at East Kilbride Arts Centre you can look through tall windows to see a park with trees, climbing frames for children and an odd sculpture that looks a bit like an unexploded bomb. It’s called

A Sunflower On Camphill

In the late summer of 2004 I was living in a flat in Camphill Avenue, Glasgow. The place was a bit, you know, strange. It consisted of one large room with bay windows into which had been built a small kitchen

A Sunflower On Camphill

In the late summer of 2004 I was living in a flat in Camphill Avenue, Glasgow. The place was a bit, you know, strange. It consisted of one large room with bay windows into which had been built a small kitchen

Burt Bacharach: Lounge Legends (Universal 2001)

Burt Bacharach often tells a story about his early days studying composition in California. The vogue among students at the time was towards the atonal and avant-garde but Professor Darius Milhaud spotted something in the young Bacharach and offered a

Burt Bacharach: Lounge Legends (Universal 2001)

Burt Bacharach often tells a story about his early days studying composition in California. The vogue among students at the time was towards the atonal and avant-garde but Professor Darius Milhaud spotted something in the young Bacharach and offered a

Lounge Legends: Dusty Springfield (Universal, 2001)

”Dusty Springfield, that’s a pretty name, pretty as a pearl, what a pretty girl!” With these words, the singer Blossom Dearie seemed to sum up the very Dusty-ness of Dusty, at least the image most of us have of this

Lounge Legends: Dusty Springfield (Universal, 2001)

”Dusty Springfield, that’s a pretty name, pretty as a pearl, what a pretty girl!” With these words, the singer Blossom Dearie seemed to sum up the very Dusty-ness of Dusty, at least the image most of us have of this

Hildegard Knef: From Here On It Got Rough (Warner Bros, 2007)

As a singer Hildegard Knef is a great actress. Now, before I go any further let’s be clear – there’s not a shred of disrespect intended in that statement. It’s just that in a world where autotune and all those

Hildegard Knef: From Here On It Got Rough (Warner Bros, 2007)

As a singer Hildegard Knef is a great actress. Now, before I go any further let’s be clear – there’s not a shred of disrespect intended in that statement. It’s just that in a world where autotune and all those