Monthly Archives: March 2009

C and F#

Musical harmony is a strange and beautiful thing; the relationship between notes and chords is a big part of how music communicates.  Here’s a short video that tries to show how 2 chords (C and F#) that are seemingly polar opposites, do have a magical connection.

Imperial Ice Stars

I watched Cinderella on Ice at The Opera House Manchester the other day, performed by The Imperial Ice Stars.  Sitting as a punter with my family it was a thoroughly captivating experience of stimulii that we’ve come to expect from live theatre, which (like film) still enjoys healthy ticket sales by, quite simply, delivering good stories with high production values.  P2P file sharing is never going to trouble live theatre.

But I wasn’t just there as a punter; I’d worked on the score, preparing orchestrations and arrangements, assisting with the Moscow recording sessions and recording some updates back at  When you’re working on a large scale project (this is a 2 hour recorded score) you inevitably deal with the day to day details, the minutae of the arranging process, with various deadlines hanging over you that are both threatening and motivating!  I’ve written before about what makes a composer and in a case like this, sheer nerve to keep going and pull everything into place on time and within budget must be high on the list.  The composers for this project were Tim Duncan and Ed Barnwell and credit to them for having the bottle to not only get the gig but to make it happen; it’s an enormous achievement.  The production is getting plenty of excellent reviews.  This is a short video montage.

My favorite scene was not one of the lavish set-pieces, but rather the rain scene, towards the end of the 1st act, where the 2 principal characters dance in the town square, each dreaming of each other, whilst unaware of the other’s presence.  The rain effect is poignant and remarkable (the skaters are not left soaked!) but it is the music that seals the emotional power of the moment – a simple, very English composition which the composers have kindly allowed me to feature here.

This was recorded in Moscow; a string arrangement from the original piano version that I was particularly pleased with.  See the score (you’ll need the Sibelius Scorch plug in).