Just to remind you that today, at 11.30am there’s to be an open meeting for anyone interested in being involved with the Harp On Wight Festival I’m helping with here in Ryde in November.

It’ll be at Michelangelo’s Restaurant (almost opposite the Pier at the corner of Union Street and Thomas Street) and there will be a presentation, a chance to find out what’s planned and how you can help (even in a very small way) as a volunteer.

If you are interested in helping (even if you are not local to the IOW), do drop us a line :

And, some people have been asking me about this clip of the 94-strong youth folk orchestra I directed / arranged / composed for at Meitheal in Limerick a few weeks ago. . .

Well, to answer your questions, the row of people at the front who sit and don’t join in are the other tutors from the course – this clip was taken from the last part of the whole end-of-week concert and all the tutors had just played. Rather than the disruption of them leaving and the orchestra starting, they remained there (and also because there then followed a rousing medley with everyone after the orchestral piece had finished).

Everything was performed from memory altho during the week, music notation and scribbled notes were used – basically the students received the main melodies and bass lines from me (and also on mp3) a few weeks in advance but the actual arrangement was worked up during the week preceding the concert.

There is a score, kind of – it’s being photographed and will be up on my website shortly. Thank you to all the comments I’ve received so far – it was both a great honour and a huge amount of fun!

The school runs every year and I’d highly recommend it; you need to apply and send recordings of your playing but all the details are on :

Last night I was delighted to listen to a very small and brilliant concert at the Piano Café in Freshwater (acoustic) with Robyn Hitchcock and Emma Swift which included a wonderful set of songs by the Everly Brothers and Towne Van Zandt’s ‘Poncho and Lefty’.

Wonderful singing, really inspiring guitar voicing harmonies by Robyn and of course his very quirky and often hilarious chatter. I’m a latecomer to Robyn’s music but Vic King introduced me to his short stories (which I love). I had another of those IOW moments while the moon shone down and his face was as if he was ready for a snooze (the moon, I mean, not Robyn’s). . .  life is amazing and odd. Beautifully odd.

Lastly – a couple of things :
I don’t know if you were aware of the project entitled ‘Letter to An Unknown Soldier’ which asked people to write the letter that the statue (now at Paddington Station, I think) is reading, given that he has died and we have had 100 years to think about it all. I sent in a letter and here’s what happened :

Dear Karen Tweed

Thank you for contributing to LETTER TO AN UNKNOWN SOLDIER. We are pleased to tell you that your letter has now been published, along with thousands of others.

You can view your letter from the ‘Read’ section on the LETTER TO AN UNKNOWN SOLDIER website.

People all over the UK have written to the soldier and we hope we can count on your support to spread the word. We will be continuing to post lots of interesting content on our Facebook page.

Many thanks for being part of our project.

Neil Bartlett and Kate Pullinger

It is an amazing project – take a look!

And finally. Many thanks to Chris Orme who kindly sent through this (Mr Stravinsky keeps popping up all over. . .)

From: Christopher Orme <>

Sent: 06 August 2014 19:21

To: Chris Orme

Subject: Extraordinary Stravinsky Petrushka on Accordions


Hello accordionistas….


You may know this already but in case not, I am writing as I thought

you might like to hear this amazing accordion version of Stravinsky’s

Petrushka, which was played on Composer of the Week on Radio 3

tonight, and so will be on Iplayer for a few days.


Apparently their accordions weigh 16 kilos!


starts at 23.55


Accordion to the fore at the proms and now this!


Best regards



I’ll be back with more news – Creative Accordion Days and Ventnor Fringe stuff shortly. Have the sunniest day. . .