Search Results for: cuckoo


full download of the songbook, backing tracks and connecting script

The CUCKOO ROCK SONGBOOK comprises twelve settings of poems by Phil Bowen for piano and voices.  Also provided are audio tracks with full instrumental backings for performance, and a new narrator’s script to tie the songs together for an audience.

The download price includes a licence for printing, copying and using the products in a non-commercial way within schools.  VAT will be added, making a total price of £18.30.

To hear examples on mobile platforms, please click LISTEN IN BROWSER.

Cuckoo Rock

Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 5.47.10pmCUCKOO ROCK, David Stoll’s latest musical for children, was co-written with the poet Phil Bowen, and has a story derived from A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM  …

Based on several poems in Bowen’s children’s collection of the same name, the first performances were in Cornwall in September 2013. The show has now been extensively rewritten as performable by schoolchildren aged about 8 to 14.

A dozen of the songs have been collected together with piano accompaniments.  David and Phil have written a new Storybook script (provided free with the Songbook), which makes possible  a very simple performance of the set of songs in a primary school together with a narrator.  A set of download backtracks is also included in the package.  These, and the stand-alone Songbook, are now available from this website.

To hear some of the music, click here.



… that some news is imminent about my new show – the second one I have written with Phil Bowen.

Oh, the inevitably slow time-table of news bulletin opportunities.  Months to write a piece, and then weeks of discussions and planning with publishers, agents, performers, administrators and others.  I am now waiting for the moment when more details may be made public about this new musical.

I first mentioned the show here in a Blog in December, and my diary shows that the initial meeting to talk over the idea with Phil was a few weeks earlier, on Monday 28 September.  (I had been working on the idea for a while before that, though.)  We wrote between October and January, and revised in March.  Current thinking is for an opening in October.  A year.

So, I suppose, that things are not really moving that slowly.
cuckoo rock sb_Fotor


And here is a reminder of our first show – this one written for primary schoolchildren – now available as a Songbook with linking text.



… as ever to the next things before the last things are completely there (two weeks tomorrow is the premiere of DBW), I can now tell you that I am working again with Phil Bowen, though on a very different type of project from CUCKOO ROCK: this one harks back to my days of cocktail bar piano.  And I am working for the first time with Ron Roker, whose work I have admired for many years.  Ron and I met up yesterday for our first session and found that we can communicate really well; I look forward to creating some new songs with him; more details as they emerge, but it is important to note that we share a similar sense of humour.IMG_1117

And a thank you to Yellow Technology for some timely and expert maintenance on my studio this week.  What would I do without those guys?


… for the entirely glitch-free move to the new format.  The site transformed overnight and I am swiftly updating text to match.  I am also inserting SoundCloud links which refer specifically to the music being discussed on any particular page.  See, for example, here, for CUCKOO ROCK.  This whole exercise will take a few more days to complete.

I’d also like to make a quick mention here of the excellent Yellow Collective yesterday.  It was interesting, informative and also most enjoyable.  Thanks for a great evening.


… is always most welcome.  There is not much to report here because almost everything right now is an ‘in progress’ situation.  Rehearsals have begun for DBW (which is our shorthand for THE DRUMMER BOY OF WATERLOO); mastering plans are in place for the next CHRONOMETER collection, due out at the end of the month; THE CUCKOO ROCK SONGBOOK will be available to schools (from First & Best) within the next week or so as a download product which includes a narrator script for a performance of the set; and I am sketching some new production music pieces.

As this post’s graphic, I am using the SONGBOOK cover, designed by Chris Hamilton-Emery from an original image by Stanislav Pobytov.  The image first appeared on the collection of poems by Phil Bowen.

cuckoo rock sb_Fotor



As the month moves Marchwards, I shall regretfully though optimistically sit around the BASCA Board table for the last time as a Director (and founding co-Chairman) this week.  Music work is demanding more and more of my diary again – just like in the old days – and I am so happy to return to it as more of a full-time activity.

And what are the current projects?  Most immediate and compelling (because it is being newly created now) is THE DRUMMER BOY OF WATERLOO, for Novello & Co.  Megg and I hope to have a first draft written by the end of May.  CUCKOO ROCK is still receiving final tweaks before publication; and a new show for children to perform, based on THE OTTER’S FIRST SONG COLLECTION which I wrote with Michael Hinton, is in its early stages of preparation, again with Michael.

Then next week I also start on the long-awaited project in which a selection of my recent library tracks are being reworked as a listening album.  These are tracks commissioned by Music Sales for a sound world centred on piano, alto sax and cello with a rich collection of other keyboards, percussion, acoustic instruments and computer generated sounds.  I shall be working with John Mercer of Riverrun on this project (John will co-produce), and we hope that this will be the first of a long-running set of pieces in which I explore a new approach to instrumental singles for a series of download albums.

So very much a time of collaboration: Megg Nicol, Phil Bowen, Michael Hinton and John Mercer.  However, I also hope to be starting on a new project of my own soon, so do please stay in touch.



To hear examples of my music, you can use the .mp3 player on the right of most pages.  This contains a set of half a dozen excerpts of  various aspects of my work: concert music, media music and other tracks.  The selection is changed every two or three weeks so that it will be possible to hear quite a range of music if you come back from time to time.  To read more information about the music and performers, and for credits, please use the link at the foot of the main MUSIC page.

Some pages also have dedicated links to a SoundCloud player; this is the way to hear specially made compilations of music from projects such as SEALSONGS or CUCKOO ROCK.


… and just one more month of high-level engagement with BASCA.  I shall be in Brussels for my final ECSA meeting next week, and have just a couple more meetings in London during the month.  Having been a founding co-Chairman (bringing in the Association of Professional Composers to join with the Composers’ Guild of Great Britain and the old BASCA – originally the Songwriters’ Guild), and been on the Board and several related and other Committees (including the Academy Trust, Academy Recordings, British Music Rights, the Music Manifesto Steering Group and the BMIC) for years, most recently and currently chairing BASCA’s Classical and Jazz executive Committee, and representing BASCA on the European Composers’ Forum (where I led the group designing the Composers in Education Database, now ECSA’s ‘The Composing Directory’) – well, even listing all this shows it is now the moment to get back to writing and producing music full-time.

Fortunately I have also been able to produce quite a lot of work during the past few years, though my large-scale concert writing has suffered.  But now with DRUMMER BOY to write, and opportunities for CUCKOO ROCK and other recent work to follow up, I shall be puting the music first.

John Mercer of Riverrun is currently working with me on a listening compilation of some of my recent production music for Music Sales, and I am looking forward to telling you more about that soon. We hope to have the download CD, with remixed tracks and new slants on the music, out within a few months


Audio Tracks

This page collects together links to audio examples of my work with a couple of general selections as an introduction.  The collections, which will be expanded and varied from time to time, include concert music, music for the media, theatre music and music for children.  Each download album available in the SHOP also offers a set of excerpts to stream, and there are some further links in other pages.

The page is being updated, and a full list of titles and credits will be added soon.