… by the positive response to the release of my book on Amazon a couple of days ago.

is not quite the book I expected to write when I began it. I had no idea that interests as disparate as CRACKING THE CRYPTIC and Quantum Physics, my passion for the songs of the Beatles and my love of philosophy would all not only appear in the novel, but make up a large part of its story. Neither did I guess that I would say so much about chess. The humour is similar to that in my annual messages to friends, and there is much in the book about how I approach writing music.

I wonder whether readers will take to my unusual way of telling a story.


… has now been released on Amazon under the orrydian imprint as a printed book and for download to Kindle.

This book is my first full-length work of fiction. I have written about music before, and also short stories, but never a novel. Having said that, the book does include much musing by the author (who is, in many ways, very like me) on the process of composition and artistic creation in general. However, the author (who is, in many ways, not like me at all) also tells three different stories to try to make sense of life. The stories are linked together, but are set in rather different worlds.

A DREAM OF LOCKDOWN is a comedy about chess, mirrors, twins, cryptic puzzles and the songs of the Beatles. It is rather difficult to describe, much as it is difficult to tell the story of a dream which seems to remind you of things which you have never experienced, but still know.

Please give it a try and, if you like it, tell others about it.


… the time has come around again for me to send you the annual gift which you have all, doubtless, been keenly awaiting.   Previous offerings have concentrated of late on marks of punctuation: ideal, in that they are easy to send and deliver, useful and interesting to receive and, above all, to the point.

This year’s gift will, in this regard, prove no exception.  However, this year I can promise that the specified item has been scrupulously washed down in alcohol, which itself has been carefully checked by me for taste and efficacy both before and after use.  To guarantee freshness and lack of contamination in transit, I have wrapped the item in gift brackets.  Please recycle these wrappings in the appropriate manner.

This year, my friends, I offer you the undeservedly humble Apostrophe [ ‘ ].  Not, please note, a second-hand version already abused by butchers or butchered by greengrocers.  No, this is a brand-new apostrophe, freshly picked from the source.  Nor is it a cheap diacritical version, but the top-of-the-range item, grammatical to its core.  The very one which takes its place proudly standing in sentences up and down the land.

(I shall make no mention at all here of scurrilous usage of the sign in the so-called emoji.  Any system which regards an object simply for its shape rather than its meaning is, in my view, not only ethically suspect but also logically unsound.)

As ever, please feel free to use your gift in any way legitimate to its purposes.  It is common knowledge that three basic types of opportunity will benefit from such practice; this year’s present doesn’t need as much explanation as the different types of .’s gifted in previous years.

Rest assured that the offering comes with my love and with very best wishes for the festive weeks and ensuing months of the year to come.  A contribution to a charity has again replaced the sending of cards this year, and this greeting note will be added to the ever-lengthening list available on my website (see in the blog).  This link will take you to where some previous gifts are still available – such is the generosity of the universe.


… and now what? Having woefully neglected this blog for so long, I’d like to give you a quick update before, in a few days, sending you my annual New Year message and gift.

Over this past year of Lockdowns, vaccinations and less social interaction than usual, I have delivered a library album to my publisher, and worked on the orchestrations for a new musical by Joe O’Donnell – fabulous music which owes to folk, jazz, rock and his own individual genius. (Visit the link for the latest information.)

I have also written a novel. This is something I have always wanted to do and I’ll tell you more about it sometime soon.

I have now arranged for my next library album to be written and produced in the new year. I shall be working in collaboration with John Mercer – we are delighted to be working together again and looking forward to exploring a new genre of music. John, as well as the skills mentioned on the Chronometer page, is a writer, an artist (and I thank him for many of my album cover designs) and a composer of very interesting and beautiful electronic music. This album will be a joint venture.

So there you are. Your annual gift will be coming very soon.


… I even suspect that this statement merits an exclamation mark, but – as I have intimated before in these messages – so many !’s are used without need, that one eschewed here can only redress the balance.

From the many kind responses I receive, it seems that you enjoy my annual gifts; of course, I confirm that this year’s offering is being supplied from a very social distance.

As in previous years, charitable donations have replaced paper cards.  But, of course, you will also receive through this blog entry, as always, a guaranteed virus-free offering.  Given that we may well need to return to a mindset which requires a far less wasteful use of resources, this year’s gift recycles earlier themes (specifically 2014, 2016 and 2017).  In fact,  I offer those three particular gifts again, refreshed and combined anew for 2021.  Given the state of the Union, its Health, its Governance and Its so much else, I give you

. . .

As you well know, the ellipsis implies ‘continuing in uncertainty’.  You may well say, ‘Thank you very much, there is sufficient uncertainty around right now for us not to need you to send us any more.  Thanks, but no thanks.’

But this would be to miss the point, indeed all of the points of my present present.  It is the ‘continuing’ which is the element that I wish for you.  May you continue, through 2021 and beyond.  This is the deeper message of my 2020 vision for all my friends.

With the best wishes you can possibly imagine,  David


… during lockdown? Not much news, but wishing everyone all the very best.


… that TUTTI, the online shop which sells some of my products (recordings and sheet music) is holding a sale in March with reductions on all these products.


… for Christmas and the New Year.

These messages of good will and their accompanying special gifts are now in their eighth year – the requested entire collection may be found here; new readers should repair thither to pick up on any missed references in what follows.  

The past few years have proved challenging in finding valuable gifts which may be sent in an e-mail; it is not an easy selection.  Offerings must be found which are light in weight, small in size and capable of digital transmission.  They should also, of course, be most welcome to receive as a present.

And there, just there, is the clue to this year’s offering, in black and white (depending on your monitor and optional choices).  This year’s gift is no less than:

The Present.

You may not have noticed it, but you have it, right now as you read this.   The present stretches endlessly around you, for local habitation.  It will, of course, not be available for one moment longer, so please enjoy it immediately.  Having said that, this is nonetheless a present which is not just for Christmas; it surely is the gift which keeps on giving.

For those of you who might complain that I am only giving you something which you already have, my response is that this particular present is so easily misplaced that a reminder must surely be a welcome gift from a friend.

And for those who were hoping for a further sally into punctuation philosophy, having enjoyed the hermeneutics of 2014, 2016 and 2017 (qv), may I regretfully inform you that [.] being used as a point in time, misses the point.  That is the elusive nature of the here and now.

Does this mean that we are back to 2013’s rather singular gift?  Well, not quite; that particular particle helps provide mass, but the present is substantially other.  Indeed, it is easily missed.  But here it is >

Dear Friends, enjoy.  With my respects, best wishes and love,  D


… and we are back from a short break in France (where this portrait was taken). The life of a composer is not always amenable to regular blogging as many projects are either very long term, or the parameters change so swiftly that to present things as news is rather difficult. However, it has been a while since I last wrote here, I am now working on a new piece, and I’ll be posting again soon. Happy Summer, everyone.


… in the form of the release of the album MOLASSES in which an informal session of a band I played and sang in was recorded live and is now available, over forty years later. ‘The Dude from the East’ is just visible on the right of the cover photo.

Oh, and, Happy New Year, one and all.