BEST WISHES …

… 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

SUMMERTIME …

… 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.

A FUN BLAST FROM THE PAST …


… 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.

IT STARTED LONG AGO WITH A HIGGS BOSON, AND NOW IT’S …

… 2018
 
“What, not again!” you cry.  (At last, an exclamation mark used correctly.)  “Here comes Stoll’s annual New Year dotty message.”
 
To remind those who would detract, the gift in 2014 was a micro-zoo; in 2016 it was a point of view; and last year it was a Full Stop – a period (if you like) for Reflection.  To make sure that the differences are apparent, here again are the three representations set side by side (by side):
 
.   .   .   
 
It was in mind to send something similar this year, but novelty also has its attractions.  I considered an exclamation mark, but as I have already intimated, I believe these should be reserved for those rare occasions when they are proper.
 
(Please remember, I am constrained, by both cost and practicality, as to what may be sent to a large and – excuse me – disparate number of people in an environmentally friendly manner.  And I like to send gifts which are meaningful and welcome, and which may be appreciated as thoughtful.)
 
While I have had many requests for another dose of the Space sent you in 2015 – though some wrote back to complain that they didn’t have the Time to enjoy it – space is currently at a premium and, despite extensive searching, I couldn’t find any anywhere.  Rather like losing the trees in the wood.
 
So this year my gift to you all is Silence.  You may need to listen carefully behind the everyday sounds in the world around you to hear it.  Indeed, I would recommend, for full appreciation, that you bear in mind that it is better not to bear anything in mind while you listen.
 
(An idea for next year: a bear in mind.  Don’t think of it now or it will spoil the surprise.)
 
Furthermore, by the way, as a bonus for these troubled times, this message also includes five pairs of brackets.  Feel free to extract them and use them a piacere.
 
With love and best wishes for everything that this time of year means to you, and in the profound hope that, in some ways at least, 2019 might prove less interesting.
 

AT LAST …



… I can bring you up to date with some news.

I have been very busy orchestrating for the concert premiere of LITTLE FIR TREE.  The performances will be next month, on 18 December, and we have a fantastic cast in place: our Narrator is Sylvester McCoy.  Have a look at the flyer above, and visit the Kings Place website for more information.

It seems a pity to jumble mention of the two things together, but – while I was working on the show – the new Chronometer album, SPELEOLOGY, was launched.  This inhabits a very different world from the Forest where Little Tree lives.  I don’t want to present two different images in this blog, but you may see the new cover on the CHRONOMETER page.

And my intention is to get back to being a bit more regular with these Blogs in the new year.

ONE OF THE SONGS FROM LITTLE FIR TREE …

… has been beautifully recorded by Emma Stevens.  

I was very fortunate to be able to share the production credits on this recording with Pete Woodroffe.  The design graphic is taken from the concert version of the show and is the work of Claire Lyth.

 

WITH APOLOGIES …

… for such a long silence, I’d like to tell you that the much delayed cover for the new CHRONOMETER album is now in the final stages of preparation.  I can’t display a graphic as yet, but should like to remind you of the background to this particular venture.  Please visit the CHRONOMETER page and listen to the selected tracks, or even go through the material album by album – you may hear sets of excerpts for each one.  We’re very nearly there with Number Six: 1 STEAMPUNK ETC., 2 LONGITUDE, 3 WORMWOOD, 4 BESTIARY, 5  CALIBAN’S ISLAND and now … 6, ?

 

LITTLE FIR TREE, A NEW MUSICAL …

… which was co-written with Megg Nicol (who was also my co-writer on THE DRUMMER BOY OF WATERLOO) is the inspiration for an exciting environmental Project which will be happening in Islington this coming Autumn.

This Project, devised and run by LFT Productions,  and supported by the Woodland Trust, the Garden Classroom, Trees for Cities and Islington Council, involves classes and workshops on tree planting in the inner city, cleansing the air particularly around primary schools.  At its heart is the new musical, LITTLE FIR TREE, about which more soon.

THE NEW CHRONOMETER ALBUM …

… is on the way.  Mastering was completed at Riverrun Studios yesterday and work has begun on the  cover.  (CHRONOMETER covers are always well worth the wait.)  Next is the process of delivery and then the release.  It will be soon.

And there is other interesting news in the offing, which is likely to be announced this week – maybe even tomorrow.

GOOD GRIEF, IT’S …

.. ages since I’ve written here.  And, though I am busy with a few projects, it’s one of those times when there isn’t really any new news to give you.  However, I am very grateful to Peter James at Mountview Academy and his students for useful feedback on a rehearsed reading yesterday of my new show – co-written with Phil Bowen –  YOU, ME AND A PIANO.  This was ably put together by Charlotte Everest and played by Katie Sherrard and Daniel Edlund.  Phil and I have some re-writing to do, but feel that this one certainly has legs.

Meanwhile, work is continuing on some tracks which will make the new CHRONOMETER collection in the spring.  And two other major projects are getting close to fruition (one theatre piece and one concert work) and therefore close to mention in these blogs.

So far I’ve managed to include a graphic in almost every news report, and I hate not to keep up that tradition.  But please forgive me: this time, nothing relevant comes to mind.