Ciné Qua Non

‘Ciné Qua Non’, as everybody knows, is Latin for ‘publish video on Youtube or not’.

In my case, as a determined late adopter, (see here for instance) the answer has been ‘not’. Until now.

So, announcing my Youtube channel, which goes under the banner of The Common Land and is here.

A Crossword War

This journey into the world of video editing is to enable me to present my current musical project, A Crossword War, as a full length DVD as well as an audio CD/download.

A Crossword War is about Bletchley Park and the code-breakers during the Second World War. It focuses not so much on the fêted central characters like Turing and the cryptographers, but on the huge supporting cast of clerks, translators, liaison officers, machine operators and so on, the vast majority of whom were women. The twelve new songs (and one old one) reflect various aspects of life at ‘BP’.

I’m lucky to have had the collaboration of good friends like Marion Hill, Brad Bradstock, Sheena Masson, Andrew King and Dorien James, as well as my sister Terry Brown. There’s also a cameo appearance from my wife Ruth. I hope to have the music finished and available for download and on CD by April. As for the video version, watch this space.

Finally, a plug for Marion Hill’s book Bletchley Park People, which has provided me with a lot of source material. You can purchase a copy here.

PS: a song for you, dating back to 2002, from the CD The Common Land:


The Ghost of Lady Bennet

This song was written for the Living Archive Band’s radio ballad The Horse and the Tractor, but was not included when the ghost story fell victim to the editorial axe- a not inappropriate metaphor! The song intertwines two stories- the murder of Lady Grace Bennet at Calverton Manor, Buckinghamshire in 1694, and the childhood fears of Richard Fountaine who was brought to live in Calverton Manor after his family had bought the farm and the house. Not surprisingly, having heard rumours of hauntings, the boy was not happy, as he recounted much later in life:-

Richard Fountaine talking to Roger Kitchen in 2009 Continue reading