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 cosmology of song writing

cosmos-500

Song writers have to be prepared to answer these two questions ad nauseam:

“How do you go about writing songs?” and “What comes first, the words or the music?”

I recently watched a documentary about the Eagles (yes, I know, but they were good really) in which Glenn Frey, (or was it Don Henley?) spoke about sharing a house with Jackson Browne, and hearing him get up in the morning and work away for hours and hours at the same bit of a song, over and over. Don, (or Glenn?) was made to realise that song-writing is principally about hard work and perseverance. So that’s one answer to the first question. Continue reading