Welcome to May and in many ways the year is hopefully about to shape up in the way I had hoped it would. It looks certain now that the planned concerts of Journey to the Centre of the Earth and The Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table will take place as double bills in November and December in South America with full orchestra and choir and of course the English Rock Ensemble.

Time is not on our side, but preparations for studio recordings are at an advanced stage and it is hoped that at least Journey will be ready in time for these performances.

As many of you will already know, both original recordings were well under 40 minutes because of the limitations as to what could be fitted onto a vinyl disc, and subsequently, the recordings were scaled down before even going into the studio to accommodate this. Both were always written as 60 minute pieces of music and that’s the length that the new recordings will be with new music, new songs and solos added to the originals.

King Arthur will also be staged in Gloucester in the summer of 2013 which should be quite spectacular. (Well it will be if I get my way)!

I am still working on a very different musical project which I started last month. It is to compose a 14 minute suite for the percussion department of the Royal College of Music and which will be performed on July 5th at the College itself.

Whilst I have written for percussion many times in the past it has always been as part of an orchestral score or within band parts so to compose for them as instruments in their own right has been a great challenge which has taken me out of my comfort zone somewhat, but that is often a good thing as I don’t have a format with which to approach the compositions.

The suite is made up of three pieces, all very different in style and first rehearsals will start very soon.
I have wanted to do more compositions “not for me to play” for some time now and hopefully this will kick-start many more such ventures.

On the 12th I will be at Histon New Life Church for a concert which has sold out, so please don’t turn up on the off chance unless you are happy to stand!

On the 27th I will be with my great friend Ian Lavender on stage at the Theatre Royal in Bury St Edmunds for a very unusual evening where Ian and I will be on stage with a mixture of his one man show about Dad’s Army plus my interrupting him at every opportunity, mixed in with some music. I am really looking forward to this and I’m told they’re down to their last few tickets as well.

I don’t often set targets for anything as I am well aware that so many things can happen to change plans that it’s never really worth it, but I did set myself a target three years ago and that has two years left to run. “D”-Day as such is May 18th 2014 which will be my 65th birthday.

Whilst never wanting to retire ever, I did want to reach a stage where I could spend more time composing and writing some dreams I have had for many years and to do that requires time. I therefore chose this date as being my 65th birthday to hopefully be in a position to be able to accomplish this. And this month will see just two years left to go. Am I on time and on target?............truth is, I don’t know, but it is important to me. So much still to do.

I’m going to finish on a grumpy rant if I may......... A few weeks ago they brought in hosepipe bans. It’s done nothing but rain ever since and now we have flood warnings! So why not turn on the hosepipes and run some of the water off so the flood plains can flow into the reservoirs!

...............and fix the leaks which would cure everything.

I feel better now........see you next month!

Cheers,
Rick


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