Sunday, 9 February 2014

From Kelvin Bridge

This short piece has been sitting unfinished in the murky recesses of my computer for some time, and I rediscovered it a couple of weeks ago and polished it up and gave it a name.

Kelvin Bridge is where Great Western Road in Glasgow crosses (predictably enough) the river Kelvin, a couple of miles before it joins the Clyde. In dry spells the water is low and slow and wide, and you can often see a patient but persistent Heron fishing in the shallows amid all of the exposed detritus you would expect to see in a city river.

In rainy periods (it has rained just about every day since xmas, it seems) the water can be alarmingly high, and if you venture under the bridge, down by the actual Kelvinbridge subway station, you can view the swirling ,almost hypnotic, torrents of water smashing and crashing through the rubble and brickwork of the bridge.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

RIP (?) Comet Ison: The Comet of the Century

Although when I started writing this piece, I was after something quite powerful and dark & brooding for the opening bars, I have to confess that I didn't have Comet Ison in mind.

It wasn't until I was doing the chasing arpeggio bits at about 3.20 minutes that it struck me as representative of the something hurtling headlong to wherever: at about the same time the Comet was making the news and weather forecasts as promising a spectacle in the morning skies of early December.

Everything went quiet when the Comet went behind the Sun, and although Google searches aren't at this stage definite, it does seem now that Ison was torn apart by heat and gravity just before achieving it's predicted status of "Comet of the Century".

The final bars fell in place so easily, and so appropriately.

If not dead then whatever remains of the comet heads off now back into the dark cold remote edges of the solar system.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Old CD: The Imajica Suite

I was so impressed with the bandcamp player in the previous post, I thought I'd put the old cd up too. This one is also free to download for the time being.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

New CD: Beyond the Wild World's End

Monday, 30 September 2013

Mad Maud (Bedlam Boys are Bonny)

SO ... here it is, finally. Mad Maud is finished, and brings to an end the collection of songs (rather loosely) based on the Tom O'Bedlam poems referred to in an earlier post.

This collection will form the new CD on bandcamp which will probably be called "Five Sound Senses", but I need to get some artwork sorted first before I can publish it.

In the meantime, here's Mad Maud. I hope you enjoy it.

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Five Sound Senses

I don't really have any idea where this one came from,

I had been toying around with a melody for what is still the unfinished "Mad Maud" piece (sister piece to "Poor Tom" * (see the post  2 below)) and discovered the glass harmonica instrument on Sibelius (the music notation software I use), and came up with the slightly jangly, slightly eerie opening few bars, and the oddly timed theme that seems to almost climb lazily out of them.

As the piece grew, it divided into two different developments of the theme, and, unable to decide which I preferred, I put the one that most easily lent itself to 'being ended' as it were, at the end, and the other bit the middle.

I'm not sure I have sewn the whole thing up well enough as I can still detect what to me are glaring joins so I might revisit this one in the future and mess around with it some more, but for now, it's done.

As usual, the widget is from Soundcloud, but I will also upload the track to bandcamp when the new cd/album/collection is ready (ie. when I finally get Mad Maud finished!). As usual, I humbly hope you enjoy what I have written, and any good comments and helpful criticisms are very much appreciated.

* I will have to try and come up with a new name for Poor Tom. I hadn't realised it's the title of a Led Zep song, and although I doubt there's any copy infringement, I don't want to be accused of false promotion either.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Summer Fete 2013

This is pretty much the first thing I wrote, 3 years or so ago now. I thought I would touch it up a little and give it a bit of a polish for the 2013 heatwave we a currently enjoying. Think long hot summer days, coconut shies, the beer tent, the tug o' war, the sunset and the end of the day...

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Poor Tom

I first came across the words of the anonymous poem / folk song Tom O'Bedlam many years ago in a sci-fi book by Robert Silverburg of the same name. At the time, I assumed the poem had been written by him, but actually it is centuries old  (dating back to 1600 or so).

I stumbled across the text of the old song in full while googling something (I can' recall what), and I found myself applying the lines
"Any food. any feeding,  feeding drink or clothing, come dame or maid, be not afraid, Poor Tom will injure nothing"
to a fragment of tune in my head, and the rest of the piece grew from there.

The sort of fanfare section towards the middle of the piece is supposed to relate to the god-like visions that Tom experiences in Robert Silverburg's book.

There is a sister song to this one, Mad Maud, which I am currently working on and hope to publish on here in a few weeks.

I hope you like the tune...

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Dance of the Gaelic Ghouls

With this piece I was aiming for something a little bit creepy and halloweeny, maybe even a bit scary. I don't think I've succeeded too well, but I quite like the end result.

Monday, 6 May 2013


I thought I had finished this one several weeks ago, but when I published it on Soundcloud, it didn't sound right. I've tweaked it a little and extended the opening section: I am happier with it now.

The inspiration behind "Aspens" is GM Hopkins' Binsey Poplars, which laments the chopping down of some much loved trees. The opening section, mentioned above is supposed to represent the "airy cages (which)...quelled or quenched in leaves the leaping sun".

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Who's the Bear on the Harp

This track started life as a copy of the opening theme from Marillion's Grendel, of which I was a massive fan when I was a boy (and let's be honest, I still rather like it and I think it's unfair to dismiss it as a rip-off of Genesis' Supper's Ready).

I played around with the tune; inverted it, adjusted the timings a bit etc, and it started to take on this sweet soft Christmas Lullaby sound.

It's is now really too bold and brassy to pick out the original Grendel theme, but I think it's interesting to record where inspiration starts.

This is the first of a new collection of pieces which haven't yet been published on Band-camp. I will post the links when they are ready.

Happy Easter (which is, by the way, a pagan celebration of spring: Nothing to do with Jesus at all until the Christians usurped it).

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Six Nations Disaster

While watching the 6 nations rugby this year, I was playing with the melodies to "Swing Low Sweet Chariot" (for the England fans), and "Flower of Scotland" (yup, that's for the Scots). Trying to combine the two, I came up with this. It's very short, so go on take a listen. You could take it as a symbol of Scottish/English union in the light of the up-coming referendum on Scottish independence, if you wanted to, or you could equally see it as an example of how the two just don't fit together... I'll leave it up to you!

I was going to post this for last weekend's show-down for the title. Let's just say neither England's nor Scotland's playing left me feeling very inspired. Maybe next year...

Here's the tune.

Saturday, 9 March 2013

The 4th Dominion

In Clive Barker's Book, this is the first (recently) 'foreign' dominion that Gentle travels to with the mystif Pie. I don't want to get bogged down with the details of the book, which can be found here if you are interested, but it's important in that this the first time I have tried to actually get the music I'm writing to tell the story, as opposed to just letting the composition grow organically.

OK sure, most of this piece also just grew in the writing, except for two  areas where I did deliberately try to make the music say something.

Firstly, the piece starts with a simple theme played simply on a scratchy sounding violin. It sounds amateurish, and is meant to. The theme repeats and develops and becomes more sophisticated: more accomplished, perhaps. I intended this to reflect Gentle's rapid relearning of magic as he travels into and through the 4th Dominion.

Secondly, towards the end of the journey through the 4th, Gentle and Pie encounter the bodies of the old priestesses frozen deep in the Jokalaylu glacier, imprisoned there by the old god Hepaxamendios. Enraged at  the cruelty delivered on the Priestesses, and empowered by his newly re-learned magic, Gentle frees them with a serious of fist smashes through the ice. This episode is reflected towards the end of the piece            (at 10:10)

Personally I think this is the best thing I've written to date: I'm actually rather proud of it! This is it in its first draft. A slightly more polished version but with a wackier ending (which I'm still not too sure about) is available on bandcamp here for either free listening or small fee downloading (let me know which version you prefer).

Saturday, 16 February 2013

The 3rd Dominion

This is a shorter piece at about 4 mins 20, and is the completed version of the "happy new year" post  below, who's widget isn't working. It can also be listened to for free, or downloaded for a small fee at Bandcamp here.

The piece was originally inspired by seeing some dolphins swimming off the coast of Kintyre in Scotland, whilst on a short break staying here, which was pretty awesome (corny as it is, sometimes only 'awesome' will do!). I tried to get the twinkling of the sea shimmering at the start of the piece, and the flutey arpeggios are supposed to be the arched leaps of the dolphins breaking out of the sea.

The 3rd Dominion of Clive Barker's book "Imajica", is where the goddess Tishallule (I think that's the correct spelling) inhabits a body of water known as "The Cradle". She causes the waters of the Cradle to solidy under cover of cloud and re-liquify at the touch of the Sun.

I fancy that the music represents that moment transformation, but that's probably in my own head. Make of it what you will, but I hope you enjoy it.

As always, comments and constructive criticism is welcome.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

The 2nd Dominion

Hello again, Blog. It's been a while, but I am re-enthused by someone's kind comment on my Summer Fete post, some posts below. I notice that the 2 most recent pieces of music aren't working so I'm hoping that this one successfully replaces "Yzordderrex". I hope you enjoy it. It is also available (in a slightly more reverby version) for the listening to/downloading of at bandcamp, here:

The Second Dominion

(Yzordderrex is the Autarch's city in the second dominion in Clive Barkers book "Imajica")

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Bend of Bay & Swerve of Shore

Bend of Bay by texpete Swerve of Shore by texpete

These are the last of old tracks I re-jigged on Sibelius 7. Posting frequency will probably revert back to two or three a year from now on.

Friday, 16 December 2011

Summer Fete - revisited

Summer Fete v2 by texpete

So, having discovered how to work that widget, I have decided to upload the reworked old stuff to SoundCloud and copy the widgets to here. First up, "Summer Fete", which is also available to download at

Look out for your other faves over the coming days/weeks.