Photography for Prom Praise 2012

Some more fun from the Royal Albert Hall on Saturday 21st April 2012, photographing All Souls Orchestra’s Prom Praise event, which also celebrates the All Souls Orchestra’s 40th Anniversary year.

My music, since moving to London

Innocence 2010

Innocence was originally a piece I composed for a friend in the summer of 1999.  The original felt very immature and simplistic, so I decided to try to re-write the tune just over 10 years later, picking the main themes and developing on them in ways that reflect ten years more life and experience (musically or not) that have passed since writing the original.

IH2M – “It happened to me”

Written with Easter as a theme – Jesus’ death and subsequent resurrection are clearly important to any Christian.  I came to Christ as a cynical skeptic.  In many ways I still am, but this reflects an answer to my “conversion” prayer that basically was something like this:

God, I’m not yet a believer.  Seeing is believing.  I want to see what you went through.  Show me it’s real.

I then spent a while being shown, in a vision, exactly what Thomas saw and felt when he saw Jesus after His crucifixion.  He was able to put his hands in Jesus’ side, and to feel the nail-marks in his hands.  I saw this before I’d even read of the biblical account of this story.  From this I immediately had the name “Thomas” to look up in the bible, which took me to John 20, 24-29:

24 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus[a]), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

I’m still a skeptic of all things.  But like Thomas I want to believe.  So I wrote this to help anyone else identifying with this plight/mindset, as a way of saying “it happened to me”.  I didn’t want to believe.  Yet when confronted with real truth in whatever format, I did want to believe.  And both sides of the story added up.

My music from a previous life…

First impressions of Denon DL-160 fitted to Dual 505-2

Our much-anticipated Denon DL-160 MC cartridge was delivered this week, and I finally found a moment to get it installed in place of the ULM65/DL-165e the deck was originally supplied with.  Having confirmed everything was lined up, we’ve had a quick listen to the results:

  • The first note played with the new cartridge told me that the new cartridge is really giving a very different presentation to the original.
  • Much better handling of sibilants, especially appreciated in rock/pop recordings.
  • Wider and deeper soundstage.
  • More detail exposed.
  • More attack on percussion instruments.
  • Much-reduced surface noise – including pops and ticks.
  • Slightly reduced “bloom” around 130-200Hz, compared with the Dual ULM65/DN165e combination the deck was originally supplied with.
  • Lower, cleaner bass below 120Hz.
  • Massive increase in playback quality of extremely worn/damaged LP’s.

In my wife’s words: “Everything just seems to sound like it should”.  And I have to agree.  The vinyl warmth, dynamics and musicality are much in evidence, but with a consistency and tonal accuracy more commonly associated with digital playback.

I think it fair to say that the purchase was a resounding success – the cartridge clearly is working very well in our setup, better in fact than many who know our deck might think it worth spending money to achieve.  More detailed findings to follow…