Music

The hobby that sometimes makes me money

The hobby that sometimes makes me money

That’s how I describe my relationship with music. I do it because I love it – that’s why I have a degree in it – but I’ve never pursued it as a full-time occupation for fear that I might stop loving it so much.

That said, I do have the privilege of knowing a lot of ‘proper musicians’ which means I get chances to play gigs of various kinds – whether that’s in a string quartet at a wedding or in a full band at a bigger event.

I play the cello and bass guitar, and also compose from time to time. Here’s an electroacoustic piece I wrote while at uni, based on old recordings of Irish folksongs:

Ellie and me, playing the violin and cello
Ellie and me at a photo shoot for Strings Attached. Photo by the lovely Lucy Smith.

New Strings Attached Medley

New Strings Attached Medley

I love making new videos with these guys. This one is a medley of 500 MilesI Really Like YouLike I Love You and Keep On Movin’, to celebrate our hitting 500 likes on Facebook. As well as playing cello, I did most of the filming and editing.

A special send-off for a special dog

A special send-off for a special dog

This isn’t the first time I’ve written a song for Hacker the Dog to sing to Blue Peter’s Iggy, but sadly it will probably be the last. Iggy officially left the show in May 2016 to start her new job as a Guide Dog. I wrote this song (to a tune you will definitely recognise!) to give her a proper send-off, celebrating everything she’s achieved and the massive change she will make in her new owner’s life.

This was great fun to produce, especially being able to write string parts for the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and enlisting the help of my acoustic function band Strings Attached.

Click here to watch the video (complete with lyrics in case you want to sing along!)

"So proud you're starting this new job, we love you no matter what so worry not, you'll always be a Blue Peter dog!"

The Letters Song

The Letters Song

It was an absolute joy to write and produce this little number for Blue Peter, all about the enormous amounts of weird and wonderful post sent in by the show’s fans. As well as appealing to kids, it’s got in-built nostalgia – this song is for “anyone who’s ever written to Blue Peter”.

Live improv performance with dancers

Live improv performance with dancers

Really proud to have been part of this dance project with my band Strings Attached back in October – here are some extracts from it.

We took turns to accompany dancers in different combinations, then everyone danced/played together (about 6 mins into the clip). All improvised more or less on the spot!