information about songs I have published

“We writers dream of a future where actors are mostly computer generated and their performances can be adjusted, by us, on a laptop, alone.” ~Tina Fey

Interesting quote and I sort of know what she means…when the drum machine became a viable and fashionable instrument I was so excited that I would never have to wait for another drummer to arrive late, play too loud, not be able to follow instructions (  I have several friends who are drummers, so friends they  usually continue to be)

When I found the vocal transformer on Logic and was able to take my voice down an octave it was brilliant! I could now sing Bass. I was my own self contained Acapella Choir…alone!

But it is just not the same – alone is good…’all one’- but the first time I take my self-penned 4 part vocal arrangments to choir and hear them sung by a mixed group of real live singers I always get a shiver- it is one of the most heavenly moments in my small existence when I feel really in touch with God ( the one with no name -apart from God, but the name could be creation, oneness, Julie  -what ever rocks your boat)

There is something about the sound of lots of different voices all together that I can never create when I sing with myself and the same is true of all the manufactured instruments in my palette. Great for sketching…marvellous for dance music and reflective stuff, but some how, if you want to hit the old heart and soul, the people have to be there-breathing, strumming, banging, not quite hitting the note or hitting it good! Thanks to all the musicians and singers I have had the pleasure to collaborate with. I like my ‘all one, al-one,alone time’, but my life is so much richer  being with you.


Heaven or Las Vegas -The Cocteau Twins

Someone very thoughtfully  put a translation of the words of the song on this youtube link -cos I can’t understand much of what this beautiful singer is saying-

‘Elizabeth Fraser’s distinctive vocals received the most attention in the band. At times barely decipherable, Fraser seemed to veer into glossolalia and mouth music. Reviewer Ned Ragett wrote that “part of her appeal is how she can make hard-to-interpret lyrics so emotionally gripping.”(ripped from Wiki)

The ol’man is having a whole shoe-gaze renaissance- I missed the Cocteau Twins the first time round  as i was so busy writing my own decipherable lyrics, but have to say they have ripened and mellowed like a fine wine.

We started the new term at Bishopsgate Institute in the good ol’ City of London. Such a joy. New term, new repertoire. 70 singers, great room, wonderful staff. We are doing an Acapella arrangement of this song. One of the things I like so much about this song is the backing vocals by Rob Hyman who co-wrote the song with Cyndi Lauper -I miss these vcals on her newer live recordings of the song. Watch this space for our end of term sharing of the Acapella version…


This week I am running/facilitating two sessions called song swaps, and hopefully will not look as surprised as I do in this photo taken last year at a day I ran for the Southampton Gospel Choir.For those of you not involved in community and school singing, a song swap is when  a bunch of people get together and share simple songs -they are usually simple as people teach them by ear. The people go away and then teach the songs to other singing groups they have. Many are rounds, chants and simple songs from around the world.

I have been requested by a lovely student at the Institute of Education in London to run a session where I teach  students doing a Post Grad Teacher’s Certificate some simple warm ups and songs from Africa, I have a feeling I am the only one swapping songs..but who knows.

Today a similar thing somewhere else in the City..but there will be more swapping me thinks! Both are good.


Time for a bit of rousing community singing…my lovely Bishopsgate Singers performing KAKI LAMBE (Kaki Lambe – Senegal folk song arr. Brian Tate. SATB. Pavane Publishing #P1249. distributed by Hal Leonard HL8301722) available on sheetmusic, but so good to teach by ear!

So in this freezing weather I have all sorts of tales of buses and trains and arrving at rehearsals 4 hours early or not at all. Concerts come and go but I had to post these delicious pictures of some of the Bishopsgate Singers after singing for at least an hour in the cold for the Red Cross in Leadenhall Market in the City if London much to the dismay of the City workers trying to enjoy a quiet pint and a fag outside a couple of hostelries. We sung all the repertoire from our end of term sharing which should be on youtube soon and hopefully raised a few pennies for the Red Cross who need  all the help they can get, and every little gesture helps.