The Other Other Hand

29 Nov 2008

Complete video

A full 80 minute edited video of the show is now up at (It's a big file; probably better to download it for viewing rather than try to watch it online.)

11 Aug 2008

Edinburgh reviews

Gillian Jones from itsonitsgone went on to review the show;

'a perfectly executed mix of performing art, precision musical skill from all six on stage performers and comic trimmings that could keep even the most reluctant viewer amused'

and also posted a note in the Edinburgh Evening News;

'Incredibly enjoyable and funny… I would go and see it again'

4 Aug 2008

Preview on itsonitsgone

Short preview of the show by Gillan Jones on the site itsonitsgone.

2 Aug 2008

Video preview for next week's show

A short video preview for next week's show in Edinburgh.

1 Aug 2008

Online review of Glasgow show

Just found a review of the Glasgow show which I'd previously missed, on Rob Saunders' blog Eine Kleine Nichtmusik.

7 Jul 2008

Edinburgh show, and other news

Details of the Edinburgh show are more or less finalised; see the 'About' panel on the right. The DVD is nearly finished, in fact I have a rough cut already. Some screenshots below.

Shots from the DVD

A dozen screenshots from the DVD of the show.

Brief pause for reflection

Well, after two year's work, that's it. The performances at Plug went extremely well, with close to a sell out on the first night and a completely full house on the second. The team are all mad keen to do the piece again, which will happen; in August, in Edinburgh, part of the Fringe. Laurie has taken away the video tape to edit a full DVD of the show, and I'm going to take a bit of a rest for a while.

1 May 2008

Opening night tonight!

If this blog has fallen quiet over the last week or so, it's because we've been in intensive rehearsal for tonight's opening. However, if you head on over to my twitter page, you can get the blow-by-blow.

29 Apr 2008

Steadily-stop! in Traders

Four of us playing a number from the show in the pub. Unfortunately, the camera misses the moment where I crawled around on the floor while playing my solo. (Which isn't in the show!)

11 Apr 2008


Yes, now you can download ringtones from the show! Enjoy;

complicated01 - complicated02 - complicated03

23 Mar 2008

Reh 9 pt 4

In this video; rehearsing 'complicated circumstances' with voiceover track, some handheld shots (by George?), rehearsing 'moonclouds', talking through future rehearsal plans.

21 Mar 2008

Reh 9 pt 3

In this video; rehearsing 'saya', plus 'bridge 2n' in harmony.

Reh 9 pt 2

In this video; early read-through of 'frag', working on performance style for '11-7'.

Reh 9 pt 1

In this video; getting set up, trying out amplification for the strings, full run through of 'Steadily-stop!' with me taking Tim's part (Tim absent from this rehearsal).

7 Mar 2008

Reh 8 pt 2

In this video; working on the static third section of '11-7', experimenting with the rhyth-o-buf patch, rehearsing 'romantic ascent'.

Reh 8 pt 1

In this video; playing 'Steadily-stop!', instrumental version of 'bridge 2n', working on harmonies for 'bridge 2n', 'Heroic Bloody Failure', extensive work on performance style for '11-7'. (Kay absent from most of this rehearsal)

22 Feb 2008

Reh 7 pt 2

In this video; trying out some ideas with hosepipes, rehearsing 'left, right', first attempt at (improvised) version of 'complicated circumstances'.

Reh 7 pt 1

In this video; rehearsing 'steady gecko', trying out ideas for reorganising space during the piece, moving into 'this isn't working', early version of Tim's cadenza. (Kay absent from this rehearsal)

Reh 6 pt 2

In this video; trying out 'saya'.

Reh 6 pt 1

In this video; trying out reorganising furniture while 'Parry' voice plays, rehearsing 'steady gecko', 'this isn't working', moving to whistletubes, more 'Parry' voice. (Kay absent from this rehearsal)

20 Jan 2008

Reh 5 pt 2

In this video; trying out simultaneous combination of ideas from 'mirrorpark' and 'romantic ascent', playing with hosepipe trumpets

Reh 5 pt 1

In this video; trying out 'this isn't working' for top of the show, early attempts at 'steady gecko' (Tim leading rehearsal), adding in string players, transition to whistletubes

7 Dec 2007

Video from the fourth rehearsal

In this video; attempting early version of 'steady gecko', trying out a ring of twelve chairs with 'upmachine' material

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In this video; experimenting with using text from an instruction manual plus 'upmachine' backing material. (Kay and Paddy absent from this rehearsal)

23 Nov 2007

Video from the third rehearsal

In this video; Fraser and George trying out duet material simultaneously with 'string scales' and piano material, experimenting with books in the piano, 'this isn't working'

In this video; Kay and Paddy improvise a 'string players' argument' so succesfully that I actually think they /are/ arguing!

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In this video; playing with hosepipe trumpets, hosepipe trumpet with clarinet mouthpiece, hocketing hosepipes, improvised clarinet over ascending chords. (Tim absent from this rehearsal)

10 Nov 2007

'In the back of my mind' - performance

Here's the final performance of 'In the back of my mind'. Not perhaps exactly the kind of thing we're going to be doing in [workspace], but this is the territory I'm exploring.

2 Nov 2007

'In the back of my mind' rehearsal

In the back of my mind is a kind of study for, or tangent to, [workspace]; a work for the Scottish Flute Trio plus a choir of fourteen clarinets, to be performed 8 Nov @ 1930 in the ACH. Here's video of a run-through, from the first rehearsal;

31 Oct 2007

Video from the second rehearsal

In this video; introducing the lampshade and the whistletubes, revising verbal mnemonic for 'Steadily-stop!', attempting with instruments.

In this video; trying out improvised solos for 'Steadily-stop!', discussing chords, demonstrating 'Simon's mystic chord sequence', attempting on instruments

13 Oct 2007

Video from the first rehearsal

In this video; Tim, George and Fraser read through sketch of trio material, Paddy looks at cello sketch, looking at '11-7' with wind players, Lisa Swayne and John Gormley try out vocal sketch 'terrible-wonderful'

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In this video; more work on '11-7', initial attempts at 'bridge 2n', first attempt at improvising together over 'Steadily-stop!'

16 Feb 2007


[workspace] is the working title of a piece to be performed at the Plug festival of new music in May 08. There will be two performances, in the Guinness Room, lasting in the region of 60-90 minutes. A cast of six musicians will draw upon a battery of instruments, voice, movement, recorded and live sound/video, and costume to present a devised piece crossing the boundaries between contemporary music, theatre and performance art.

[workspace] may also be characterised as a framework within which musicians and a composer can work together to create a performance. Over a period of several months, starting in Oct 08, the composer will facilitate a devising process, drawing on a wide variety of musical and creative strategies; games, improvisation, fragmentary notation and conventional scores may all be used. The final piece will be drawn together in a culminative period of rehearsal (Sun 27 April - Wed 30 April) leading up to two performances on Thursday 1 and Friday 2 May.

An experienced professional with a significant artistic reputation will be recruited to the project in a dual role; as a second supervisor for the PhD, and as an artistic advisor to the composer in the development of the piece.

Although there is scope for input from all participants, the eventual piece will still bear the strong artistic stamp of the composer. The starting point will always be music, and the final decision as to whether a particular scene 'works' or not will be largely a musical one. All the music will be written by the composer, although non-original music may play a part in the devising process.

A videographer will document the devising process, also incidentally collecting material which might find a place in the final performance, which will also be recorded on video. All of this material will be edited into a form suitable for presentation within the PhD portfolio.

The People

The following people will be involved throughout the project;
  • Composer
  • Six musicians
  • Second supervisor
The musicians may be recruited from the SOM, with their participation in the project as part of their program of study, or may be recent graduates. The current lineup is as follows;
  • Kay Stephen - violin (viola)
  • Paddy Johnson - cello
  • Fraser Langton - clarinet
  • George Kastanos - sax
  • Tim Cooper - euphonium
  • Richard Waghorn - piano
The second supervisor will have an intermittent relationship with the project, to be negotiated.

The following additional people will be needed in the final phase of the project;
  • Stage management team
  • Lighting designer
  • (Possibly) extra videographer/s to document performance
It is not anticipated that the staging or lighting will be particularly elaborate, but there may well be some fairly complex live and recorded multimedia in the piece, including video projection. Exact needs to be determined by, say, midway through the devising period.


Development period

  • Rehearsal room; a series of Thursday evening rehearsals in the Guinness room have been planned
  • Ideally; PA with long trailing mic, ghettoblaster, video camera, laptop, wireless internet access, spare hard drive, video projector, two long tables, eight chairs, one music stand
  • Costume requirements are minimal, each player to have three costumes for the show
    • Performer's own casual clothes
    • SHAM costumes; charity-shop suits sprayed with copper plasticote paint, strange hats made from hanging-basket liners (as above)
    • Concet blacks
  • Props;
    • Possibly scrap/junk/homemade instruments in addition to performer's own

Final rehearsal and performance

  • Guinness for one week, all day every day; this has been agreed, Sun 27 April - Friday 2 May
  • Set to be determined; either no set, a nothing-is-hidden space, or, an idea exists for using black drapes to substantially reconfigure space. Maybe something to project video on; tables, chairs, ghettoblaster, music stands etc as used in rehearsal period. Maybe a clothes rail or two. Maybe television monitors instead of video projection.


Still to be determined in detail. It is assumed that the production will be officially supported by the RSAMD, as;
  • a centrepiece of the Plug 08 festival
  • a major plank in the composer's PhD research
  • an opportunity for eight music students
  • an opportunity for a drama student
  • an opportunity for TPA
  • an interdisciplinary work
Costs which might have to be met by Research;
  • Second supervisor
  • Extra work in support of project by second supervisor
  • Videography during development period and final performance
  • Other misc costs eg composer's travel, petty cash, contingency

30 Jan 2007

Five Inanities for Brass 5tet

Here's a recording of one of the Five Inanities, 'Teufelwalzer';


This is the version for four bassoons from the song cycle 'Schaduwee'; it has also appeared in several other recent works of mine, in various arrangements, usually performed simultaneously with other material.

The idea of all of these pieces is that they all appear completely innocent, until they suddenly get stuck on a particularly dodgy cadence. It seems the harmony was wrong all along! Oh dear.

Here's another example, from The Society for Classical and Authentic Music, comprising on this occasion five oboes and five bassoons, who perform three of the Inanities, Jagdmazurka, Teufelwalzer and Stupid Tune, with overlaps between the bassoon and oboe versions, before being requested by the conductor to efface themselves;


29 Jan 2007

The World is So Large

This is a sketch for a gag to use in the show, borrowing heavily from 'Bloody Mess' by Forced Entertainment. The idea is that the piano music will be scored into a really lovely piece of music, which is then punctured by somebody saying something along the lines of what I have here...

27 Jan 2007

The Society for Classical and Authentic Music

Closely allied with the Society for High Art Music, of course, but the lineup here is six oboes and six bassons. In this extract ensemble are enjoying 'dubbeltrubble', a merry Dixieland tune, but are directed by the conductor to defer to the first bassoonist, who wishes to essay a cadenza. Regrettably, perhaps, this coincides with ritual actions involving an out-of-tune low Eb and some other sounds…