A huge congratulations to Four Oaks Cluster Choir, who on the 22nd February 2015 won the annual Manchester Amateur Choral Competition.
We sang three songs - Winter Sings Her Song, London Medley and With Or Without You.
After announcing us as winners, we sang With Or Without You again, and you can see the video of that performance below.
Don't get me wrong, I'm actually a huge fan of Andrew Lloyd Webber. A lot of people seem to look down on his music, dismissing it as clichéd and 'safe'. In some ways, of course, it is. But that's because the general public like simple melodies and clichéd chord progressions.
There is nothing new nowadays. It doesn't matter whether you look at literature, art or music - pretty much everything has already been done to some extent. In Western music there are only 12 different tones; and so only a limited number of variations! I'm pretty sure every 'recent' melody you name can be already found somewhere within the wealth of written music generated over the last 500 years or so.
The video below is a tongue-in-cheek poking fun at ALW, performed live in a village pub. Originally written and performed by Kit and the Widow, with a few adaptions and additions by myself.
~ The first few notes of Love Changes Everything from Aspects of Love are identical to the ones from JS Bach's Fugue in E Major (Well Tempered Clavier Book II).
~ The super famous chromatic riff from The Phantom of the Opera is almost identical to the one in Pink Floyd's Echoes.
You can download the sheet music (PDF) and have a listen to my jazzy piano solo WALK IN THE MOONLIGHT below. About grade 3 standard.
I heard recently about Bryan Barkley, the elderly Red Cross volunteer dismissed from the charity over his gay marriage protest. He is absolutely entitled to his views (just as the Red Cross is entitled to dismiss him), however, his placard 'No redefinition of marriage' raises a common misconception. Some people seem to think that marriage is and has always been an unchanging institution, a union between one man and one woman. But this is not the case.
For centuries marriages in England were strictly religious - between one man and one woman before God. This changed only in the 20th Century with the advent of civil ceremonies, when God was removed from the union.
And if we look at traditional marriage as outlined by Biblical law we can see the institution has changed many times. Men could have more than one wife (but of course women could not have more than one husband). Marriages were almost always arranged, and fathers could sell their daughters into marriage as slavers could sell their slaves. If a woman's husband died she was required to marry his brother (Deut 25:5). And if an unmarried, un-betrothed young woman was raped she was required to marry her rapist (Deut 22:28-29). Luckily marriage, like other institutions, has been reformed by superior moral standards. So marriage has been redefined many times, and for the better.
AT NIGHT SHE LIVES