• Stephen P Brown loves Orchestra Flash Mobs
    Articles

    Flashing is popular again

      More and more musicians are doing it. Apparently there were over 40 reported incidents worldwide in 2013. Fortunately, many of them were caught on camera. Which of the following incidents from the past few years are worthy of international attention, and which are lucky not to find themselves in the Establishment’s penal custody for flashing in public? I’ll tell you my fave if you tell me yours! Share your thoughts and your favorites in the comments below… 1.   2.   3.   4. Haven’t reached my favourite one, yet! Remember – I’m a percussionist at heart… 5.   6.   7. Er, yeah. That’ll be it. Love it!…

  • British American Conductor Composer Stephen P Brown and the Clearwater Chorus
    Articles

    Back to Choral Roots

    A couple of months ago I was appointed Conductor of the 40+ year old Clearwater Chorus. It’s an ensemble of people who like to sing, and encourages adults of varying ages and abilities to make and share music together. At least, that’s what it is now. Although not titled a “Director” that is effectively my role and as a result, I’ve grabbed hold of the reins and am guiding the ensemble through a new perspective: who we have and what we do now is what we are, and as long as we work together to share music, we’ll be doing something of value to the world. [Click here: I’m giving…

  • Articles

    #PsalmQuest 10 – Mirror 2 for solo harp

    Writing this piece of music was probably one of the most enjoyable projects I’ve ever done. Perhaps that’s why it turned out to be a good one. The harp can be a daunting instrument: it is large yet delicate, piano-like but not a piano, strings plucked with four fingers per hand not hammers hit by five fingers. However, the learning process about harp technique was made considerably easier by Jacqueline Pollauf, who has kindly posted a list of guidelines online. But I must admit, I also cheated a little – I asked Anna Kate Mackle, Principal Harpist of the Florida Orchestra, for some input. Back in the mid 80s, Anna Kate…

  • How to play guitar chords
    Articles

    How I compose 3 – Chords

    “A chord in music is any harmonic set of three or more notes that is heard as if sounding simultaneously.” (Wikipedia, accessed August 7, 2013) To me, chords form the shell of a piece of music – the walls and roof of a house, so to speak. For me, this is the most difficult part of composing and always has been. Possibly because I’m a percussionist and therefore spent a lot of time focusing on rhythmic patterns and combinations rather than harmonic. Harmony? “Harmony is the use of simultaneous pitches (tones, notes), or chords. The study of harmony involves chords and their construction and chord progressions and the principles of…

  • Conductor Composer Stephen P Brown
    Articles

    When to say no

    Last night I performed at an awards ceremony. It was a great show directed by a great showman Peter Stark (the former American ballet dancer, not the English conductor). One of the musical highlights for me was conducting a special arrangement of “Kashmir” made famous by Led Zeppelin, and more recently by the electric string quartet “Escala“. Our arrangement was for full orchestra, rock band, vocal soloist and two choirs – love it.     But also on the programme was a peppy little number I wrote myself – the last movement of my Marimba Concerto 1. I led a performance of the whole piece earlier this week with Glenda…