Category Archives: Performance

Performance of my composition, Grief

Hi, everybody! I have a new video on my YouTube channel – me performing my own composition, Grief. This piece is a variation on another one of mine called Innocence – they’re both themes for a character, but Grief is the minor key version of Innocence. Not all is dark and depressing in it, though – I aimed to capture how it feels to work through one’s feelings of Loss, and memories of good times gone by.

If you enjoyed the performance, please consider subscribing to my channel!

New performance video – Ju-on: The Grudge – main theme

Hello, everybody!

A new video is up on my YouTube channel. This week, it’s a cover of the main theme from the film Ju-on: The Grudge. It’s one of my favourite films – it manages to create a feeling of deep melancholy and inevitability, and the music and sound design play a huge part in that.

I think this composition is wonderful to analyse, to see why it’s so effective. In my opinion, it comes down to a few elements: the harmony, use of chromatic notes, and the tonic pedal.

The harmony is pretty simple – it’s in E minor and most of the chords are diatonic: Am, Em and F#m7b5 – only the third inversion Fmaj7 near the end is out of key (and only one note of it). However, melodically there’s a fair amount of chromaticism and in the original there’s a high part that is very chromatic which creates the unease.

At the beginning, there’s an immediate sense of sadness but as the theme progresses, I think it captures a feeling of hopelessness. The use of the tonic pedal helps create that feeling of not being able to move forwards.

If you enjoy the performance, please subscribe to my channel! There’ll be more performance videos of both covers and my own compositions, plus new compositions will usually end up there before release. I’m also in the process of scripting some teaching videos.

Time of the Oppressed – performance video

Hello, everyone!

I have a new video this week, which is a performance of one of my own compositions – the one that started my journey as a composer. I actually wrote the initial draft of it back in 2013 and it’s gone through multiple revisions over the years before I settled on this one. If you’ve listened to my recent album, you’ll know it already. Despite having written it so long ago, I think that it’s still one of the strongest melodies that I’ve written.

When I first wrote it, I was experimenting with polyrhythms – I didn’t have much experience with them but knew that I wanted to use them to increase the sense of something not quite being right in the repeat of section A in this piece. Writing them into was pretty easy, but I struggled with playing them at the time.

Since then, I’ve explored how to practise polyrhythms fairly extensively. I’m in the process of writing the script for a video dealing with how to effectively practise them, though it’ll take a while because it’s the first of this kind of video that I’m planning to make. Does anyone have any notable polyrhythms that they struggled with (or are struggling with)?

Also, which other topics would you like to see teaching videos about?

Performance of my composition, ‘An Ill Presence’

I’ve been asked in the past by prospective and current pupils about videos of me playing. I recently decided to start experimenting with different types of videos for my YouTube channel, so here’s a performance of one of my own compositions, ‘An Ill Presence’. Nothing tricky, but I hope I managed to capture the atmosphere of the piece with the lighting. I’m planning to make more performance videos in the future (including some covers) and will also be making videos about learning music and how to simplify the process.