Tom Graves – An interest in music

I first took up playing music nine or ten years ago [mid-1990s], when I got fed up of saying that the only instrument I could play was the fool…

My main instruments are the concert flute and bass flute (illustrated above), though I also play alto flute, wooden flute, glass flute, block-flute (recorder), whistles, tabor pipe, shakuhachi, fife, clarinet, saxophone – pretty well anything with an open end and three or more finger-holes… I’ve recently been struggling with the oboe, but not getting very far as yet – not an easy instrument! – and also pottering with button-accordion, bodhran, djembe and, occasionally, a keyboard.

My preferred idiom is English dance-music, preferably from the Playford era (mid- to late-seventeenth century), or some ‘Celtic’ music such as Turlough O’Carolan’s superb harp tunes. I like the session-music environment, and I’ll play jigs, or even reels, if I must, but I much prefer quality to quantity…

I’ve added a page about some of the tunes I’ve written over the last few years, and a few others that I particularly like.

My main long-term musical project is The Heart of Music – merging conventional musical education with the insights of transpersonal psychology. I’ll be developing it partly on these pages over the next few years: see the Heart of Music pages on the Wyrdsmiths section of this site for more details.

Another long-term project, borne out of frustration with existing notation packages, is a new notation/MIDI package codenamed PipeWorks – so-called because we initially designed around the needs of pipers and other wind-players rather than (as per standard packages) solely for keyboards. It’s a joint project with bagpiper Martin Hungerford and harpist Dave Rackham: we’re still in early design stages as yet, but do contact us if you’d like to know more.

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