Music

As well as Irish harp or clàrsach, I have other diverse and strange musical interests. With my archaeological background, I’m interested in musical instruments as physical objects, not only from a technical point of view but also from the point of view of sociology and anthropology, and I am a member of the Galpin Society.

I learned trumpet and trombone as a schoolboy, though I don’t currently have or play either. But I remain interested in baroque trumpet music, ancient horns, the harmonic series, fanfares, etc.

I have written online research projects about the Spitzharfe or Arpanetta, and also about the bowed-lyre or Jouhikko. I occasionally play jouhikko and also a bit of fiddle.

I have dabbled with experimental electronic music using Alexander Zolotov’s ANS spectral synthesiser.

I was taught English change-ringing by my mother when I was a young boy, in Fawley, Hampshire. I am still involved in the ringing scene. I rang at Iffley village in Oxfordshire when I lived there; more recently I was vice-captain of the band in St Andrews, Scotland, and did a lot of teaching there as well. Now I’m living in Ireland I am starting to get involved with ringing here.

Ringing with the Northern District of the Irish Association of Change Ringers. I’m on the far side of the room, wearing a stripey shirt and ringing the treble; my mother is next to the camera, wearing a blue blouse and a sparkly scarf, and ringing the five. You can hear me speak at the very beginning of the video, giving the other ringers the instruction to start: “…she’s gone…”