Yes. I am still alive and well and living the dream. Not bad eh?
Being a dreamer, I have always lived the dream. Some have turned into nightmares, and others have sadly faded into a reality. Tom Waite's song 'We are innocent when we dream' always struck a chord with me. Bob Johnson, BA, MA, clinical phsycology degree, ex Steeleye, told me that the meaning of dreams is up for grabs. Make of them what you will.
I have musical dreams, and when I was in Steeleye Span, I used to have anxiety dreams. I haven't had an anxiety dream for a while now. I do miss them...alien landscapes and a fiddle case with a plank of wood in it. Lost underneath the stage with no way out. Boarding the wrong plane on the wrong day with the wrong band. Oh sorry! That last one wasn't a dream.
All good now though...
We recently got a ferry to the UK after a spell at home in France. First stop was a hugely enjoyable weekend of teaching at one of my Masterclasses, followed by a couple of days with Roger and Vincent checking out some footage of a Gigspanner concert.
We aimed for a few decent Youtube clips, and we have ended up with a DVD, which we hope to have ready for our November tour.
On the subject of teaching, for the past couple of years I have held a five day course for string players in France. This takes place in late September/early October and you can find details HERE.
It's actually four days work with a day off in the middle. It's a very rewarding few days.
I am in Shropshire at the moment enjoying a few days off with family. We will be returning to France in a few days time to work on new material for Gigspanner's November tour. Our recent CD 'Layers of Ages' received great press reviews, and we have enjoyed some very decent radio play. All good news and all thoughts to the future.
Best wishes for now,
Wednesday 29th April 2015
New video for 'Death and the Lady'
Perrine Nouvier has created a film for one of the tracks on the new Gigspanner cd. 'Death and the Lady'. It is a track of her choosing. How she has visually enhanced this song in my view is stunning. She is an extraordinary film maker, and no amount of words could fairly describe what I sense and feel when I watch it. Thanks Perrine.
I'm going to keep things simple. As Peter Knight news is Gigspanner news, at the moment anyhow, here is what I have written on the Gigspanner website.
New Studio Album
Hi all. I know. It's been a while. Sorry about that. I'm sure you know that the reason for neglecting the website for so long is because I haven't been neglecting the music. I have proof :)
Gigspanner has spent the past few months recording a new studio album called 'Layers Of Ages'. We recorded in our own studios, and then pulled it all together at the end with the help of a young and dynamic Man called Edward Blakeley. We spent the best part of a month with Edward, overdubbing, mixing and mastering. We are well pleased with the result.
We will be loading up a dedicated page in a short while, with sound samples of the tracks, artwork etc, so for now I'll simply give you some idea of what to expect.
The music is mostly traditional, and the approach is how we always approach the music. We like to leave enough room within the arrangements to spread out and stretch the music a little. There is nothing more exciting than finding yourself lost in a new layer of spontaneous and inspired music. Having said that, we are aware that it is the song that has to live, so the music has to enhance and not hinder.
Gigspanner has grown organically since its conception, so we decided to give it a present by asking a few people to help us with this album. Elly Lucas for the cover shot, and Jane Brace to handle the publicity. Tim Marrs has again produced a beautiful sleeve design, with type setting by Kate Stretton, and I have already mentioned Edward Blakeley. We will have film and video to help promote this cd, and the launch tour is in June. The official release date is May 11th, and pre-orders will be from April 1st. No. It's not an April fool joke.
I will get back to you with lots more information in a while, but for now I have some practice to do. The 'Feast of Fiddles' tour begins straight after the Gigspanner tour in four days time, and I can't let Hugh Crabtree down.
Back in a while.
31st July 2014
Due to my 2015 July Masterclass being fully reserved already, I have made the decision to host two UK Masterclasses next year.
Further information can be found on my dedicated page, HERE
17th July 2014
'Death and The Lady' First Rehearsal Recording
Here is a link to Roger and myself playing 'Death and the Lady'. It is simply the beginnings of our arrangement of this song, recorded with one mic placed anywhere so that we have a reference. Never meant to be put out to the general public, but hey, it's that sort of world these days. All the better for it say I. Our first public performance of this song will be at Nettlebed this coming Monday. Good luck studio.
I have just put the first pictures into the Gallery. They are photos of the restoration of my favourite Violin. Incredible.
'Death and The Lady'
Yes! I am out of my period of rest. My nails are long and I couldn't play my fiddle now without cutting strings. I will cut them tomorrow like a gunfighter getting his guns ready for his next step into the battle.
After leaving Steeleye, I decided that I would not head straight into my studio, that lovely place that beckons, but to another lovely place that beckons. The place that is full of time and wonder. the place where deadlines are banned, and talk of work in progress is whispered like a thought. Not to be shared. Not to be taken as gospel. There's a word.
When I return to the UK, I will be fighting fit. Short nails, a fiddle that nestles and feels comfortable, and a mind that is prepared to not waste my time, or anyone else's, so that I can sleep, smile, wonder and ponder without fear. If you shoot form the hip then your aim will be true. If you lie and deceive and shoot blanks, and have to shield your hidden agenda with every stumbling word, then your aim will be aimless and fruitless and of no real value. It's not what we achieve in this short life we find ourselves having, it's more about how we achieve it.
So. This is me saying I am about. I love music and all that it is. I do not love all that it attracts, but at last I am old enough, and ugly enough, to remove myself mentally and physically from all that I find uncomfortable, and find that path that is even less trodden than the less trodden. Good hunting say I.
I have had a beautiful time here in France for the past two months, and in three weeks I will be in the UK armed with whatever ammunition I have gained from this well deserved time out.
Gigspanner have been working on new material, including a song that is perfect for us. It is a song that we have searched for. It is a song that my wife Deborah found. It is a song that is sung and performed by Martin and Norma. Norma and Eliza transformed the tune from a good tune to a great tune. I love it. Thanks Ladies. It is a tune that is now perfect for Roger to play on and around. We have a rehearsal recording for reference that I may put out so that you can hear it before we record it proper. Very exciting. I have also been waiting to find a song that I can play my Octave fiddle with the Rat pedal as in 'Bonny Black Hare'. This is the one.
So leaving you with that thought, I am signing off.
I trust all is well with you and yours and we will see you on tour.
2nd April 2014
Feast of Fiddles
The Feast of Fiddles tour is about to begin. We kick off at Nettlebed Folk Club for two nights. All the dates for the tour can be found on the Feast of Fiddles Website.
'An Ancient Cause' Re-release, Plus Two Bonus Tracks
The remastered re-release of 'An Ancient Cause' is now available from my on-line shop, and will also be available at gigs of course.
I have been working with Edd Blakeley on remastering the album, and with the intervening 23 years of advancement in technology, it sounds better than ever.
Tim Harries came over to the States and worked on it with me and his playing is superb. Although Tim has guested with Gigspanner quite recently, I had forgotten just how beautifully he played on this CD.
There are two bonus tracks. 'From A Lullaby Kiss' and an instrumental version of 'She Moved Through The Fair'.
I will be leaving Steeleye Span at the end of this next winter tour, November / December 2013.
I couldn't have chosen a better tour to call my last.
I have given this a lot of thought, and without getting complicated, my reason is simple. Enough is enough.
27th March 2013
Sound samples of 'Cobweb, Moth and Mustardseed' Now available.
Click on Soundcloud Logo.
20th March 2013
‘Cobweb, Moth & Mustardseed’
I was recently given the honour of composing and recording a piece of Music for the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, and information about that commission is detailed HERE
The piece of music ‘Cobweb, Moth and Mustardseed’ is also available as a CD, and is now available to order from my online shop HERE
My old site is resting in pieces. It will be remembered fondly.
It was impossible to update on a regular basis, and had to be changed, so this is the starting point. There may be a few things from the old site that could be restored, and time will tell. As it stands, this new site will be much easier for me to update on a regular basis, without having to battle against code from a different and now unavailable web editor.