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General News

April 2017 News Update

April 2017 News Update



It's been a gloriously interesting month with our trip to Robin Hood's Bay and my gig at The Grovesnor Hotel as special guest of Steve Phillips. The night at Steve's club was a bit special because just as I was about to play my set, who should walk through the door but folk legend Martin Carthy.



My opening line to him was "what are you doing here?" His reply was "I heard you had been poorly so I came to see how you were." How kind of this wonderful man to take the time out. He only lives a few roads away anyway, but it was just amazing that he had a night off and was there.

Truth be told it was quite nerve wracking having a guitar legend sat about ten feet in front of me for the 45 minutes I was playing. In fact I started playing one piece 'Pofacetilly' and was so nervous I stopped halfway and decided to play 'Angie' instead.

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The rest of the set went swimmingly well I'm pleased to say. I honestly thought I had grown out of the nerves bit but obviously not. A few days later whilst drinking tea at Martin's house he said he fully understood how I felt as he had been in a similar position a few times himself over the years!

On the Friday night at the Dolphin Hotel I joined in with the folk night with our good friend Carrie Martin, and what a great night it was.

I'm returning to the Bay in June for the folk festival weekend and am scheduled to play an intimate gig at The Toast and Post Cafe on the Friday night the 9th, and I'm really looking forward to it. Anyone who has visited the Bay will know what a charming and magical place it is. It has almost become a spiritual home for Hilary and I over the past few years.

Eddie Spence

This picture didn't make last month’s newsletter. Me and Eddie Spence playing Heartsong at his surprise party.

Last of England News

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The Last of England is still getting nice reviews and I'm thrilled to share with you the news that the album is being released on Vinyl in the summer. Here is a pic of the cover artwork. You will now have to dig out that old record deck and resurrect that lovely feeling from long ago when you bought home your latest album and couldn't wait to place it on the turntable and carefully drop the needle on to the record, and whilst the music started playing you were engrossed in perusing the sleeve artwork and reading the notes and credits! Magic memories eh. There will be more information about the release nearer the time.



By the time you read this I will have played my guest appearance with Graham Fellows aka John Shuttleworth at Sheffield City Hall. Photos and report next month.

Although not too many gigs this month, the time has been filled as you can see having a great time with friends and also fixing friends guitars. There is nothing I like better than making poorly guitars better again wherever possible, in fact I get more of a kick out if fixing other folks guitars than I do my own. It’s that look of surprise and pleasure people get when they hear their instrument come alive so to speak and play better than the instrument ever did before.



Steve and Nadia Marsh visit

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It's not often that one is treated to a special private performance by two very fine players.

Steve Marsh the eminent guitar teacher and brilliant composer with his wife Nadia spent the day with us and treated us to some wonderful duets including Raymond Burley's beautiful arrangement of my composition 'A Christmas Carol'.

What great friends eh.



Visionary

A good friend of mine John Firth has asked me to write a little about the William Blake poems that inspired the pieces I composed for my 1976 album Visionary.

It is very difficult to remember all the thoughts, feelings, and emotions I was feeling nearly 42 years ago when I embarked on this musical journey. All I can say is in all honesty and humility that I could never EVER do justice interpreting musically the work of this towering genius. Many folk have said that this album was special to them and in many cases still is, so maybe I managed to capture the "spirit" of the great man within the realms of my own flawed personality and imperfections.

All I can tell you is that I was completely obsessed by what I perceived to be the character of the man and the times in which he lived.

The poems I chose were taken from Kathleen Raine's remarkable book 'A choice of Blake's Verse' published by Faber. The main poems are as follows.

The Price of Experience, The Tyger, The Echoing Green, London, Night.

The remainder of the pieces if my memory serves me well are lines taken from other poems and from illustrations. For example Lucifer's Cage fitted perfectly with The Last Judgement. The Dance of Albion is an illustration. Awakening refers to enlightenment, but don't quote me. Robes and Crowns is I believe a line from a poem and was probably suggested by one of the production team, as was From the Four Winds. Revelation: once again a strong spiritual image that would have been aligned to Blake.

Please forgive me for my vagueness here. All I can tell you is that the five poems above formed the backbone of the album and provided me with some heartfelt inspiration. I think the sincerity of the project and the intensity of the music touched a lot of people at that time, and how privileged do I feel from my 68 year old perspective looking back at a very special time in my life.

My thanks go to Rod Edwards, Roger Hand, and John Miller for sharing my vision way back in 1975 when I first presented these unfinished ideas to them, and for them to see the" bigger picture" with this music.

Final thanks to John Firth for suggesting I share these thoughts and poems.

The final word must go to Kathleen Raine." Seen in the light of his total achievement our one national prophet emerges as a greater figure; whether we approach him as the prophet of the Industrial Revolution; as the seasoned opponent of the materialist philosophers; the predecessor of modern psychology, or the herald of a New Age; or more simply, as the finest master of metrics of the long line in English poetry."

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Instrument of the month

Yes it IS a Ukulele...

The postman brought me this lovely Laka Uke this afternoon, and the guitar on my left is the wonderful Paul Brett Viator 12 string, strung in unison when I first got it but last night strung it like a conventional 12 string, and guess what..... It sounds beautiful, plays perfectly in tune all the way up the neck and a joy to play.

I have been asked to compose one or two pieces for it by Merv Young, the head of RGT Registry of Guitar Tutors. I can't guarantee what will present itself but it's worth a try. Watch this space as they say.





Gordon Giltrap Guitar Academy Weekend

When this news page goes to print, you might just have time to book your place at my teaching weekend in April the day after my birthday, I do hope so!

Love this poster that Sue Holton designed !

See you next month.
G.

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All I can tell you is that I was completely obsessed by what I perceived to be the character of the man and the times in which he lived.

The poems I chose were taken from Kathleen Raine's remarkable book "A choice of Blake's Verse published by Faber.The main poems are as follows.

THE PRICE OF EXPERIENCE.
THE TYGER.
THE ECHOING GREEN.
LONDON.
NIGHT.

The remainder of the pieces if my memory serves me well are lines taken from other poems and from illustrations.For example LUCIFER'S CAGE fitted perfectly with The Last Judgement.The Dance of Albion is an illustration.Awakening refers to enlightenment,but don't quote me.Robes and Crowns is I believe a line from a poem and was probably suggested by one of the production team,as was From the Four Winds.Revelation:once again a strong spiritual image that would have been aligned to Blake.

Please forgive me for my vagueness here.All I can tell you is that the five poems above formed the backbone of the album and provided me with some heartfelt inspiration.I think the sincerity of the project and the intensity of the music touched a lot of people at that time,and how privileged do I feel from my 68 year old perspective looking back at a very special time in my life.

My thanks go to Rod Edwards,Roger Hand,and John Miller for sharing my vision way back in 1975 when I first presented these unfinished ideas to them, and for them to see the" bigger picture" with this music.

Final thanks to John Firth for suggesting I share these thoughts and poems.

The final word must go to Kathleen Raine." Seen in the light of his total achievement our one national prophet emerges as a greater figure; whether we approach him as the prophet of the Industrial Revolution;as the seasoned opponent of the materialist philosophers ;the predecessor of modern psychology,or the herald of a New Age;or,more simply,as the finest master of metrics of the long line in English poetry."