Sonnet 27

The Fourth Choir had a composing competition, which I entered. I didn't make their shortlist, so here is my setting of Shakespeare's Sonnet 27. The words, of course: Weary with toil, I haste me to my bed, The dear repose for limbs with travel tired; But then begins a journey in my head, To work my mind, when body's work's expired: For then my thoughts (from far where I abide) Intend a zealous...

Copyright, Creativity and Culture

I got up this morning to see much hand-wringing on Twitter over Green policy on copyright. The policy in question states: EC1011 On cultural products (literature, music, film, paintings etc), our general policy is to expand the area of cultural activity, that is ways that culture can be consumed, produced, and shared, reduce the role of the market and encourage smaller and more local cultural...

Open Volume

I am looking for words and music for a hymnal. The working title is "Open Volume: singable, photocopiable hymns". The intent is to create a body of new hymnody which will be available to churches as a supplement, or as individual pieces; to showcase the work of writers and composers who might not gain the attention of traditional publishers; and to make the advantages of Creative Commons...

Music and Livelihood

I am not going to be able to work as a performer for the rest of my life. There are a number of reasons for this, and none of them are up for discussion in this post, but my current strategy is not working and is unsustainable. However, I am a musician through and through: when I am not making music I am pretty miserable. So I've been thinking lately about how to make a living as a musician,...

When you made this planet

Some time ago, Thomas Thurman drew my attention to a text to try setting as a hymn. The story behind the text, as well as the text itself, is here. After spending the requisite months sitting in a "drafts" drawer while I got distracted by other things, and some help with editing from various people (Dr Christopher Parker at St Mary's Addington was particularly helpful), I think it's about as...

A bit about why I use the CC licenses I do.

When I write music I release it under a Creative Commons license. I usually use a CC BY-SA license, known as Attribution-ShareAlike. This means people can use it, without first asking me, as long as they give me attribution and any derivative works they make are shared under a similar license. If I am using CC BY-SA then they are free to earn money for derivative works, but since they have to...

Psalter Commons

I have a new project! It's called Psalter Commons and I would love your help with it. I'd like the words of the psalms to be freely available for liturgy and study, but copyright law means the only truly free translations are quite old. If you have translated or paraphrased a psalm or many psalms, please feel free to add the texts! They don't need to have music, though if you do have music that's...

On acknowledgement

On Thursday I got an e-mail from someone. He was writing to tell me he'd found my piece Crux Fidelis on the Choral Public Domain Library a few months ago, and had used it in the liturgy for Good Friday at the church where he's organist. It went well and they intend to use it again next year.It felt really wonderful to be thanked, and even just to know that my music is being used. I know others...

A creative response to copyrighted lyrics…

Eric Whitacre wrote this music to fit the poem "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" by Robert Frost. Rather stupidly, Robert Frost's estate told him that he couldn't use it until it becomes public domain in 2038.So he asked Charles Anthony Silvestri to write a new poem to fit, using the same meter and some of the same words... this is the result:The whole virtual choir thing is pretty darn...

IMSLP is back

Just a brief update on yesterday's situation with IMSLP -- the site is back!It looks like the MPA contacted GoDaddy to request that the domain name be reinstated. Their offer to work with IMSLP to ensure all relevant scores meet relevant copyright legislation seems like a bit of a joke to me, though: clearly they know much less about copyright than the good folks at IMSLP. I don't see much sign...