My most recent project was recording a musical saw part for the rock band 'Keane's' new album 'Perfect Symmetry', on the track 'Love is the end'. It came out in October 2008. Check it out!
"Love that musical saw" - Tom Chaplin (Lead vocalist, Keane)
Above are pictures of me playing with Keane at the 'Little Noise Sessions', a concert at The Islington Methodist Church, Nov 2008.
Here's a YouTube video of my playing, with Keane, at the 'Little Noise Sessions'.
I've been recently playing a lot of saw with my Mandolin Orchestra, The Fretful Federation. You can see me playing 'Santa Lucia', at this link. I come in 4 minutes into the track, so please be patient!
In Sept 2006 I performed at the International Chinese Musical Saw Festival in Hong Kong and Shenzhen.
It was an amazing experience where I got to meet and play with some of the finest saw players in the world, such as Morgan Cowin, the President of the US Musical Saw fraternity, and Sylvian Pichet, a virtuoso on the Lame Sonore (the French 3 octave toothless musical saw) and President of the French Musical Saw Association.
Where I was representing the UK in Musical Saw Extravaganza. A fascinating glimpse of the Chinese, and also of the many and weirdly varied ways of playing a saw. Some particularly strong characters play it like a violin, with the handle tucked into the neck. Apart from their huge biceps they must be in danger of high-frequency hearing-loss with it that close to the ear. As for "Death by a Thousand Cuts", one moment of weakness would have been very nasty. Ah well, it takes all sorts.
Here's a recent gig where I had to play in high heels. Not easy!
And while I was away I missed my own appearance on "Let me Entertain you", twice. This is a talent show that aired on BBC2. Surviving the first round, I was eased out in the second, despite trying to get the compere, Brian Connolly, (is that the right word or am I stuck in the fifties) to try out the saw. The competition was eventually won by a 13-year old baritone from Kent who could make even more noise than my trusty toothless-wonder.
I have become an avid collector of musical saws, including:
Gold plate Mussehl & Westphal
Jetel Musical saw from the Music Hall era:
My French Lame Sonore, bought from the redoubtable Mr Sylvian Pichet.
My English Parkstone Melody.
Also available for purchase is my Musical Saw CD. Available for 12 pounds sterling. Please contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org to purchase it:
Track listing is:
1 Dr Who Theme
2 Flower Duet (Delibes)
3 Love me Tender
4 Smells like Teen Spirit (Nirvana/Kurt Cobain)
5 What a wonderful World
6 My Heart will go on (Titanic)
7 When you wish upon a star
8 Star Trek Theme
9 Ave Maria (Schubert)
10 Le Cygne (Saint Saens)
12 Ain't Misbehavin'
13 Stormey Weather
14 We have all the time in the world
16 Over the Rainbow
17 Gymnopedie No 1
18 Gymnopedie No 2
19 Dream a little Dream
20 A Nightingale sang in Berkley Square
22 The Foggy Dew