Been a while old friend!

It’s been a while since i posted on here so I thought i’d update you on life and all. I am now in my half way through my degree. I’m not going to lie but this semester has been very hard and it hit me on week 2 that i  can’t muck anything as everything will go towards my final degree mark. However though i did get some marks back for a brass trio i did for composition module which i got a first for but my comments mentioned the brass band unity feel of it-i’ve been found out!!!

We also had a workshop with a string quartet for the final composition which was great fun and went a lot better than expected. I’m really pleased with how the string quartet went for me-the sound shows how much my composition has changed since starting uni. I might actually miss the composition module now i’ve dropped it for semester 2 as it’s now longer compulsory……..

Christmas was busy as every with lots of caroling, 2 uni concerts as well as my own chamber music assessment and playing in two friends assessments. My caroling actually finished on 23rd december but at norwich station of all places…..MY SECOND HOME!!! However though, this wasn’t with my main band as i also depped with another brass band which i am on good terms with and a brass quintet at a pub which was great fun!

I’m now on my January break where i’ve been practicing for my end of year recital and just relaxing while composing a soundtrack for a commission as well as brass band rehearsals of course!  Looking forward to when i’m back at uni especially my two option modules-music education and electroacoustic composition!

Best,

Leveridge

Some exciting news and a objective on the bucket list compleated

So today is a rather exciting day. After being 3 years in the making, I have released my first e.p under my production alasis-Ridgy

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I started producing music in 2012 as i was doing a level music tech and it was a way to learn how to use logic pro as i had never used it beforehand. By 2013, it had became a real passion and i made the descion to concentrate on it and one day release an e.p. That idea has now became an reality.

As you can tell, the tracks are all very different in terms of genre. This has been a project for the last 3 years which has gone through 3 different name changes (ghostly kangaroo, drenched eagle and now ridgy) so it explains the different genres within it. I want to make more for sure but i don’t know whether to produce in one specific genre or produce a mixture of all genres.If you want to download/buy a copy, you can get it here 🙂

Best,

Leveridge

A insight into the music that makes me tick

Inspired by a post on a blog i follow, I thought it would be good to give you an insight into what music i enjoy, considering i study it and hopefully will work in music in someway after graduation. Of course this is not all the music i listen to as there is always a bit of cheese within anyones music taste for a diva moment……I’ve also added a YouTube playlists with the music mentioned and other related pieces if you want to listen to them 🙂


Favourite Composers with there genres

Classical/contemporary (Unpopular music!!)

Although i listened to a fair bit of this before I started my degree and a levels, it’s only since start uni as with analysing pieces and listening to a wide variety of music that I’ve really started listening to “unpopular” music a lot more. If my university lectures had met me when i was a gcse music student or even when i did a fast track music group during year 9, they would have properly been shocked that they would be giving me my degree teaching in a wide variety of music!!!. In terms of a specific period, my favourite period has to be the romantic era due to the but i have a massive soft spot for renaissance choral music. I’m not really a fan of a lot of 20th century music with extreme dissonance though. I can listen to a few 20th centuary pieces but people like Schoenberg NOOOO!!!! I do like 4:33 by john cage though…..

Favourite Composers

Mahler-What a man.Before studying him for a bit of a musicology module last semester at uni (and again for next semester!!!), I never really listened to much of him but after finding out the history of the romantic era, he’s became my favourite composer. His writing is terrific in terms of instrumentation and brass parts >:D  (the brass chorale in symphony 2 is beautiful!). I am a massive fan but my favourite piece of his has to be the adagietto from symphony 5. I heard it first just after i finished sixth form and along with no suprises by radiohead, those pieces meant a lot during that period of change and uncertainty.So much beauty and passion within 10 minutes of music it’s unbelievable. No wonder why it was used for death on Venice and some ice skating routines.

Steve Reich-Yes, I discovered him through studying gcse music. I don’t know what it is about minimalism but the whole repetition and cross rhythm as well as gradual rhythmic changes but I love it. I even composed a minimalist guitar ensemble piece directly inspired by the 2nd movement of electrical counterpoint i’ll link below. I discoverd a lot of his earlier works recently through music technology lectures at uni which has been really fascinating to listen to-bridging a time before the use of daws. My favourite piece by him is properly piano phase although i belive out of all his works, the works for percussion ensemble emphasises the minimalist genre the most-the use of  tuned percussion really works and represents the genre well.

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Steve Reich

Debussey-Like steve reich, I discovered him by studying his music for a level music. Being a late romantic composer but the pioneer of the impressionist genre, his music with his use of whole tone scales is beautiful to listen to. In particular, his symphonic poem prelude a l’apres de midi un faune for a small chamber orchestra is gorgeous and tells a real story throughout it.

Other mention must be made to the composer Karl jenkins-his music is a breath of fresh air with a real modern feel to it particularly shown in stabet mater and the armed man. As well as this, the finale from the saint saens organ symphony, the lark ascending and prelude from tristian und isolde are other pieces I would highly reccomend.In a choral sense of my favourites,  Masse de nostre dame by mauchet and missa papa marcellia are great examples of early renaissance choral music. Also as well the durufle requiem. Beautiful piece and also the first ever proper choral piece i sung in my unis chorus (forced torture on all none singer music students)….what a way to start a singing career with a hard but beautiful requiem.


Rock

My dad is a child of the 70s which has influenced a lot of his music taste. A lot of his music taste has rubbed off onto me and it was properly the genre I listened to the most before 2014. I still listen to it a lot but i have a more widened listening taste now.

Favourite Artists

Manic Street Preachers-My all time favourite band. Just love everything about them and their music. I first heard them in 2010 when it’s not war just the end of love was released and I was hooked instantly. 6 years on i own all there albums and i hope one day i can hear them live. Apart from a design for life which i will talk about later, my favourite track is black square.

The who-One of the ones which has come through my dad. Class music and class nutters on stage and off stage with the endless list of hotels wrecked and toilets blown up.My all time favourite is love reign o’er me as its such a powerful track (both the orignal and the orchestral version arranged by Pete Townshend Mrs). I actually got a copy of quadrophenia for my birthday as its one of my all time favourite records, havent had a chance to play it yet though as I don’t have a record player (sounds bad seeming as I’ve been collecting records for over 6 years but haven’t got a record player to play them on yet…). As well though, i do like baba o Riley and the quiet one (i can relate to it in more ways than one!!!)

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The Who

Pink Floyd-The first band i properly got into again thank to my dad. Amazing amazing music with some beautiful instrumental textures within it. My favourite album by them is a momentary lapse of reason but favourite instrumental track has to be the great gig in the sky no words more needed.

Queen-They are one of those bands that we can all love and listen to  a song by them which can relate to everything. The group fitted perfectly as a team and their everlasting popularity to now says it all about them.Bohemian rhapsody has to be my favourite by them though, an opera within a 6 minute song.

Special Mention must be given to Tubular Bells by Mike Oldfield. I first listened to it when I was about 6/7 and was blown away by it then. I never thought then that i would be doing a music degree 14 years down the line and have mike oldfield as a direct influence on my playing and composition.


Electronic

I’ve been listening to electronic music since 2010, first with a lot of synth pop and house music but again, my listening taste has been tamed and widened since starting uni.

Favourite Musicians

Public Service Broadcasting-Oh my word I LOVE these guys. I only started to listen to them because the drummer from the manics recommended them to listen to. I was instantly hooked due to the catchy music and brilliant use of samples. I love there most recent album the race for space and i would properly put it in my top list of albums ever created.

Moby-Another one discovered through studying his music at gcse level. All of the stuff he writes is mesmerizing and if you read his autobiography, there’s some very interesting stories within it.God moving over the face of water is a track I am particularly fond of

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Moby

Pogo-This time discovered through music technology lectures about plunderphonics! Unlike some plunderphonic composers who deliberately make their music not nice to listen to, pogo creates some beautiful music just by using samples of audio. Data and Picard is a favourite as well as his classic upular

Special mention must be given to john Oswald a massive pioneer of plunderphonics. An absolute nutter but his tracks strangely resonate with me… He even influenced one of my bits of coursework for uni which I will link below….

As well trickfinger is another recommendation creating some beautiful acid house with a late 80s feel

 


Indie/Alt Rock

Kind of a spin-off from listening to a lot of rock music, it’s really my thing yeahhh….

Favourite Bands

Radiohead-A massive favourite of mine in terms of music and meaning to it. When stuff was going very bad and when i finished sixth form , i listened to a lot of their music as i was going through a lot of uncertain change but the music kept me going thinking yeah, there is a light at the end of the tunnel however far down it may be. My favourite track is no surprises although i am a massive fan of the bends and ok computer era of radiohead.

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Radiohead

The Maccabees-If you read the previous post on my blog, you can tell how much their music means to me and how gutted i still am that they are calling it a day. Just beautiful textures and music from them is perfect. The music from the given to the wild era is properly my favourite.

The Vaccines-One of my all time favourites and a group who I’ve been lucky enough to see live. So much energy and fun in their music there’s actually not a track by them which I don’t like….they are just perfect in every single way

Special mention must be given to alt j ∆. I discovered them through them winning a mercury award and I’ve been hooked since by their catchy hooks with good music attached.

Jazz/Swing/Big Band

As a youngster, the only stuff of this I would listen to would be Glenn miller and big band music  (thanks to strictly come dancing) and think all other jazz is rubbish. As I’ve grown up and started listening to a bigger variety of music, i’ve discovered a whole world outside this and realised how much of a bubble i was in beforehand.

Favourite Bands

Snarky Puppy!!!-Very very popular group among people my age and it’s no surprise why. Catchy jazz grooves with a modern vibrate feel but still containing that cool vintage element is their perfect mix. There another group where i have not found a track i don’t like due to them being that good!!

John Wilson Orchestera-Seems a bit of an odd one for someone my age but they are a real hit for me. Bringing back light music into the bigtime through transcribing some of the classic movie scores by ear and playing a huge variety has made them very popular. Their first prom with a focus on mgm music stands out as a highlight for me.

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The John Wilson orchestra

Jamie Cullum-An artist who I have grown with and adored for years. The maturity of his music and arrangements are fantastic. My favourite track of his being his cover of please don’t stop the music

Special mention must be given to Glenn miller. One artist i have always listened to and who’s music will never age. My favourite being moonlight serenade 🙂


Brass

As a brass player and active brass band musician, it’s hard to escape brass music in any sense seeming as I’m playing it or listening to it all the time.

Favourite Brass Band Pieces/Composers

Resagurum: Eric ball-One of my all time favourite pieces by the daddy of beautiful brass music. Eric ball was the greater beginner in writing great music for brass band. Despite him being dead for over 20 years, this piece and many others by him are still played and widely considered to be some of the best brass writing around taking you back to a time where a test piece was not about how many demi semi quaver runs you can put in but having passion and real emotion with music.

The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea: Derek Bourgeois-This is my all time favourite test piece and so much so that i sampled it for a bit of uni coursework….i just love the whole range of emotions within it from the fast runs all the way through to the beautiful hymn like tune at the end of it.

The Torchbearer: Peter Graham-The torchbearer is a march by eric ball and within the test piece by peter graham, he uses fragments of many different pieces by eric to create a test piece. It is a stunning piece of music which has the equal test of technical runs but also pure emotional solos and i have put in the best performance of it here

Special mention must be made to Edward Gregson my all time favourite brass composer-i’ve loved all his pieces and included a link of essay in which i am privileged to know the solo horn player on it. Also to Phillip sparke who was the first composer i really listened to with harmony music being the first test. Mentions must also be made to the composers, oliver waspei, johan de meji, jan van deer rost,Eduard de Boer and thomas doss whos pieces are really modernizing the brass band repoitre.

Favourite Bands

Mnozil Brass-Love these guys. They are absolute nutters but are insane players and comedians. I haven’t seen them live yet but a lot of the brass lot at uni have seen them and actually meet and hung out with them!!!!!

Hackney Colliery Band-Guys really brining the new orlens jazz scene to the uk well. They are really building up a following and the response to their music says it all. I saw these guys in may and they where insane live!

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Hackney Colliery Band

I’m not naming any of my favourite bands in terms of the traditional genre as well, a lot of us do idolize the top bands. As well, although, in a local sense, when i joined my current band, i had always known them as a fantastic band which i would never be good enough to join but here i am nearly 2 years on playing solo horn with them….


Favourtie Solo Artist and icon

David Bowie-What a guy. He could still stay relevant for the decade and adapt his music around whatever growing trends there was. His music was and is stunning and still stands the test of time.

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David Bowie


Favourtie Band and icon

Manic Street Preachers! Although they have arguably tamed down from generation terrorists, the political messages and the power within their music is still standing and relevant today. With asides from lifeblood….., there music is epic on all senses and just flipping fantastic!!! I love them!!!!!

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Manic Street Preachers


Favorite Song

A Design For Life-Manic Street Preachers

When i heard it for the first time, it stuck instantly. Its resonates with me and the lyrics still blow me away. It was also number 2 in the charts the day i was born….


Significant Song

Where are we now-David Bowie

The return of bowie was signficant and where are we now was released when i sadly house swapped and everything started going even wronger than it was before. It’s a beautiful track and with the lyrics looking back on the past and thinking where we are now, it made me think that although the good times where back in the house i grew up in , there was not much i could do to stop the house move happening and just try to accept this new change (shame nearly 4 years  on, its worse here compared to how it was when i was living in the old house ) 😦


Is Music Important?

My god yes it is. Whether you are actively involved in music or are just a listener, it is very important and in some cases life changing. I don’t think that i would be at uni if i had not chosen to learn an instrument in middle school. I did not feel like i had anything i was good at until i started learning music in year 5.Which is why it has infuriated me with the amount of government cuts made on funding for instrumental lessons so it feels like on the well off can afford them. I had to control my anger when doing a business report on instrumental tuition for uni and talking about the figures which have been cut. (still got a first for it though!!!)

Hope you enjoyed this post looking into the music which makes me 🙂

Best,

Leveridge

#thankyouthemaccabees

Gutted I was when i read this morning that one of my favourite bands, the maccabees are calling it a day. It’s been a terrible year for bands calling it a day and musicians dying. This on a personal level has properly affected me a lot with only david bowies death in january feeling worse.

I discovered the band in 2012 through them playing live on jools holland and instantly feel in love with there music. I brought all there albums which helped me a lot when i went through the worst period of my life in 2013 by giving me hope during the period of fear and uncertainty. It made it apt that i was able to here them live in 2015 at the live lounge session they did in norwich.

What a sad day

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Best,

Leveridge

Reflections on 1st Year of studying music at uni

So i’ve been done for the summer for nearly a month and i found out that I have passed my first year with a 2:1 with my mark being 65%. Although this years mark will not count towards my final degree, i am over the moon with the mark. I got 1sts for the  music business and performance modules, 2:1’s for composing, music technology, language of music 1a and 2:2’s for world music and language of music 1b.

This seems like a perfect time to look back on my first year. At the start of september, I was incredibly nervous. I was returning to education after my gap year and i wasn’t sure if i made the right descion to even go to uni-even more since i would be taking an hour commute on the train. A year on, I can safely say i made the right descion. The commute has not been as bad as i thought-i do work on the train to pass the time, there has only  been a few times where the trains have been rubbish and i’ve made a great group of friends including a fellow commuter-the work has been good and not as bad as i thought and i feel happy with the progression. There has been a few bad moments and times where i have been temptend to quit but i’m glad i haven’t-the motivation is when i graduate with my cap and gown and the certifcate showing i did it.

My immediate plans for the summer are to try and get a job for the summer (not going well so far), lots of composing and producing music as well as performing. I will also publish a few posts with advice for freshers starting in september too-including advice for people commuting and people returning to education after a gap year.

I’ll end this post with a playlist of my work done from this year and some favourite images.

All official:) #student #arufreshers #angliaruskin

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9am lecture 😢😢 6:51 train with a 5:30 start….least it's only once a week

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Task 3 #coursework #uni #musicdegree #logicprox #musicstudent

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Serisoly durffele…#toohigh #altoproblems

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Favourite part of uni! #lunchtimeconcert

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#sunrise #station #norwichstation

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Last night 😀👍🏻👌🏻 #uni #concert #westroad #cambridge #chorus #angliaruskin

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Toot! #tenorhorn #godsinstrument

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Waiting

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#waterbeach

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Stuck in lakenheath

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Pre concert selfies 😝

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Rehearsing #hipstamatic #orchestra #uni

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Binham montage

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Passed my first year with a 2:1 YES!!!!!

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Best,

Leveridge

29th February 2016

So today is a very rare day. It only happens once every four years so it seems worthwhile to have a blogpost on. Can see whether it will show up with bugs in timehop to see whether they have prepared for leap years!!!

Think i’ll do this post like how it used to be on my blog for 365 days of the year. It’s Monday, I don’t have any lectures at uni today so I am at home working on some coursework and this bastard of an essay. I have been back at uni for nearly a month now. I would have gone back to the commute in january but i had no exams in January so i got an extra long winter break!!!! Not bad 😀 Although I enjoyed the rest and time to do what i want, i was looking forward to going back as it became thustrating towards the end of the month

At the start of the semester i also found out that i have passed all my modules from last semester with a good 2:1. This means that providing I pass all my modules this semester (language of music, music buisiness, world music and music performance) I am on course to passing my first year of uni with a good 2:1 :D. My overall marks for the modules really suprised me as although i knew that my lowest would be for langauge of music, my highest was for composing?????? I got 66% for composing and improvising, 65% for Music and technology (a wierd mark for my final composition) & 63% for language of music 1a. You can listen to what i’ve done below 🙂

It’s more related to the theory side with regards to the modules this semester. Although there is some creative stuff, it’s more essay work. I was only in 2 days last week as i had a hospital appointment about my calcium which went well. I also finally had the balls to perform in a performance workshop which could have gone better in all honesty :/. It’ll be a long time before i have the confidence to perform in it again i think :(. I’ve chosen my modules for year 2 which will be film music, music education and electroacoustic music. Should be fun!!!! 😀

The piece though for chorus is very strange though a jazz mass……at least the orchestera pieces are good though 😀

Now back to this beast of a buisiness report. 500 Words till i hit the word limit though oh yeah 😀 Oh and practicing the test piece for the area contest on the 19th….

Best,

Leveridge

 

Music has changed my life for the better

So this past fortnight on saturday, I was at a contest with my brass band at bulins skegness playing fire in the blood in our first contest since promotion into the 2nd section. Considering it was our first contest since promotion and at a wide field of bands from all areas, we played very well and got a very respectable result of 19th.

It got me thinking about how learning about music and how to play an instrument really has changed my life for the better. It’s amazing how something as simple as learning how to play an instrument and make music can change somebodys life for the better. I’ll be honest, my early childhood and first few years at school where not in the best of starts. Due to various things which happend in early childhood and not acutally speaking until i was 3, I needed a lot of support when i started school. . During this time, I had interactions with music as my parents would always have music on all the time and i would attend a pre school music group which i enjoyed as well as singing being a part of my playgroup i went to. The biggest thing which captivated me would be listening to the salvation army brass bands when the would play carols at christmas time in the streets of norwich which i adored! Back to school. I started first school and i had support from a teaching assistant when i started reception to the end of year 5 as part of the ways to help me with my education. I started later than i should have and although my parents wanted to pull me back a year because of that, the headteacher sad i would develop best by staying with my year group. I was not very cleaver at all. Although i liked reading, i struggled with everything else so i needed a lot of support compared to the other kids in my class.

During this period, I was forced by my parents to sing in the school chior which i did not enjoy as well as learning to play the recorderd as most kids learn in year 2 and the ocarina in year 3. I was involved in all of the christmas plays which my first and middle school did which i loved doing. When i moved over to the middle school i had the chance to learn an instrument in year 5. I grasped this opportunity immediately and after thinking about it, I decided that i wanted to learn a brass instrument. Why you may ask???? Well, because I thought the theme tune to coronation street was cool as it was on a trumpet which sounded awesome. Part of it as well i think was from having on segement a week in middle school where we would have music learning lots of different stuff which i loved. I nearly decided before choosing to learn brass to learn how to play the clarinet. I really don’t know why though but i soon had sense to ask to have brass lessons. My parents where supportive and where glad it was not strings!!!

I started lessons on the tenor horn during year 5 and loved it. I was in the middle school orchestera which was so much fun and i had a nice teacher. After going onto high school, i continued learning and i joined the local youth brass band which was lots of fun. My high school had a great music department where i got fully imersed in the music groups, especially the brass ensemble and brass band and also loved the music lessons we’d have as a class. During year 9, the head of music choose certain good musicians to attend an fast track music group once a week where we would learn stuff and prepare for gcse music which was great fun. When it came to gcse’s, i very nearly choose graphic design because i thought it looked fun because i’ve always loved graphic design instead of music even though i am bad at art and technical stuff but i had sense and choose music in the end. I wouldn’t have got a good mark in it at all had i chosen it. By the end of year 9, I had already achived my grade 5 horn.

GCSE music was the most fun i had for 2 years!!!!! Although we did do work on the theory side and the pratical side with the composing and performance, there was a lot of mucking about due to the pratical natuare of it. We where also very close friends as a group of musicians. In year 11, I had to choose what to do for a levels and as well as applying for the btec music at city college as a backup incase i mucked up badly, i choose to do music and music technology a levels as well as ict at my first choice and photography at my second choice. By the end of year 11, i had achived my grade 6 horn having switched exam boards so i could avoid doing theory >:D (or so i thought)…….

During this time, I left my youth band after getting a invatition to join my first adult band on solo horn. It was a non compeating band who taught me a lot and i am forever grateful for them giving a shy 16 year old the chance to join on solo horn after wanting to join an adult band for a while. I also joined the famous youth band of the worlds most famous colliery band after seeing them live in norwich. I had a fantastic 3 years with them and learnt loads from some legendary players and conductors

I got into my first choice sixth form which was at my high school and i continued with the music a level as well as picking up music technolgy a level. I brought my macbook during this time which went i could get logic and musescore and do far more at home instead of only creating music at school. They where so much fun and my playing and composition technique improved a lot. My two classes where brilliant and i made some brilliant freiends who i am still with contact with. Most of us are studying music of some sort. Although i had to have major thyroid surgery in january 2014 which stopped my playing temporaily as well as bringing on my hypocalcemia starting afterwards, I managed to get my grade 7 horn with distinction by the end of year 13!

After my a levels, due to health stuff happening, i withdrew my uni application for 2014 entry and decided to reapply for 2015 entry to study music. During this time, i focused on improving my musical output by upgrading logic and purchasing sibelius to further my home creative output. I also somehow managed to get my grade 5 theory and also got my grade 8 horn!!! I got into all of my choices and now studying at anglia ruskin which i do not regret at all!

With regards to the performance side I joined my current band after being headhunted to fill a vacancie on first horn before it was even adertised. I however got unexpectdly promoted to cover solo horn for the area and have been there ever since developing a reputation as a good soloist. I’m so glad that i can still play with them now even though i’m studying in cambridge.

I wonder what would have happend if i had not choosen to learn an instrument. Would i have even got a levels or go to university. Proberly not……..

Before i go, i’ll embed a link to my soundcloud and last fm profiles so you can here the music i am making and listening to 🙂

<a class=”embedly-card” href=”http://www.last.fm/user/A_Leveridge”>A_Leveridge’s Music Profile – Users at Last.fm</a>
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Best,

Leveridge

A tribute to david bowie

David Bowie is now up there with the stars after falling to earth. Like many of you, I am shocked and sadened by the news like a lot of you are. I didn’t belive my mum at first when she said it. I feel compelled to write my thoughts today so here we go….

He was a massive influence on my music and the way i live my life. The first track i listend to of his was starman and i was hooked. He taught me that it’s ok to be different and avoid the main crowd. His comeback in 2013 was brilliant and some of the best music ever. My favourite album by hime is hunky dory which helped me a lot when i went through a very difficult period in 2013.My thoughts are with his family at this sad time.

Before I go, I will embed some of my favourite tracks and pictures of him.

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There will never be another David Bowie again. His music will live on forever

Best,

Leveridge

Hello

Hello.

Once again, I have chosen a very clichey day to start a blog on. There’s bits all about me on the about tab but to summaries it here, I’m a music student from norwich, based in norwich and studying at anglia ruskin cambridge who suffers from low calcium who plays the horn and now blogs after blogging every day for the year last year! Simple hey! Anyway, i’m planning to post about anything on here as well as general updates but without the pressure of a post every day! I’ll also post my music to which you can listen to here. Sounds like a fair enough deal? Good, awesome

Best,

Leveridge