Sunday 13 September 2015

Back Stories Online

The launch of the 'Back Stories' songbook at the Duncan of Jordanstone masters show in Dundee was a great success and I was fortunate to be invited to perform songs from the collection every lunchtime at the Dundee City Commons Festival hosted at Roseangle Arts Cafe. It was a great opportunity to be able to perform the songs to the public in a live setting. It also gave me a chance to explain the origins and context of the work and to distribute copies of the songbook - nice to see people reading the lyrics and sometimes actually singing along as I performed the songs.

Since graduating I've been documenting and archiving my work and part of this has involved creating an online presence for some of the projects, so here is a link to the Back Stories Songbook site where you can read about the project listen to the tunes and see the manuscripts and newspaper articles that inspired the songs. Enjoy.

You can also download a PDF of the song book here.

Monday 7 September 2015

The P.P. Bell Archive

P.P. Bell

My great grandfather Patrick (P.P.) Bell was a well known entertainer in Dundee between 1895 and 1943.The recent discovery of a songbook compiled by his son Hugh Wilson Bell sparked a trail of research and discovery into the life and times of my musical ancestor and resulted in an extensive archive project which contributed to the overall research base of my masters degree at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design here in Dundee.

Having recently completed my masters degree I have begun the task of archiving my research on the web and presenting my findings to the public. This project informed and propelled much of the work I have since done on local and vernacular creativity and especially the role of context sensitive song and poetry in relation to cultural and historical commentary. It in turn led on to the creation of my own 'Back Stories' Dundee songbook in 2015...(more on that to follow).

The P.P. Bell Archive site can be found here


Thursday 27 August 2015

Back Stories Songbook

2015 sees the completion of my masters degree at Duncan of Jordanstone here in Dundee. It has been heartening to see my 'Back Stories' songbook project return full circle to its source - The Dundee Courier and Advertiser.

They've published a very nice article that gives the whole whole project a lovely cyclical sense of completion. Here's a wee video they shot of me sitting on Broughty Ferry sea front singing the song 'Victoria' that I wrote about the new V&A building in Dundee. Thanks Courier.

Read the full Courier article here.

Visit the Back Stories Songbook website here

Friday 14 August 2015

Songs Of The City - Update

My 'Songs of the City' poetry/art project was featured recently on a short local television news article by STV here in Dundee. It was a Monday morning when they filmed this....say no more.

Visit Songs of the City website here.

(Many thanks are due to Jag Betty for bringing it to the awareness of the media. Jag also has a page about his local exploration activities here :