Music 194: Daydream

Hello All

This is the third piano piece in “A Third Little Suite in Fifteen Sketches”.

The photo is taken through my kitchen window. It’s a scene that changes all the time, with the seasons, and the weather, various animals and birds, and light and shadows. It’s forever full of the unexpected! I could daydream all day looking out the kitchen window. I guess I was born to stand at the kitchen sink!

However, the view might be pastoral, but because the house is in a deep valley there’s no cell phone coverage, so who (other than me) would ever want to live there?!

There are two links: one to the audio file (mp3) and one to the printable written music (pdf).


Download written piano music.

Music 193: Tumbleweed

Hello All

Today we present “Tumbleweed”, the second piano piece from the “Third Little Suite in Fifteen Sketches”.

The picture is of a New Zealand type of tumbleweed that likes to scoot along some of our beaches. It is called Beach Spiniflex (Spiniflex sericeus – I looked that up) although I think most people just call it tumbleweed or “that prickly thing”.

The piano piece is not that difficult if you practised your scales as a kid (naughty naughty) – although the chords in the middle are a bit more tricky!

There are two links: one to the audio file (mp3) and one to the printable written music (pdf).


Download written piano music.

Music 192: Into the Deep

Hello All

It seems like I can’t keep quiet! The “Third Little Suite in Fifteen Sketches” for the piano is now finished. Instead of (like last time) posting all 15 at once and the posting going into many junk folders because it contains too many links, this time a piano piece a day will be posted for the next fortnight. (I know the word “fortnight” is not universally used in the English-speaking world but it’s a brevity for “14 nights”!) That way too, one is not faced with the mountainous task of “having to try and listen to all 15 pieces at once”!

The first piece is called “Into the Deep” and is simply a piano arrangement of “The Skye Boat Song” – which is one of my favourite tunes of all time. If I may show off ever so briefly, it might sound simple but I find it almost impossibly difficult to play with all the hand-crossing in it!

Today’s picture is taken from page 334 of a French magazine published every 6 months (beginning in 1860) called “Tour de monde”.

There are two links: one to the audio file (mp3) and one to the printable written music (pdf).


Download written piano music.

Music 177-191: A second little suite in fifteen sketches

Hello everyone

This is to advertise the second little suite of 15 sketches for the piano.

I post them here because I have no clue what else I am meant to do with the things! Perhaps Lucas Debargue or Yuja Wang will stumble across these pieces and declare they’re just what they’ve been looking for! (Yeah right!)

I realize that the style is not everyone’s cup of tea. This A Second Little Suite in Fifteen Sketches comes on the heels of the first little suite of fifteen sketches! If you’re into playing the piano, this second batch is generally more difficult than the first lot. Feel free to use them. Clicking here will download a pdf file that contains the written piano music and each piece has a link so you can hear the music.

Here also is a list of links to the audios if you don’t need to see the written music!

1. Beyond the open door
2. Kids’ train ride in the park
3. Buttercups
4. Incessant cicadas
5. At the bird bath
6. Village bells
7. Spinning in the wind
8. A waltz for anyone with three legs or more
9. Pear blossom
10. The casual cyclist
11. Rock pools
12. The merry brewer
13. Stygian march
14. Rabbits
15. Home from such adventures

Music 162-176: Little Suite in Fifteen Sketches

Hi Everyone!

This is to “advertise” my “Little Suite in Fifteen Sketches” for the piano. The style of music is not everyone’s cup of tea, so I’m offering them as a separate link. Clicking here will download a pdf file that contains the written piano music and each piece has a link so you can hear the music. It’s all free! Some of you will think the music has got some wrong notes in it, but I always think that wrong notes make for a lot of fun!

Maybe some famous pianist (better than me!) will download them and play the pieces at a concert resulting in a standing ovation. Or a film star might use the music in an award-winning movie. Or maybe a ballet company will use the 15 little sketches to tell a story – perhaps revolving around the Commedia dell’Arte characters.

One of my new year resolutions was to write 15 little sketches for piano during the year. To my surprise it’s already been done! Who said I couldn’t stick to New Year resolutions!

I hope everyone is well! Don’t feel guilty if you don’t like these! I adore them!!!

Here is a list of links to the audios if you don’t need to see the written music!

  1. Opening curtains
  2. Columbine’s pirouette
  3. Daisy chains
  4. Starlight
  5. Old cowboy yarns
  6. Hornets’ nest
  7. Snake in the grass
  8. Zanni’s grand entrance
  9. Grasshoppers
  10. Dahlias
  11. Walking on eggshells
  12. Hurdles race
  13. His first waltz
  14. Pierrot takes a bow
  15. Closing curtains


1500. Reaching the pinnacle


Bruce hadn’t achieved much in his life. There was one thing, however, he could do: he could be the first in the history of the world to climb one particular peak of the local mountain range. Reaching the top of this peak had been an insurmountable problem for many who had attempted it. Although few had died in the attempt, no one had arrived where apparently “no human had ever trod before”.

It wasn’t the most earth-shattering thing to do, but Bruce would attempt it come what may. At least to himself he would achieve something of note: a legend in his own mind.

He set out.

After many strenuous days, after falling rocks and slippery shingle slides, after warm days and freezing nights, after scratches and insect bites, after encountering inquisitive tourist parties and aspiring solo mountaineers, he had only a few feet left to go. He reached up to the last crevice on the mountain peak to pull himself up to the top. And…

… he did! He did it! “At last!” he said, “at last I have arrived where no human had ever trod before!” The view wasn’t as spectacular has he had imagined. And scattered about were a couple of squashed coke cans and some cigarette butts.

Post Script:

Dear Reader,

This is the 1500th story on this blog, and the final posting! I would like to end on a personal note:

Back in 1986 I was studying for a degree in a relatively famous institution in Boston, Massachusetts. It was possibly the most flamboyantly happy time of my life. I was very popular! North America was big, and I came from a tiny island at the bottom of the globe. I revelled in the vastness of it all, and delighted in the generosity and openness of Americans!

When I came back to New Zealand, in the first month I received over two hundred letters. This was the days before the media revolution. I began to answer the letters, starting with the ones from people that I didn’t have a clue who they were! The people I was closest to could wait. The people I didn’t know answered. I replied to them again. The people I knew the best waited. And waited. And in the end, all drifted away.

These days I would not know who is dead and who is alive. These people are memories, but no longer personal friends. This seems to be the friendship cycle in my life.

For the past 1500 stories – and some music and poems as well – I have enjoyed the company of many – some for a long long time. I would like to mention names but won’t! Most I don’t know much about. Have you family? Where do you live? In many cases I’m not sure I even know your real name. That’s the strangeness of friends on the blogs! Some I have offended, and I’m sorry.

Thank you to all who walked all or part of the way with me (those of you who are still alive!) I have enjoyed the privilege of your company. I suspect there are other adventures waiting for me. I hope so.

I sometimes thought (in highfalutin moments) that some people (maybe creative-writing teachers) might like to use these stories as “starters” for their pupils to extend to new and exciting conclusions. There are enough weekly starters to last roughly 38 years before a teacher need begin to repeat! (Boring bloody teacher, repeating stuff after 38 years).

I wish you every possible wonderful thing for always.


1499A. I’ll take you there

(OK OK – I know I was stopping at Story 1500, but this one is 1499A. It’s one I wrote but never got to use. It’s for Christmas!)

Andrew lived with his grandma in a little cottage. He helped his grandma grow vegetables and flowers. He also helped his grandma milk the cow. The cow lived in the shed out the back.

A big snowstorm came. Andrew was sad because the weather reminded him of the day his mother died. Grandma said that if he looked into the frosty night sky he would see lots of stars brightly shining. Perhaps his mother was looking down.

Andrew made a great big star out of silver foil and hung it in the window so his mother would know where to look.

A little later Grandma was busy making cinnamon cookies in the kitchen. There was a knock at the door.

“I’ll get it, Grandma.”

Andrew opened the door. The winter wind swept in.

There stood Three Kings. What a glorious sight! They were dressed in cloth of gold studded with jewels. They wore crowns and had rings galore on their fingers. They carried gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

“We have been following a star,” they said. “We saw the star in your window and wondered if this was the right place.”

Andrew said he didn’t think it was the right place, but there were some people in the shed out the back sheltering from the snow. They might know something about it.

“I’ll take you there.”

And that is how Andrew changed the history of the world.