Friday, July 16, 2010


Last week I stuck an old stick into the bank of a pond next to a weeping willow because I had heard the distinctive call of the kingfisher a few minutes earlier, within 5 minutes he arrived and settled on this new perch. I placed myself under a weeping ash on the other bank and expected to watch and photograph it for a couple of minutes before it flew away, however it loved the spot so much that it stayed for half an hour and successfully caught about 6 fish (sticklebacks) bringing them back to the perch against which it beat them a few times before swallowing. The kingfisher was so happy with this new hunting position that it also had time to preen and clean it's feathers, dry out a bit before carrying on hunting. Here are some the photos, the third one was used as the front cover photo of our local paper the Blackmore Vale Magazine this week.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

On Sat. 4th July 2009 Streatham, London started their 8 day festival called Splash Out. I performed in 2 shows as Prof H2O about water. The local plumbing and bathrooms firm called Potter Perrin also sponsored a competition for children to design a musical instrument out of plumbing. Many designs were drawn by children during the day with accompanying notes. The 1st prize for the best design is the 'plumbing drumming' instrument that I made specially for this occasion shown above, it can be played with metal or wooden drum sticks. The winner was Rachel Mead for her wonderful design of a bath with different length pipes attached.

I have created another musical installation of a set of tuned drainpipes for St Luke's School in Bournemouth as part of their Arts Week in May 2009. This is installed in their playground and when they bring the padded bats out they can play the drainpipes. The children also made the smaller instruments in the 2 days of workshops, such as saucepan bongos, water tank basses, ballcock maracas, bottle top frames shakers and tubular bells.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Our brass quintet, St. James' Brass Ensemble, is playing a newly composed fanfare written specially for the wonderful new arts centre at Sturminster Newton called the Exchange.
The occasion for the premier performance is the Exchange's 1st anniversary which is being celebrated on Fri. 29th Aug. in the evening in the main Stour Hall.
The music was a collaboration between myself and Karen Wimhurst (friend, composer, musician) and is bold, exciting, contemporary and uplifting.
I contributed the main musical themes of about eight bars, but the real talent is with Karen in creating such an exciting arrangement that is many more bars than eight.
It lasts about one and quarter minutes and should blow any cobwebs and dust away from all corners of the building. We will follow with a light programme of fun pieces for the gathered people to enjoy.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Barn owl surprise!
On Monday 12th May I was walking along the boundary hedge and tree line towards an old ash tree that I knew had an owl in it from previous sightings, I had my camera with me as a matter of habit, to my amazement there were two barn owls sitting the large entrance hole of the ash tree having a snooze, it was 8.15am. They had probably been up all night hunting. Incredibly they didn't notice me arrive, so I took a couple of photos from where I was (about 75 yds) and then dropped down to the ground to crawl along army commando style under the arch of the stinging nettles and brambles until I was only 25 yards away. They still hadn't noticed me. I took about 30 photos over the next 10 minutes. I am fairly sure the male is on the right and the female is on the left. At one point they did seem to realise that something different was looking at them from the ground, which concentrated their look in my direction, but eventually they seemed to accept me. I finally managed to reverse crawl back the way I had come and they never even realised the whole photographic session had taken place. What a treat, I was so privileged to get that close and be undetected. My T-shirt was soaked with dew and stained with grass and dirt, but it was brilliant.

The 3 photos below are close ups of the better shots.
These have now been made into greetings cards that I am selling, 20% of which is being donated to Dorset Wildlife Trust.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

This is the press release that went out after my last show about water for 200 children at Marine Theatre Lyme Regis:

Prof H20 Whets the Children’s Appetite for more Theatre.

Outside and inside were full of Watery Notes on Thursday 5 July when Prof H20 brought his comical show to the Marine Theatre.

All the older children from St Michaels’s Primary School and Mrs. Ethelstones Primary braved the wind and rain for an hour of fun facts from the Prof. Pecorama had sponsored the fact filled show for the young people of Lyme, and Phil Lawlor from Pecorama was in the audience and thanked very warmly by John Bartholomew, the LymeArts Community Trust Chairman. Arts and Business had matched their gift as part of “Strike a Match” programme.

Ryan Moore (11) from St Michael’s school said “The best thing was the professor himself, He was a really good actor and everything he said was interesting” and his classmate Daniel Lowell (11) added The instruments were funny, especially the boghorn which was made from a toilet”

The professor gave the children a whirlwind tour around watery facts, including how much of the world’s water is fresh water – only 2.5 percent.

The children listened intently as he took them around his wacky world of music and water, including playing instruments made from a bath, the bath harp, and an organ from grey water pipes, but the piece de resistance was the Bog Horn, made from a real toilet. Tessa Bawden (10) from Mrs Ethelstones commented “It was amazing when he lifted the lid to make the bog horn sound louder, it really made us laugh. “ and Demelza Prescott(9) from the year below remembered the Bath harp and “The shower that was a bath that turned into a Bath-harp was amazing, it’s a good name for it”

The teachers were impressed too, Mr Kiddle from St Michael’s said, “The Prof certainly found an interesting use of everyday items, turning them into quirky musical instruments, it held the children’s attention.” And Mr. Brown from Mrs Ethelstones added “Water Music takes on a whole new meaning!”
In May 2007 I spent a few days at a great primary school called Riders in Havant, Hants making musical instruments with all the children helping in small groups. It was organised by Making Space on behalf of Creative Partnership Hampshire. The brief was to make instruments that could be suspended from an existing pergola in the grounds for the children to play with supervision. We had a great time. They look great.
Here are some photos of the finished instruments, dustbin drums, saucepan bongos, tuned drainpipes, copper tubular bells, water tank basses, ballcock maracas and bottle top frame shakers.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Water festivals are catching on (originally started by Common Ground in 2000), I have been doing the Hampshire Water Festival for 4 years and now Sussex and Somerset as well. These performance workshops are demonstrating my musical plumbing and letting the public have a go.
Here are a couple of photos taken by Joe Low (professional photographer) at the Andover Water festival this July 2007. The first is letting the girl try to get a sound from the 'crumpled horn' and the second is the 'water tank bass' being tried with a little help from myself. The coil of the 'crumpled horn' is in the fore ground and the bath harp is to the side waiting it's turn to be played.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Shaftesbury School booked me to do two educational music talk/performances with all my instruments for 100+ children in March 2007. They were a very receptive and focussed audience, who seemed to enjoy the bizarre as well as the normal instruments, specially when they were allowed to try and play them afterwards. This photo captured the enthusiasm at the end of the morning.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Here is an update of the hedge that I laid one year ago. Compare with earlier photo in this blog site.
The new growth is about 1.5-2.00metres. You may notice the brambles are sprouting up through, when I have time I will dig them out. Also there is much more undergrowth now that there is more light.