My first international work was when I was commissioned to send a set of chimes in an oak frame to a Children’s Hospital in Thessalonica, Greece in August 1996.
In 1999 I was invited to Sweden to show my work around the country, and give a course at a College where the students redesigned and made an adult Musical Playground in one week. Click here to see photos of my work in Sweden.
Also in 1999 I visited Bali and New Zealand – played with a gamelan orchestra in Bali and gave more presentations in New Zealand, and made a marimba for a nursery in Awhitu.
In 2004 I was visited by an architect from India, and we designed a Musical Pergola that could provide for 300 children at a time for a park in Hyderabad. It was to be the Taj Mahal of Musical Playgrounds…complete with fountains and the delight of many many enchanted Indian Children. Regrettably the project was cancelled at a very late stage.
Since then I have given much thought to a Musical Pergola that could accommodate 300 children at once. It would involve locally sourced and environmentally friendly building materials. It would require me to go into the local community and get local musical knowledge and familiarity with their customs (you need to say this would be overseas). It would mean working in partnership with local builders, craftspeople, musicians, and Local Park and city authorities. If you have an interest in this concept please get in touch!
I have also given much thought to creating a large musical playground for 300 and more children using “Intermediate Technology” – using recycled materials, free materials, scrap and “whatever comes to hand”. In autumn 2008 I started approaching charities to send me to a Refugee camp or similar to “sing a musical playground into being” – link to refugee camp musical playground proposal.
In December 2008 I applied to the Welsh Assembly’s Wales for Africa funding programme to work with partners in Zimbabwe (Grassroots Theatre Company) and Ghana (GNUST University) but so far we have had no success in getting any funding.
My work since 1992 has been something of a one-man social enterprise, producing work almost exclusively in the public sector for the benefit of the wider community. I would like to take the work to another level, making it of value to the wider world, where so many of my inspirations came from. The oak timber frame structures would be replaced with the simplest of frameworks, and the overarching emphasis placed on the musical elements and hanging and fixing them.
If you would like to support this proposal in any way please get in touch. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. So far I have raised £200 in private funding. Any contribution you could make would make a difference.