Developing Luminous Music
Collaborations between 1970 - 1996 included work with dance companies and
London, Caracas and Seattle, including performances with many ensembles where I
was able to
write and record my own music. Out of these experiences I acquired a large range
interesting, and rather exotic percussion instruments that came to characterise
not only the
music I make, but enabled me to develop projects helping others discover their
Arriving in Scotland in 1996 and sensing a gap in educational music provision, I
decided to focus
on this collection of instruments as way to provide music experiences for school
children. I was
certain that these unique, high-quality instruments could offer a charged,
helping participants of all ages engage in positive, music making experiences.
hoped this provision could provide a more responsive awareness of cultural music
the world. Together with my partner Signy Jakobsdottir, Luminous Music was
developed as an
independent educational organisation. Based in creativity, its conceptual
framework was an
important step for us, and a revelation for others.
Through a variety of funding sources, Luminous ran successful programmes at all
funding. We encouraged projects oriented toward equal opportunities for
programmes that could be run on modest budgets. Most of our workshops were
pointed in one
direction, simply, the discovery or recovery of music ability. We encouraged
offering potential for an individual to capture something from within our
an ability that might be hidden from within themselves, or perhaps glimpsed at
What seemed of fundamental importance for us, was that from under an umbrella of
ideas we could encourage discovery and spontaneity. Our instruments highlighted
and drew out
the skills of participants. It was up to each individual to utilise these
sonorous resources, and
carry their discoveries into the world.
Luminous Music Education programmes encouraged participants to discover
how they might turn hands-on music experiences into highly charged music
compositions of their own making. This applied to people of all ages. The
programmes evolved from a wide ranging background of practical experiences
that had included performance with orchestras, jazz and rock groups etc.
Looking for another direction I set off on my own, arriving in London in 1970.
It was the beginning of an adventure, providing many insights that have both
inspired and enabled creative projects in educational environments.
Nearly history now! Luminous Music Educational programmes flourished in Scotland
between 1996 and
2017. They left a legacy of innovation centred around an astonishing collection
of musical instruments.
Follow the links above for several pages describing the scope of workshops and
It now seems a long time ago, yet it could have been yesterday where young
discovered instruments from Africa and Latin America, Gongs from China, the
music of Indonesia.
FOR THOSE INTERESTED: The boxes below link to several pages describing some of
our favourite Luminous Music workshops.
Soon I hope to publish a forthcoming book describing discoveries about rhythm
it’s impact in creative domains, the extraordinary ideas encountered by work in
dance communities. Currently in development, it may take the form of a web-