I’ve often written about how a translator’s mind works but never about how a musician’s mind works. Music is the other half of my work and just as translating, it tends to take over the rest of my life if I let it. I started my career as a jobbing musician in theatre and worked my way up to theatre composer/musical director, working on musicals and plays throughout the UK in repertory theatre. The pinnacle of that work was writing the music and lyrics for several of Sue Townsend’s plays.

These days, I am a singer-songwriter, arranger and I also make theatre/music performances and give workshops.

A musician on the road

I use the tone of the engine as a bourdon and sing melody lines over it. Sometimes, I sing one that I really like and think I could do something with but by the time I’ve arrived at my destination, I’ve forgotten it.

When waiting to turn left or right, I tap rhythms on my steering wheel to the ticking of the indicator. If there’s another car in front of me, I try to incorporate the timing of their indicator, filling in the tick with my voice.

If all this isn’t bad enough, I sometimes sing my feelings about other motorists on the road.

And of course, I swear like a trooper. Or a bargee. Or talk Billingsgate .

More about Billingsgate next time😊