NIGEL WATTS-PLUMPKIN - talking music

My love of music can be traced back to when The Beatles were still emerging and commercial recordings were available on 33-, 45- or 78-rpm vinyl only. Stereo had only just been developed but was not yet available to the public and audio recordings were made on large reel-to-reel tape machines.

During early childhood, my musical development involved singing and beating on a biscuit tin, shaped and printed to look like a drum, then trying out complex drum patterns by tapping on anything available. What a pleasure I must have been!

Having tried my hand at keyboards and guitar, while still a teenager, I settled most comfortably into beating rhythms on a real drum kit. Progressive rock became my main inspiration as I soaked up the styles of bands like Genesis, Yes, King Crimson, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath and Wishbone Ash. I joined local bands and always seemed to be playing in one ensemble or another. Yet, equally stimulating for me was the orchestral music of composers like Bach, Tzaikovsky, Elgar and Mendelsson.

Since then, I have spent more than thirty years as a performer - drumming and singing in numerous music projects including original prog rock, cabaret, folk-dance band
The Navvies (one of the best country dance bands in England), a mixed choir and a theatre band - as well as recording my own brand of melodic rock as Darwyn, a project band I put together with Ian Grove and Lynn, my wife. For two years, until October 2006, I played bass and sang in the duo JamSpanner. After a spell playing drums with I Like it Electric, an original dance/pop group I began drumming and singing with Caduseus, who play exciting alternative indie rock.

By now, my influences are too numerous to mention, but one factor underpins all of my favourite music - good melody and the way harmony can be used to set the emotions going. Learning how to master the art of good songwriting has become a lifelong expedition (and, some would say, obsession) for me.

I try always to keep an open mind about music and have acquired a broad pallet of musical styles from which to draw inspiration when creating music and audio for business or pleasure. I often create my own sound effects and have a lot of fun in the process.

For more than two decades, I've also been a professional graphics designer. I have created music for picture and pictures for music. For me, there is no distinction between the graphic arts, music and sound design. They are all elements of an ancient language - the language of 'emotional communications'.

Since relocating to Wales, during the autumn of 2000, Lynn and I have been learning the Welsh language. This has brought further creative enrichment and I now write and record in Welsh too. During the summer of 2003 I attended Cariad@iaith, an 8-week intensive Welsh course at Nant Gwrtheyrn, the National Welsh Language Centre in North Wales, and then opened at the National Eisteddfod week, the annual festival of Welsh language and culture, by playing one of my songs in Welsh in the Welsh Learners' Tent.

I can see you're nearly asleep... Why not try the Fun 'n' Games link in the top navigation bar? Enjoy the pumpkin soup!

Nigel Watts-Plumpkin, Nigel Mervyn, songwriter, drummer, singer, producer
Claims to fame:

Supported the Nashville Teens (had a hit with Tobacco Road) at The Wooden Bridge, Guildford c. 1982, while drumming in a band called Nebula; played as drummer and Bvox for The Bushe Pilots, covers band headed by Tony Burrows of ‘Love grows where my Rosemary goes' (McCaulay & Mason) fame; played in blues/rock band Bluefish with Chris Hook, ex-bass player with 70s chart band, Voyager; sat in the same leather chair as Elton John, Robbie Williams, Jeff Beck...while mixing a demo in a Maidenhead studio (hopefully some of the creative muse rubbed off!); attended residential songwriting workshop run by Ray Davies of The Kinks. Oh yes, and don't forget filling up Radio One DJ Dave Lee Travis's Rover car with petrol during a spell working at the Fleet Services on the M3!

Click on the covers to hear a sample of tracks.

Cyber Spaceman is a novelty record about a romance which flourishes remotely over the internet.

Fallen Faces is a soft rock anthem with a traditional patriotic flavour.

A Catalogue of Mysteries is an album which Nigel co-wrote and produced with Ian Grove in 1997.

Malvern Dawn is a 10-minute piano sonata.

Glen Esk is an orchestral overture.

Nigel has written and produced music in a wide range of genres for both business and pleasure and some of his work is lodged with the BBC Music Library. He is a member of the British Academy of Composers and Songwriters and a stakeholder member of the Welsh Music Foundation. Please use the various links on this site to get the whole picture.

All the music featured here is
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