Each day of January I have some fun with FunADay Dundee
For 2023 I'll bring to life the music created in 2022 with various artwork and instrumentation . . .
#1 - Calm C (C major) - a simple tune in C major originally written for piano, now with added flute and horn . . .
#2 - 28th Dec 1879 (A minor) - a sombre piece in the key of A minor, arranged for brass group. Inspired by a memento of the Tay Bridge Disaster.
#3 - Dennis (G major) - An easy-going bluesy piece, originally written on guitar, here featuring electric piano, bass and drums. Dennis the Menace is the longest-running strip in the Beano comic (since 1951), published by Dundee's DC Thomson.
#4 - Tangerine / Blue (E minor) - The first orchestral arrangement of the series - inspired by the football memorabilia on display at The McManus from Dundee United + Dundee F.C.
#5 - Log boat (D major) - Harp with strings - from a piece originally written on guitar. Inspired by a log boat carved from a single log of native oak, found in the nineteenth century by salmon fishers at Habbiebank on the Tay.
#6 - Standing stone (B minor) - Flute and cello - Named after a mysterious standing stone on display at The McManus, with a variety of interesting carvings.
#7 - Cash Register (A major) - Piano and orchestra - inspired by the tap-tap-tap of an old cash register, made by The National Cash Register Company, NCR or 'The Cash'.
#8 - No Poll Tax (F sharp minor) - Piano and orchestra - Title from a poster on display at The McManus, vehement national opposition to the poll tax led to its abolition.
#9 - Do you bear? (E major) - Electric guitar - Inspired by the stuffed bear at The McManus who roars at you!
#10 - The Old Town (C sharp minor) - Cello and piano - The McManus has a model town showing how Dundee city centre would have looked in about 1850. The work was commissioned by the museum in the 1930s and carved by Alexander Fair.
#11 - Penny Farthing (B major) - Piano plus percussion/strings - A twirling tune with varying speed, the name of the bicycle came from the penny and farthing coins, the side view resembles a larger penny leading a smaller farthing.
#12 - Gloaming (G sharp minor) - Piano and cello - A sorrowful tune, inspired by the old town model. The gloaming comes; the day is spent; the sun goes out of sight; and painted is the Occident with purple sanguine bright. Alexander Hume, Story of a Summer Day.
#13 - Tea Pot (F sharp major) - Piano plus wind/cello - A tune all on the black keys, with a title inspired by a giant tea pot urging you to "Use Willow Tea". It has been said that, like tea, we don't know our own strength until we're in hot water . . .
#14 - Tay Whale Bones (E flat minor) - Fender Rhodes plus drums - Written for the whale skeleton hanging from the ceiling in The McManus. "Then hurrah! for the mighty monster whale, which has got seventeen feet four inches from tip to tip of a tail! Which can be seen for a sixpence or a shilling, that is to say, if the people all are willing." William Topaz McGonagall
#15 - Sailors Gift (D flat major) - Piano solo - Title taken from a sailor's salt bottle of cobalt blue glass painted with brown and gold flowers, used by Mr Nicholas White aboard the whaling ship 'Balaena' which operated from Dundee from 1891 to 1914.
#16 - The Mask (B flat minor) - Brass quartet - Inspired by a fierce looking mask on display in the crime and punishment section at The McManus!
#17 - The Miles Tae Dundee (A flat major) - Piano and cello - The title refers to a display at The McManus, also it features in an old song: "Cold winter was howling o'er moor and o'er mountain, and wild was the surge on the dark rolling sea, when I met aboot daybreak a bonnie wee lassie, wha' asked me the road and the miles tae Dundee."
#18 - Sterling Silver (F minor) - Flute and piano - The title was taken from a tea set on display at The McManus, presented to a local couple on their silver wedding anniversary.
#19 - Dundee Marmalade (E flat major) - Brass quartet - According to a Scottish legend, the creation of orange marmalade in Dundee occurred by accident. The legend tells of a ship carrying a cargo of oranges that broke down in the port, resulting in some ingenious locals making marmalade out of the cargo.
#20 - The Mars (C minor) - Tenor Sax and piano - Infamous as Dundee's 'bad boys' ship, the TS Mars was anchored on the River Tay from 1869-1929. During that time, she transformed the lives of over 6,000 homeless and destitute boys from across Scotland.
#21 - The Ninth Wonder of the World (B flat major) - Wind band - The title is from a poster announcing the 'Grand inaugration and opening of the Tay Bridge' on Friday May 31, 1878, with a celebration of this national event and a programme of entertainments . . . little did anyone know it would fall so soon after.
#22 - Prison Door (G minor) - Flute and piano - Inspired by an old prison door displayed at The McManus. And also a wee bit by this: 'Two men looked out from prison bars, one saw the mud, the other saw stars.' Dale Carnegie
#23 - View from Balgay (F major) - Flute and piano - From the top of Balgay Hill you can see the River Tay, though today's view is a bit different from the painting by Charles Gustav Louis Phillips on display at The McManus.
#24 - Winkie the Pigeon (D minor) - Flute and piano - Winkie flew 120 miles from a ditched plane home to Broughty Ferry, and was awarded the Dickin Medal for "delivering a message under exceptional difficulties and so contributing to the rescue of an Air Crew while serving with the RAF in February 1942."