The Guest Room

Welcome to The Guest Room

“There is two kinds of music, the good, and the bad . . . ”

Louis Armstrong

Ian has been meaning to add this section to the website ever since it first went online. It is hoped that this will provide an opportunity to invite some of the many friends and colleagues he has worked with (or had the pleasure to have known) over the past few decades to contribute elements of their work and thoughts ...

The initial concept was to ask for anecdotal writings of early musical memories and/or early musical education. Perhaps recounting memories that one associates with a particular piece of music, or specific musical event. Whilst this still sounds like an interesting topic and certainly something one will continue to suggest to each invited guest, it was ultimately decided to offer Tabula Rasa (a blank slate).

They are invited guests, one thought, let’s see what they have to say ....

This could provide a catalyst to ‘start that project one had been putting off’, perhaps inspire re-visitation of neglected research, or ‘test the waters’ for a new topic and peer review an abstract.

On a personal (and selfish) level, Ian thought this may give him a chance to catch up (and possibly keep in touch) with some of the old (and not so old) musical souls he has shared his journey with.

It is with absolute pleasure that one invites you to follow the links below and discover the delights within ...

Global Disclaimer:

The research in this Guest Lounge is made available for public access and peer review, but the listed artists and authors retain full ownership of any and all intellectual property, media resources and text, and should be formally accredited for any references to, or use of, these materials.

Robin Hartwell’s musings on music theory, composition & analysis

A Thought Occurred: I Will Write Something - Soon ...

Robin Hartwell


Robin Hartwell has been a close friend and colleague for decades. He has lived within the boundaries of the city for so long that he easily qualifies for his official Scouse passport and citizenship.

I first met Robin in 2000 when he was giving a guest lecture on compositional technique as part of my undergraduate studies at the University of Liverpool. We became colleagues at Liverpool Hope University 18 months later and (even later) shared office space for a few years (amazingly without turmoil). Eventually we got our own offices (in a swanky new building), but we remained close colleagues until Robin chose to formally retire from academia (though he still taught at the University for years).

Robin’s visits to the campus (and the lectern) grew less frequent, but we stayed in touch, meeting for lunch or at concerts and always finding time to say hello and encourage each other along in our respective research projects. We still meet and share lively discussion where Robin regularly utilises the rather clever technique of quoting my words to prove his point. I have always found it very difficult to disagree with myself!

There are a few souls in this world that you know you were supposed to meet. I would count Robin Hartwell as one of them.

Welcome to the site Robin (it took you long enough).

The Unpublished Writings of Dr Mike Brocken

From Something to Something - One Syllable at a Time ...

Dr Michael Brocken has been a friend and colleague for almost two decades. Mike is a fellow scouser (though he now shamefully resides beyond the boundaries of the city), but I have never quite figured out which football team he supports. I seem to recall asking him once, his answer was so random that it ‘went in one ear and out the other’ ...

However, make no mistake, Mike is a true champion of the Liverpudlian, a leading scholar on all things ‘The Beatles’ and a published commentator on the popular culture, artists music and tourism of the region.

Doc Brock’s writings (as I affectionately refer to him, or ‘Doc Rock’ as I have heard more than a handful of students call him over the years) are unusual in comparison to many of his peers as he certainly does not mind stating his opinion, often in a brutally honest colloquial accent, but always with due diligence. You will never find Mike sitting comfortably ‘on the fence’ ... Welcome to the site Mike.

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