Duncan Haynes


I've put together this handbook of concepts and techniques to make your practice more efficient and enjoyable.
Download the  FREE PDF  now.

Key Phrases

I began to understand art as a kind of black box that the reader enters. He enters in one state of mind and exits in another... What's important is that something undeniable and non-trivial happens to the reader between entry and exit.
George Saunders

Human speech is like a cracked kettle on which we tap crude rhythms for bears to dance to, while we long to make music that will melt the stars.
Gustave Flaubert (Madame Bovary)

Art arises where the arbitrary and the predictable are superseded by unpredictable inevitablility.
Hans Keller

All my life I have sought the essence of flight. Flight, pure joy!
Constantin Brancusi

Every word is like an unnecessary stain on silence and nothingness
Samuel Beckett

...where virtuosity within sentences meets the unplannable energy of the imagination, harnesses it to a narrative and enacts an entirely new and exhilarating occurrence dedicated to renewal.
Richard Ford

Music doesn't come from music.
Keith Jarrett

...in the midst of an age of 'work', that is to say, of hurry, of indecent and perspiring haste, which wants to 'get everything done' at once, including every old or new book: this art [philology] does not so easily get anything done, it teaches to read well, that is to say, to read slowly, deeply...
Friedrich Nietzsche

The great American educational philosopher John Dewey wrote in the early 20th century that "self-realisation is the goal" of education, "creating desire for continued growth", not the mere acquisition of knowledge and information.


• New duo album ANIMA with Cleia Luna (voice) is due for release very shortly. Recorded live in one session, and featuring the guitar of maestro Andrés Prado, ANIMA is both intimate & vibrant while exploring the intersection of art-song, jazz & South America.

Recording session for "Nakba" Feb 2013, London

From left to right: Sam Lasserson (bass), me (piano), Dave Hamblett (drums), Gerald Clark (composer, producer)
Also on the date: Johnny Lippiett (tenor sax), Byron Wallen (trumpet)

• My good friend Gerald Clark recently released his album Nakba. He composed the material on this jazz album as a response to events in Palestine, past & present with proceeds going to charities associated with the conflict. It features Gerald’s writing for sextet and a top British line-up. For more about the album read this fascinating interview with Gilad Atzmon.

Some favourite books on music...

Alan Rusbridger  Play It Again
"An amateur against the impossible".
Ernst Toch  The Shaping Forces in Music
Inquiry into the nature of harmony, melody, counterpoint, form.
Gunther Schuller The Compleat Conductor
Insightful and provocative, critique & philosophy of conducting.
Erik Christensen The Musical Timespace
Explores the connections between music theory and the psychology of sound.
Tony Whyton    Beyond 'A Love Supreme'
John Coltrane & the legacy of an album.
Ran Blake   The Primacy of the Ear
Aural-based approach to the development of a personal style.