New Season launches, November 6th 2016
Exeter Phoenix

Merry Christmas!

As Earworms HQ are gradually getting overtaken with festive excitement - we wanted to wish everyone who has supported us so far a very happy Christmas.
We have been truly overwhelmed by the response to the concerts so far and we're delighted that there are so many other families enjoying coming to concerts together and relishing a wide variety of musical styles.

The acts for the next six dates are almost all confirmed - we will let you know the full line up after Christmas. In the meantime we're looking forward to Devon Youth Jazz Orchestra on January 19th and tickets are going well.

We wish you all a very happy Christmas and we're looking forward to lots more Earworming in 2014!

Here is a little Christmas message from Mervyn.....

We have moved!

You may have seen the shiny new Exeter Northcott Spring/Summer 2014 brochure which has now been published and our lovely Earworm image in there. We're very excited about moving up to the Northcott Theatre. The first concert is on January 19th when we will be joined by Brian Moore and players from Devon Youth Jazz Orchestra. Tickets are now available for this and all the other concerts - you can call the Northcott Box Office on 01392 493493 or pop into Exeter Information Centre in Dix's Field, behind the Princesshay car park and you can buy your tickets there. We look forward to seeing you again in our new home or welcoming you if you are new to Earworms.

Earworms 2014!

We are looking forward to seeing many of you on Sunday for what looks like being another lovely event - just a few tickets left if anybody would still like some. We are delighted to announce our plans for 2014. We have enjoyed working with Exeter Phoenix for our first three performances, but as we have slightly outgrown the studio space there and they are now moving their Family Sunday events to a Saturday, we felt we needed to look for an alternative venue. We are thrilled that Exeter Northcott Theatre have been very enthusiastic and share our excitement about the success of Earworms so far - they have offered us the use of the theatre from January 2014. We have agreed six dates so far and are busy planning the performers. We'll be keeping the same format with Mervyn continuing to present the concerts and we will be using the theatre space in a variety of ways depending on the performers each month. The dates for your diaries are January 19th, February 16th, March 9th, April 6th, May 4th and June 15th. Tickets will be £4.50 for adults and £3 for children two and over. Tickets will be available directly from the Northcott box office or from the Tourist Information Centre in Exeter. We will let you know more information as we have it!

Second jingle performance - Seat of the Pants Orchestra

Here is the 2nd performance of our Jingle,  performed by the Seat of the Pants Orchestra (with Mervyn Bedford) at our October concert:


Tickets are now available for the November 24th concert.

If you'd like to reserve some - you can email us - or call us on 01392 491079

Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman are busy touring the UK and we're delighted they are finding time to perform for us.

We also have exciting news about our plans for 2014 - all will be revealed just as soon as it's 100% confirmed!  Watch this space.......
We are really looking forward to the next concert on November 24th at 2pm.

The performers will be Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman who are performing in the evening at the Phoenix and have agreed to play for us in the afternoon.  As well as having local connections - Sean was brought up on Dartmoor with his brothers Sam and Seth, they are two of the most experienced folk musicians in the UK. Recently awarded best duo in the Radio 2 folk awards, we're really looking forward to working with them.  Mervyn Bedford will be there too to bring it all together.  
You can read more about the artists here 

Tickets will be released later in the week, so do check back and get in touch if you'd like to reserve.

October's Earworms

We really enjoyed the concert on Sunday - and from all the lovely feedback comments, it seems everyone else did too.

Thank you to Seat of the Pants Orchestra for the wonderful film choices and the accompanying music.

Here are some photos of the event.





October's Earworms performers

Seat Of The Pants Orchestra with 'The House That Moved'
Exeter Phoenix, November 2012
The Seat Of The Pants Orchestra improvises musical accompaniment to silent films and projections. For Earworms they have selected some lovely childrens' films from the past 100 years or more, and the orchestra members are polishing their percussion (Sam Fisher), cello & musical saw (Matthew Shepherd), saxophone & electric guitar (Philip Robinson), viola (Andrew Gillett) - and gathering an array of other musical/household devices for your delight.

So, if it's not been composed and practised, how does the music get created? SOTPO has a FIELD OF PLAY to help in their music-making. We reveal it, below. For lots more about SOTPO, look at 


do or don’t watch the film beforehand

be playful in your playing
be serious in your structure

be bold

accidents - accept, embrace, incorporate, develop, ignore, avoid

go with the flow or don’t go with the flow
be influenced or keep your own direction
are we hearing too much or not enough from you?

very loud music is ok sometimes
very quiet music is ok sometimes

cultivate knowing when not to play

from conventional music to eccentric soundscapes - gambol freely

don’t be afraid not to use an idea however important it may have seemed

‘There’s good music and there’s bad muisc, I like both kinds’ (Duke Ellington): enjoy each

So what is an Earworm.....

Wikipedia  gives this definition of an Earworm

An earworm is a catchy piece of music that continually repeats through a person's mind after it is no longer playing. Phrases used to describe an earworm include musical imagery repetitioninvoluntary musical imagery, and stuck song syndrome. The word earworm is a calque from the German Ohrwurm.

Our very own jingle has already become a bit of an 'Earworm' in this house, and I'm sure it will only get worse when it's heard at every event.  Apparently at least 90% of us experience an Earworm attack at least once a week - some described as 'unpleasant' and 'disturbing' - hopefully our Jingle won't be one of those!

There is a really interesting research project being carried out at Goldsmith's, University of London - have a look here if you would like to be a part of their research

And, come along on Sunday and see if you can adopt our very own Earworm.
Numbers are strictly limited this time, so do book your tickets in advance to avoid disappointment - or call 01392 491079.

Listen to our Jingle's first performance

Here is the premiere of our Jingle,  performed by Isca Voices at our September concert:

Tickets now available.......

Tickets are now on sale for our October 27th event. 
To reserve your tickets, send us an email or call 01392 491079 and we will tell you how you can pay for them. 
Seats are being limited to ensure more comfort and space - so do get in touch!

We are looking forward to some film, music and improvising in October with the Seat of the Pants Orchestra.  Mervyn is planning lots of interaction and improvising for the children!

Sunday's photos

Thank you so much for all your lovely feedback following Sunday's concert - we're really enjoying hearing your thoughts.

Lots has been going on since Sunday.  We were delighted with the huge turnout, but it has meant we need to think carefully about ensuring we have enough space for everyone and that we can organise the ticket sales a little better.  We will be selling tickets in advance for the next concert on October 27th, we 're still confirming where they will be available from, but we hope to announce this in the next few days.

Alex is extremely sorry to have missed Sunday's concert due to illness, but we are already in discussion with him about offering something to those who came on Sunday in the form of a free event - watch this space, we will confirm the details as soon as we can.

So, as promised - some photos from Sundays event.............





We've just about recovered from yesterday's launch!
What an amazing afternoon - we were so delighted (and possibly a little overwhelmed!) to see so many there.  Thank you all for coming along and supporting the event.

Thank you also for all the feedback - we're really pleased that so many enjoyed the experience.
Do feel free to keep emailing us your thoughts - and do  let us know what sort of music you'd like us to be planning for the forthcoming events.

Check back here - we'll be uploading some photos of the event in the next few days and will have more details about the next adventure!

Meet the Earworms

We are the very proud owners of an Earworms Jingle !

Written by Simon Belshaw, for those of you who would like to learn the words before
Sunday - here it is!

Read more about Simon's music at   @music_machines

All about Mervyn

Our Earworms concerts will be hosted by Musikgarten teacher & children's songwriter Mervyn Bedford.
The Musikgarten programme in internationally renowned for its excellence in holistic music education. Mervyn has been running Musikgarten classes for children throughout Devon since 1996 and currently has classes in Exeter, Tiverton, Newton Abbot & Totnes. He is well known for his inspirational classes and much loved children's songs.

Mervyn is a regular visitor into schools and nurseries and has conducted teaching seminars around the UK for many early years organisations. He has created interactive, musical experiences and special events for children in many varied locations including the forest, farm, garden and castle. He has partnered with Exeter Symphony Orchestra and other musicians to create exciting concerts for the family and is delighted to be hosting the Earworms family concerts at Exeter Phoenix.

Earworms do Phonic FM

Emma and Julie have been chatting to Martin Hodge on his Phonic FM show 'Hot Pebbles' this afternoon.
You can have a listen to a recording of the programme here.

Earworms artwork

Hopefully you will have already spotted our lovely flyers and posters around Exeter and beyond.

Local artist and illustrator, Richard Jones seemed the ideal choice when we were looking for somebody to design our logo and first flyer design.  With a wealth of study and experience in art & design, and a particular passion for children's illustration, we gave Richard free rein and were delighted with the result.  We like to think the design will look so pretty on your fridge -  that it won't  make it to your recycling bin!

Here are some more of Richard's designs.  
Richard can be contacted by email at

All pictures are subject to copyright and not to be used without prior consent.


The Performers (part 2)

On September 29th, alongside Isca Voices, we are looking forward to hearing some spectacular vocal techniques from Alex Norgate aka Audible1

Beatboxing (also beatbox, beat box or b-box) is a form of vocal percussion primarily involving the art of producing drum beats, rhthym, and musical sounds using one's mouth, lips, tongue, and voice. It may also involve singing, vocal imitation of turntablism, and the simulation of horns, strings, and other musical instruments. 

Alex is known primarily as a DJ and beat-boxer on the live music circuit, but off the stage  is a passionate producer. Running his own studio, he makes a variety of genres but mostly latin influenced trip hop and lounge.
Alex trained as a youth worker for Devon County Council and ever since, his skills and workshops have been in high demand. Alex specialises in teaching his unique musical approach to anyone willing to learn. As well as private tuition, Alex has experience in several other teaching fields, with a variety of clients in many different settings - from mainstream schools, youth centres and prisons to young offenders institutions and psychiatric rehabilitation clinics.

The performers!

With our performers now finalised for our first concert on September 29th, we thought you might like to learn a bit more about them.

Isca Voices are a choir of ex girl choristers from Exeter Cathedral.  All already highly experienced musicians  and between them they have a huge amount of performance experience.  Under their director Stephen Tanner (Director  of Girl Choristers at Exeter Cathedral as well as Director of Music at Exeter Cathedral School), they perform a very wide range of music, both sacred and secular.

Girl choristers leave the cathedral choir at the age of thirteen and Isca Voices was formed in 2008 to give them the opportunity to keep singing together. The choir has gone from strength to strength and they have performed in many concerts as well as at weddings and other functions.  They are just beginning rehearsals for the new year, joined by some of last years outgoing choristers and are really looking forward to singing for us at Exeter Phoenix.

Tickets now reservable

You can now reserve tickets for our first event on September 29th.
Tickets are £3 for all over 2 years or £10 for a family of up to five.

This first event will run from 2 - 3pm in the dance studio at Exeter Phoenix.

TIckets can be reserved by calling  on 01392 491079 or email us at

As the summer is drawing to a close and the autumn chill seems to be kicking in, we're starting to step up a gear with our publicity and organising of the first event.

We are delighted that a fabulous young local choir, Isca Voices have agreed to help us launch the series.  Alongside them, beat-boxer Alex Norgate will also be performing.  It should be a fabulous and interesting mix!

More information about the performers will follow, but in the meantime pass the word around and come and join us on the 29th September.......

So what is Earworms.... ?

Welcome to our new blog.
The publicity is ready and beginning to be distributed, so we thought we should let you know what Earworms is all about!

Back in June 2012, Exeter Contemporary Sounds gave an afternoon performance at Exeter Phoenix as part of a project called 'Back there on earth". Our performance happened to fall on the same day as one of the popular family Sunday events, so we thought it was an opportunity too good to miss - we opened up our rehearsal to families to come and listen to the music we were performing that evening.  The event was a great success with many families asking for more similar opportunities.

Off the back of this, Exeter Contemporary Sounds have created a sister organisation - Earworms.
Earworms brings live music to Exeter Phoenix on the last Sunday of each month.  A whole range of music and performers are planned and we are really excited about the groups who have already agreed to come on board.  We have also invited Mervyn Bedford - a name already well known in Exeter & Devon  through his highly successful and hugely popular Musikgarten classes - and he will be leading the sessions alongside the various performers.  Expect music and performances from all genres - from beatboxers to harpsichords, all presented in a family friendly format.

We have been very fortunate to secure some funding from Exeter Arts Council to enable us to plan the first events in the series and we are hugely grateful to them for helping us launch this project.

The first event takes place on September 29th at 2pm at Exeter Phoenix.  We are just finalising the performers for this, our launch - details as soon as we have confirmation, but put the date in your diaries!   Keep an eye on our blog and follow us on facebook - we'll keep both updated as we plan the programmes.