August 2009

My favourite online games, most of which involve visuo-spatial perception and reasoning. All have >20 levels, each of which has a different puzzle to solve (unlike, say, the many variations on Tetris and Bubble Bobble), and start very easy then ramp up the difficulty later.

It so happens that I do think they are of educational value, in that visuo-spatial problem-solving is an aspect of mathematical thinking. However, mostly I like them because I just find this sort of thing fun.

Some of these are hosted on several sites, so if a particular link stops working, just run a search. Most are in flash, occasionally java. I’m running them in Firefox on either Linux Ubuntu or Mac OSX.

WARNING: If you’re still playing after the first few levels of any of these, you’ll probably be hooked. They are very addictive to a certain type of brain.

Ball Story

Blix (Edit: This game seems no longer to be hosted on Shockwave, or anywhere else, and searching for it just leads to a more recent (rubbish) game of the same name. NOOOOO! If you find the original anywhere, please send me the link! It has bouncy balls that you have to get into cups.)

Blocks with letters on


Continuity (Edit: Free version of this seems to have gone, but there’s a downloadable smartphone/tablet version for under £1.)


I’ll add more to the list as and when I encounter them.


Dvorak: Cello Concerto (with Leonid Gorokhov)
Mahler: Symphony No.6

7.00 pm, Sunday 29 Nov 2009

St John’s Smith Square, London SW1P 3HA


Saturday 19th September 2009, 7:30 pm
St James Church, 197 Piccadilly
London W1J 9LL

One of the greatest of symphonies, combining Mahler’s love of nature, his humour (bordering at times on the grotesque), with scintillating orchestration, and a beautiful final movement with soprano solo (here sung by rising star Stephanie Corley). Coupled with a display of some modern artists’ responses to this symphony.

Mozart:  Overture to The Marriage of Figaro
Mozart:  Ach, Ich Fühls (aria from The Magic Flute)
Mozart:  Dove Sono from (aria from The Marriage of Figaro)
Mahler:  Symphony No.4 in G


Saturday 7th November 2009, 7:30 pm
St James Church, 197 Piccadilly
London W1J 9LL

We begin in the glorious ‘Old’ world of Mozart’s Don Giovanni. We end with Dvorak’s final symphony, inspired by the ‘New’ world of America. Inbetween we have two very new pieces. ‘All For Love’ is a slow, contemplative piece with overlapping parts based on a carol with a pre-recorded speaker. ‘Polarities’ is a concerto for orchestra with both pre-recorded and live electro-acoustic input. What will you say at the end of all this? Out with the old, in with the new? Bring back the good old days? Can the two co-exist?

Mozart:  Overture to Don Giovanni
Peter Fender:  All For Love (world première)
Edward Wright:  Polarities (London première)
Dvorak:  Symphony No.9 in E minor (‘New World’)


Saturday 12th December 2009, 7:30 pm
St Columba’s Church, Pont Street
London SW1X 0BD

Powerful pieces of music, perfect for perking you up during the dark winter months! The Planets will be accompanied by remarkable astronomical video images.

Mendelssohn: The Hebrides
Mussorgsky:  Night on Bare Mountain
Holst:  The Planets

This concert is in aid of Borderline (charity no.208437) who work with and for homeless Scots in London.