about richard shakeshaft

Richard started singing as a cathedral chorister in 1986, and remembers spending time reading the editorial notes printed in copies from which he was singing, and trying to work out what the prefatory clefs meant in editions of Tudor music. In 1990, he was introducted to an Apple Macintosh SE/30 computer which, alongside Word and Excel, had copies of Aldus PageMaker and Deluxe Music Construction Set (DMCS) installed. Having got to grips with the basics of Word and Excel, he taught himself how to use PageMaker for desktop publishing (single-handedly producing three editions of the Oundle Chronicle between 1992 and 1993), and DMCS for typesetting music. Although the two did not work together particularly well (Richard ultimately had to produce pages of a teaching pack called The Art that all other Arts do Approve for Warwickshire County Council in 1993 using a craft knife and a glue stick), he learned a lot about the principles behind design and typesetting music through his experience.

Running the IT for a small company for 11 years from 1995 gave Richard the opportunity to learn how to design and code websites as the Internet emerged as an essential aspect of everyone's lives, while also developing a detailed knowledge of the intricacies of document scanning and indexing. Moving to teaching in 2006, Richard was able to bring his IT skills to the English classroom, at a time when the use of ICT was expected to be seen in lessons across the curriculum. Latterly, he has also taken on the responsibility for writing the timetable for his school, and leads on the school's assessment, data and reporting. Alongside his teaching, Richard completed a part-time MEd (Master of Education) in 2011 and PhD in Children's Literature in 2018 at the University of Cambridge; his doctoral thesis focuses on the representation of technology within the human body in early twenty-first century Young Adult texts.

Music has remained an underlying thread to Richard's life, and he has continued singing while teaching and studying; in 2011 he was installed as a Lay Vicar at Lichfield Cathedral. Although he has produced professionally typeset performing editions of music for some years, more recently he has combined music, IT and academic study to start producing academically informed editions of music for specific occasions. One of his biggest projects to date was to produce an edition of Alessandro Striggio's 40 part mass, Missa Ecco si beato giorno, in 2017 to mark his and his wife's 40th birthdays, for the first ever liturgical performance in the UK. Shortly before the first national lockdown in March 2020, Richard had completed an edition of Byrd's Lamentations of Jeremiah for use during Holy Week, and as part of this he had to reconstruct some of the Tenor part, as it is missing in the part books. As Byrd's setting of the Lamentations is not as prolific as other editions of Tudor music online, it became the motivating factor to make it freely available, and his idea of establishing himself as an online digital publisher was born and realised in late 2021.