A little bit about me
I was raised in an old 13th century longhouse nestled into the Dartmoor hills and this is where my passion for music and in particular, the piano, originated. I started playing the piano at around the age of four years old and it has been a big part of me as a person, ever since.
I have always found the theoretical side of music immensely challenging, this is one of the biggest reasons I started playing my own music. I used to sit staring at the sheet music just wishing I could understand and interpret the language but the more time progressed I ended up getting bored and looking elsewhere for something else to do. This is when I started what I used to call "free playing". Effectively it is improvisation based on curiosity and interest and it is something that I find particularly stimulating in a creative sense. At the time, when I first started "improvising" it was a great relief to be unrestricted, "allowed" to do as I pleased. I would say that this feeling is still one of the reasons I enjoy improvising so much.
My method for learning music has progressed and developed over the long time I have played piano. Despite having never formally grasped the theory of music, I have a very good understanding of the instrument I play. For this reason, I learn known pieces by ear and am able to take requests on the day. I continue to have a routine practice time in each day set aside for developing my technique and fluency. My motivation comes from wanting to open new possibilities in composition, the more I can learn and progress physically, the more I have to play around with when it comes to expression and composition.
I have always been prone to going through intense phases in order to explore, understand, develop and progress. A side affect of this disposition is that I have been through most genres ranging from jazz, to classical to pop and it this doesn't just apply to my music but also everything else I take an interest in. As well as having a persistent and strong passion for music I also thoroughly enjoy to balance this with my more visual ideas, which I pursue in design. Art in general was very much in abundance around me whilst growing up and I was encouraged to experiment and express openly anything I wished to try out. I never meant to pursue graphic design but looking back on things I think it was always something I was interested in. As a child I went through many phases, one of which was a compulsive collecting of rocks and stones. I used to bring back pocketfuls of stones from the moor because I liked the textures or the patterns. I was particularly fond of collecting quartz. I come to realise now that I have always liked patterns, textures and combinations of lines and this dictates a lot of the visual ideas I create.
I have been inspired by so many great songwriters, composers, poets, writers and artists throughout my development. Again, I tend to go through phases and change my sources according to direction. One of the first real influences I remember having that started me was from hymns and traditional folk songs. I remember the melody of the hymn "Jerusalem" made an impression as well as "Morning has Broken"
Other hobbies and interests:
I like to run up on the moor most evenings and I also enjoy photography as a hobby and for implementing into my design ideas. Since I write and play a lot of music, I also like to listen to a large variety of music from around the world. Being brought up on Dartmoor, I have a keen interest in history, particularly neolithic as I used to regularly find little flint tools and arrow heads in the fields and always wondered what the lives of those that lived at that time were like and how different the landscape would have been.
If you would like to know anything else about me or my work you can contact me via my contact page.