I studied classical piano and music theory from childhood and later moved on to explore many other instruments including guitars, violin, dulcimer and bowed psaltery. My own composing began in my teens and later, I went on to study sound engineering at Glasshouse Studios and Music Technology at the Technical College in Coventry. Since then I've been continuously learning, composing, recording and producing my own music. I have also taught music throughout Coventry and Warwickshire for many years to children and adults, both as a Departmental Head in schools and as a peripatetic teacher with Warwickshire's County Music Service.
Broadly speaking, my genre is Contemporary Instrumental Music, my sub-genre is Programme (Program) Music. What I am always doing is painting in sound. I am usually trying to describe or enhance 'something other', be it a story, a film, a painting or a sense of place. For me, to express something in sound really takes one there in a very direct way. It is a sort of 21st Century sea change on ideas that began with Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Sibelius, Holst, Debussy, Mussorgsky and many more composers. Now we have so many more sounds to use! In some places my pieces are referred to as 'Symphonic Poems' which would originally have been right but, with the added use of electronic sounds, the description of 'TONE POEMS' works so much better for me!
WHAT IT SOUNDS LIKE: My instrumental style combines acoustic performance, electronic instruments and sound recordings of the natural world. You will hear strands of classical, ambient, world, folk, electronica, experimental and contemporary influences. I use combinations of voice, traditional instruments, sound modules, samplers and a plethora of instrumental, editing and mastering software. I love to make and record sounds of my own, too. Sometimes it just adds a little spice that is unique.
I studied songwriting with the Arvon Foundation and still have a great interest in it. In 2008 my first children's musical for animation (including libretto, score, screenplay and drawings) won me sponsored mentoring from the Boost scheme, a Hi8us Midlands business support programme for new and emerging creative and digital media companies.
Fiction and Non-fiction:
In 1990 I was amazed to find myself a prize-winning finalist in an International Literary Competition held to find new travel-writing talent. This was The Century Traveller's Award, sponsored by Arrow Books and WH Smith and Sons in the UK. Since then I have ghostwritten for Hodder and Stoughton where my editor advised me to go away and decide what I wanted to write and then write it. So I did. My first audiobook was published in 2016.
Painting and Illustration:
My degree is in Fine Art and Education (B.Ed. Reading University) and I have always loved drawing and painting, especially using mixed media, where I often include photography. For five years I illustrated for the British SF/Fantasy magazine, Interzone. I have very many completed illustrations drawn alongside the writing of my audiobook. These have yet to come to market (sometimes I wish I could clone myself and get everything done!). From 2017 I have been concentrating on oil paintings that accompany my music.