graduated from UC Berkeley, California], I have explored many different sounds.
My first composition, "Invisible Souls," was for the Australian didjeridu, cello & flute, and I've continued to write chamber music since then...my list of compositions also includes a symphonic poem with 3 movements and in 2012 a short (17 minute) opera titled "non mi riguardi" for tenor, flamenco dancer, cello & piano.
For the last 12 years I've been dancing flamenco, and without intention, the flamenco music has infused into my own music. Maybe others can't hear it...but I always know when I'm composing at the piano that it's there. Very recently I've begun studying Argentinian Tango, and this is opening up more music ideas...including a Tango Dance Drama in a March 2017 concert.
All of my compositions have either been performed or recorded...the performance of my music being the inspiration to write it.
I do a concert about every 18 months, where I launch my new compositions.
Each concert has less and less Classical music, but I love to include some as a recognition of my roots. I have written a lot of music for cello because, for me, it's sound is transforming and transfixing.
My concerts explore the early 19th century idea of the concert...a night of varied performers and music.... and could include piano, cello, didjeridu, harpsichord, flute, bass, marimba, doumbek or vocalist in any combination. The three Dance Dramas that I have created are my ultimate expression of combining art forms. So far I have incorporated Flamenco, Contemporary Dance and Argentinian Tango.
A little history...
I studied piano and violin in Napier, New Zealand. At 17 I passed the LTCL exam [Licentiate of the Trinity College London] in piano performance. As a teenager, although I was playing Beethoven, I loved to listen to my sister's 45's collection...The Troggs, The Rolling Stones and Lovin' Spoonful. Later, living in Australia, it was the powerful rock bands coming out from 'down under' ....AC DC, Midnight Oil, Icehouse. When I moved to Australia, I had a gap from the piano, but I came back to it with a vengeance!
I was living in Sydney, and found the most incredible and inspirational piano teacher ....Nikolai Sokolov, a pianist, conductor, composer newly arrived from Russia. I had never met a musician like him. His unnerving faith in me propelled me into years of the most intensive piano practise I'd ever done...and the study for a music degree at UC Berkeley, California.
On arriving in the USA, there were 8 more years of piano study, first with Roy Bogas, and then with Barbara Shearer.
Each one of these teachers was inspirational, but in particular, it was Barbara Shearer who recognised that there was an individuality to the way I interpreted pieces, and that it was tied up with being a composer.
She let my creative spirit soar!
Why the didjeridu in some of my chamber music??
I fell in love with the sound of the didjeridu when I arrived in Australia....I was at a pub in Balmain, Sydney, and heard
Charlie McMahon playing didj with a keyboard player. He went on to become an icon in the didjeridu world, and it was very cool to meet him when I was there in 2009.