At the age of 7 I was playing the old upright piano in the Guild Hall of our church in Belvidere, Illinois, repeating the closing hymn I had just heard moments ago. An elderly woman asked, "Where did you learn to do that?" I had never taken a piano lesson in my life and yet I intuitively knew how to play all the current hits popular on the radio. It didn't occur to me to consider how or why I had this gift. But by attracting a crowd that Sunday, and garnishing their praise, a new musician and performer was born!
I soon began to formally study piano and, much to my young ego's lament, unlearn many bad self taught habits. With newly imposed discipline I began to play for local pageants, parties, Rotary Club meetings and ballet recitals. Determined to learn as much as I could about my craft, I attended summer music clinics and acadamies at various universities, eventually earning first place awards at many state piano competitions. I studied piano performance at Lawrence University Conservatory of Music and Mannes College of Music in New York. I found myself in the world of classical recitals, chamber music and vocal accompaniment. Having moved to New York, I began working in Off Broadway theater, serving as musical director, arranger and composer of several productions. Returning to the Chicago area, I played with the Rockford Symphony Orchestra and New American Theater. At this time I began to undergo my first real period of spiritual self discovery. I was able to finally recognise that the gift of music I had been given was something that I must, in return, give away and share with others. I began teaching music appreciation to disadvantaged and handicapped children. I worked in earnest with the Camp Sunshine/National Arts for the Handicapped Program and toured the country with Miriam Perrone and future Broadway Tony winner, Marin Mazzie.
As many of you know by experience, life takes many detours and offers countless paths to explore. In the 1980' and 90's I found myself pursuing successful careers in retail and design. Yet even with material success in the business world I found something missing in my life. I began to again search for a spiritual meaning and cohesiveness. Out of these years of discovery I realized I had denied my true love for piano and the need to express and share of myself in music. I began to understand my compositions are an instrument of healing and change. I enrolled in the Berklee College of Music's Electronic Music Production program and a new world opened to me when I began to master the techniques of creating soundscapes, combining my passion for piano with unique orchestrations. I have been deeply influenced by such classical composers as Eric Satie, Gabriel Faure, Rachmaninoff, Stravinsky, Chopin, Scarlatti and Rimsky-Korsakov. I was now able to merge styles influenced by other contemporary electronic and popular music makers: Brian Eno, Eric Whitaker, John Adams, Richard Bone, Liz Story, Kitaro, Yulara, and Peter Gabriel, amongst many others. Having joyfully embraced yet another path in life I now find myself at the point where I present to you my debut CD, ANTIQUUS.
I currently live in Southern California with my two greatest fans, Bingo and Coal, my West Highland Terriers.
I still think of that woman, years ago in that church meeting hall, asking me "Where did you learn how to do that?". Perhaps now I would be able to answer her in all sincerity, "I didn't learn how to do it. It was a gift which was given to me by Spirit. My hope now is to share it with you and others and in so doing, transform our emotions and feelings and, perhaps, mindfully enrich our very existence."
"And the time came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to bloom" Anais Nin