I started out with a life steeped in classical music and early jazz/ragtime, went through phases of wanting to be a rock star and then a singer/songwriter, and am now back to my classical/jazz roots, playing piano for English Country Dances in the Portland Oregon area, and writing a lot of waltzes and other music. I am now working on combining my love of waltzes with my love of jazzy syncopated music to create neo-waltzes. Neo-waltz is a new dance format being introduced in London clubs by Adamski.
My bio: I grew up in Trenton, New Jersey, where I began piano lessons at age 8; while in high school I took piano lessons and theory classes at Settlement Music School in Philadelphia. I began playing acoustic guitar while in high school, and also played string bass from the age of 12 to the age of 17. I attended National Music Camp and, later, camp Point Counter Point on Lake Dunmore in Brandon, Vermont. I began writing songs at age 16 or 17. I attended Sarah Lawrence College for a year and got some great voice lessons and piano lessons there. I continued writing and singing while finishing college at the University of New Hampshire, where I got a Bachelor's Degree in Ancient Greek, almost NONE of which I remember now... After college I became a radio announcer at WLTN in Littleton, NH. After a year or so there, I moved to Salt Lake City where I worked at KRCL Listeners Community Radio and had the good fortune to be able to do the first reggae show they had on the schedule. I'm sure you don't want to read about my law school experiences at Seattle University School of Law, which was located in Tacoma WA at the time. While studying for the bar exam, I was taken to a Victory Music open mike in Tacoma. Well, that was it-- I was inspired by all the great musicians and songwriters that I met there, and wrote song after song. One of my songs is on the first "Victory Music Revue" album from 1986 or so. As I mentioned above, I now live near Portland, Oregon, and play piano for English Country Dances-- a true joy. I love waltzes, and in the past I have had consciously to make myself write in something other than 3/4 time. Well, at English Country Dances, every evening of dance ends with a waltz! So I have been able to write waltzes and it's OK!
I love many kinds of music, but celtic music has a special place in my heart. I saw Battlefield Band one evening, when John McCusker was with them, and as he played the violin he appeared to be in such bliss that I decided I wanted some of that bliss, so I started taking fiddle lessons. Well, it took about five years to get to the bliss, but I've now played fiddle for over 10 years and love it; I enjoy visiting the UK and have attended the Scots Fiddle Festival (which takes place the 3rd weekend in November in Edinburgh) 9 times.
All of my musical loves (classical, reggae, early jazz, celtic, rock, folk) have combined in me to inspire what I write. I want to write music that is, above all, beautiful. I perhaps should explain what "beautiful" is to me, as I am sure that all composers write what is beautiful to them. I love melodic music as opposed to atonal or avante garde experimental music. I am always in search of a graceful, lyric melodic line. My goal is to bring pleasure to or perhaps comfort the listener. Life can be very hard, and art is what can help us through.
I have a soundcloud page at https://soundcloud.com/marjoriemillner where you can hear more of my music.