Composes modern pieces for solo piano
"Scottish born (Glasgow) in 1961, but lived in Yorkshire since 1985. Received electric organ lessons at age 8, however, I was never academically skilled in piano performance. I am mainly self-taught.
Most of the pop music of the 70s, when growing up, never appealed (apart from Elton John) but I avidly listened to my Dad’s collection of ‘Classics for Pleasure’ classical albums. I would sit by the record player with headphones on and get into Tchaikovsky, Beethoven and Greig.
My brothers are very musical and we have always played music as a family. Interest in many classical composers and pieces has developed to be a life-long passion and I will never tire of actively listening to Mozart, Bach, Gershwin, Chopin & John Field. Learning of new composers from the early period up to the 1930s is always a delight.
My piano playing skills evolved to a point where I could play Cole Porter, Hoagy Carmichael & Gershwin songs. I also began composing very rudimentary pieces while in my teens. I found that transposing songs from the ‘guitar version’ of the Beatles sheet music to play on the piano an interesting phase that helped me understand and appreciate the structure of ‘accessible’ music.
All through my adulthood, my compositions were fairly primitive but with the occasional moment, or passage, that showed promise. It was around 15 years ago that, when asked to be the Godfather to a close friend’s twins, I set about composing a special piece, dedicated to them, to be performed at their Christening. This ‘New Twins’ piece (the family are called ‘Newton’) was carefully written to meet a standard that I had not been able to attain before. I performed this to the large gathering of the Newtons’ family & friends at the Brighton Grand hotel, where the Christening reception was being held. This piece was was very well received and elevated my confidence to work on more ambitious compositions. A few years later I wrote ‘Looking Back’ and since then I haven’t looked back!
I have had some of my compositions recorded at the ‘Somewhere in Yorkshire’ studios (produced by the marvellous John Parr) and I have been approached to give recitals in Church & Village Halls once the Pandemic restrictions are lifted.
In 2018 my daughter very kindly set up a YouTube channel for me – Phil’s Piano Pieces - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmdGIynUzUusTzUS5bZ_V1A
The channel hosts most of my Compositions along with a few covers and a ‘How I Compose My Compositions for the Piano’ series – capturing the various stages of forging a new piano composition. This now is getting close to 200 subscribers with over 2000 views.
I am very happily married to Elizabeth (for whom I wrote ‘For Elizabeth’) and we have the most amazing daughter, Julia (aka Julia Belle), who is a very successful and accomplished TV presenter; radio broadcaster and podcaster. They have both been so inspirational and encouraging, as well as very patient, with regard to my composing!"