Born in a quiet town on the Thames to Polish parents, the youngest child to a piano teacher mother and a father who was a research chemist with a strong creative streak. My mother was a gifted flower arranger. She would often be found on slug hunts in the wee small hours or arranging flowers in huge vases at the crack of dawn. Meal times were on a table that was more suitable to a green house at Kew much to the annoyance of my father. His love of antique furniture often under hazardous dangers of being ruined by the leaking overflow of flower water.
My father had his own creative activities, painting, antique restoration. He fixed broken things not to mention the silver smithing ( salt and pepper pots fashioned into a grand piano and double bass) jewellry making and engineering.
It was my father who invented the device for the disabled piano student who couldn’t otherwise use the pedal.
It was difficult to escape the desire to be creative
Ballet lessons were taken aged 3 but with inward rolling feet I was never destined to be a dancer. Stage school was attended but messy hair, wrinkled socks and a lack of shiny kit annoyed the teacher. It was the many hours as a toddler that I watched student’s fingers whizzing up and down that really got my attention. I begged for lessons and was refused on the grounds of being pre 5 years age. Stubbornly I didn’t give up and doodled at the keyboard until my mother gave in. My first compostition “a haunted house” featured the obligatory semitones but was not up to that of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The love of piano was deep and I’m not sure I remember a time pre piano. My first performance I was so excited I ran up to the stage and promptly fell flat on my face. It took a while before my chipolata sausage fingers would fly across the keyboard but I remember the day they finally took flight in the way I had always envisioned. A moment of true finger motion freedom. The feeling, I imagine, a bird has when after much flapping he soars high above.
I studied hard, won a dog with my first prize money, and went to music conservatoire with a scholarship. Several others followed abroad.
There were tough times, choosing where to study? How to fit a piano in to various flats. Where to settle?
Some of those questions may never be answered and will it matter?
My road is the one Debussy summed up as “Art is Life and Life is Art”
Life has always been filled with stories and colour allowing my imagination to roam free. Its what drives me - the ability to dream and express a myriad of emotions and images through music.
They say Charles Dickens used to walk 12 miles around London for inspiration. I cycle around a city where I will be unitenitonally found singing snippets of random notes-mostly out of tune taking in my environment. Travel is essential and a fascination with any culture new to me.
History, travel, dance, art, film, pyschology, they are all part of my everyday life. That’s why my twitter feed includes alpha, beta and Zog.
A to Z from neural path waves to the mention of an old Albanian King whose name like Nebuchadnezzar always tickled my fancy.