I play piano, keyboards, 6 and 12 string guitars, bass, bouzouki, accordion, low whistles and also specialise in programming, creating loops and soundscapes.
I am a child of the 50’s and 60’s who grew up on a diet of music, folk stories, Rupert Bear books, Noggin the Nog, science fiction, and my own adventures created in the patterns of the carpet, and amongst the flames and embers of a coal fire during long, cold winter nights - the land of scarlet flames and silver fish.
I spent my early years amongst the back streets, ginnels, cobbles (setts actually) and culture of the Lancashire cotton mills; and then in later childhood and teens wandering the wild places, the old packhorse tracks and bridges; amongst the shades of ghostly ruins and the secret world of the moorland (where I once met a child of the hollow way) that overlooked the chimneys and shiny tiled roofs of the town: always under the gaze of Pendle Hill with its dubious truths, legends, mysteries and cautionary tales.
I played the piano from the age of 6 and was lucky to have a teacher who encouraged me to “look inside” and understand music rather than just play it but, unfortunately, although I have “impressive legato”, I hold my hands and fingers too flat and I don’t have perfect pitch. During my childhood, I listened to orchestral music, swing, Scottish country dance tunes, hymns, Buddy Holly, blues, pop, early Motown and Stax; and later prog, rock, traditional music, psychedelia, lo-fi, ambient and American West Coast bands.
I’ve never been famous (or even “well known”) and, to be honest, never wanted to be. But I did manage to spend many years around top quality musicians – sometimes as a friend, a band member, a backing musician, a minder, an event organiser or just someone sat in the corner “soaking it all up”. There have been quite a few bands of my own – mainly playing keyboards and guitars, usually creating for others, and occupying a spot as a member of the “engine room” – that reflected the continuing diversity of my musical tastes and these days I will listen to anything from the music of Hildegard of Bingen to Porcupine Tree.
Outside of music, I had a career as a Social Worker, University lecturer and facilitator for service user led research, planning and empowerment projects – and I’m a proud dad and granddad. I've kept goats and donkeys in Bulgaria and been a temporary goat midwife in the Orkney Islands. I also enjoy exploring and trying to make sense of the complex world that exists between psychology, parapsychology and the quantum realms, religion and spirituality, and the causes of replay and residual hauntings – particularly in graveyards in Scarborough!
Nevertheless, I’m comfortable in admitting that I find it hard to explain who I “am” as I genuinely don’t know the answer and would much prefer to be known purely as you find me on any particular day rather than being put into a box or biographical description.