Biographies can be funny things. All too often, it strikes me, they start to read the same after a while. They give you the facts and figures about someone’s life – when they were born, where they grew up, what school they went to, without really getting into the detail of exactly what it is that makes them who they are. It’s not that I think that time and place have no bearing on a person’s character. It’s just that someone’s passions and pet hates, their loves and loathings, are so much more interesting – because they’re the things that make them them.
So, with that in mind, life for me is about: being close to my family, having a beer with friends, staring out the window watching the rain, Paul Klee, cooking for dinner guests, driving at night, Tim Minchin, the smell of books, Kvikk Lunsj, lazy Sunday mornings, Steve Reich, long breakfasts, darjeeling, Jaco Pastorius, Siddhartha, exploring new places, Steely Dan, talking, Nik Bärtsch & Ronin, hot chocolate, curiosity, Apple computers, Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance, garlic prawns, Greg Mortenson, late summer barbeques, Spinal Tap, Gerhard Richter, walking alongside rivers, being in tune, Kiwi and Mocha, grapefruit juice, Snow Patrol, chai, Amnesty International, Fender jazz basses, Me And You And Everyone We Know, Jan Garbarek, homemade soup, Piet Mondrian, the Vienna Art Orchestra, thick socks, Spooks, Deep Griha Society, traveling by train, Conlon Nancarrow’s Studies for Player Piano, education, Dara O Briain, olives, Eden bass amplifiers, Theo van Doesburg, Juno, snowball fights, Islay malts, George Monbiot, good drummers, Adam Hills, M*A*S*H, György Ligeti, seafood sauce, The Onion, sliced white bread, www.ted.com, Arrested Development, playing squash, real ale, freshly baked bread, popcorn, Blandford Fly beer, watching animals…
And in my new world order, I’d do away with: traffic jams, poodles, fast food, alarm clocks, humidity, wasps, rude people, shoe laces, litter, designer labels, indifference, golf, credit cards, most politicians, brunost, calamari, epic Hollywood endings, the smell of cat food, Nutella, Deal Or No Deal, predictive text…
The facts and figures: I hold a Ph.D in Composition and a BA (Hons) in Music from Brunel University and am an Associate Lecturer at Southampton Solent University. As a composer, I’m interested in the works of minimalist, post-minimalist and mathematical composers such as Steve Reich, Max Richter, Tom Johnson, Nik Bärtsch and Steve Martland. I’ve talked at IRCAM, Paris, as part of their MaMuX seminars, and had pieces performed at the Conservatoire de Lille. As a bass guitarist, I’ve worked all over the U.K, including gigs with members of Kula Shaker, Nelly Furtado, Joss Stone, Hot Chocolate, Edwin Starr and the West End production of We Will Rock You. I’ve appeared at Ronnie Scotts, the 100 Club and the Edinburgh Festival and have also been seen on HTV West (ITV), Channel 4 and shows broadcast by satellite to the U.S.A, Canada, Mexico, Europe and the Far East. I’ve played with bands and ensembles ranging from rock trios to big band jazz orchestras, as well as theatre productions including Cabaret, Grease, 42nd Street and Jesus Christ Superstar.
Between 1995 and 1997 I studied at Thames Valley University and BassTech with Rob Burns (Sam & Dave, David Gilmour), Terry Gregory (Martin Taylor, Steve Hackett), Paul Scott (Burt Bacharach, Jamie Cullum) and Neil Murray (Black Sabbath, Brian May). Along the way, I’ve also had studied with Stuart Bradley (Roger Taylor, Take That) and Steve Lawson (Cleveland Watkiss, Michael Manring).
First picking up a bass guitar in 1990, I cut my teeth (not to mention blistered my fingers) with Duck Dunn and James Jamerson bass lines whilst playing soul and Motown covers with a bunch of friends at school. I started out my musical life as a flautist, but the death knell to any career I might’ve had as a classical performer came when, at the age of 15, someone introduced me to me Pink Floyd. I bought my first bass a few weeks later.
I was born in Surrey, England in September 1975.
When I’m not playing music, writing music, teaching music, listening to music or reading about music (I’m always thinking about it), I can usually be found either drinking tea, cooking, eating, travelling, painting, reading, on a squash court or in Norway.