Music is something I love more than anything. I play the piano, harpsichord, and reed organ (aka pump organ/aka harmonium). I also have a theremin which is so difficult to play. Maybe more will come in the future. I have ambitions to learn the autoharp (because of PJ Harvey), but I have a lot of ambitions...
I love classical music. I play the piano, so naturally my favorite composers are those who wrote piano music I like, particularly Chopin, Satie, Debussy, Scriabin, and Liszt. I also play the harpsichord and enjoy the keyboard music of Bach, Couperin, and Scarlatti... as long as it's played on the original instrument (the harpsichord, not the piano). I am a harpsichord purist in that regard, and I've been teased for it. And for film scores, I love The Piano (Michael Nyman) and I think Wojciech Kilar's score for Bram Stoker's Dracula is just about the coolest piece ever written. I think John Williams is a genius, I like Dario Marianelli, and Jonny Greenwood is my latest crush. Symphonic favorites include mostly the great French and Russian Romantics.
In the non-classical world, I have a penchant for creative singer-songwriters and groundbreaking rockers. My favourite chanteuses are Björk, PJ Harvey, Tori Amos, Fiona Apple, Alison Goldfrapp, Madonna, Ella Fitzgerald, Janis Joplin... My favourite band on earth is Radiohead. Led Zeppelin is simply out of this world and Battles tickles my sonic nerve in ways I never knew possible. I also like Portishead, Hooverphonic, Bauhaus, Modeselektor, OK Go, Grizzly Bear, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Flying Lotus, Ultraísta, the Flaming Lips, The Doors, and of course The Beatles. There's lots of dubstep on my playlist thanks to Thom Yorke (whose music I also love). And in another corner entirely is Spanish flamenco music (and dance), which transports me to another place.
And now for my music. What I am best known for, and what prompted me to relaunch my website, is my piano transcription of the aforementioned soundtrack of Bram Stoker's Dracula by Wojciech Kilar. The Coppola version stands among my favorite vampire films, and one of the best parts about it is the score. Some time ago I gradually became obsessed with this music. I always wanted to play it on the piano, but could never find a written score, even for orchestra. So around 1999 I decided to transcribe the piece myself. I have no experience in transcription, but I love the score so much I just had to figure it out! It took hours and days of tedious work listening to the orchestral soundtrack CD, pausing after a few seconds, arranging it for piano and writing it down, listening again, etc.... A labor of love. I adapted the music as a six-movement suite (Dracula: The Beginning; Vampire Hunters; Lucy's Party; The Brides; The Storm; Mina/Dracula).
It has long been my dream to make a proper video recording of this suite. My idea is to have a decorated set similar to the scene in the film where Dracula and Mina are dancing amongst many candles. I would like to wear a victorian dress, and have the piece filmed from various angles with dramatic lighting. I have set up an online fundraiser. If you are able to help, please go here. (You can also find the sheet music on that page. Lots of people have asked for that!)
In the meantime, I have made some home video recordings of my transcription. It's far from ideal, but it's better than nothing. A couple of bonus videos... The first video was made several years before the others and has over 6500 views! Next a video where I explain the transcription process and talk about my vision for a professional music video. Then you get to the actual music videos. To view them all on YouTube with more information and in a larger size, go here.
I love playing Satie most of all classical composers. It's so much fun! A few years back, I recorded some Satie pieces and, in an attempt to share his humor, I added subtitles with the running commentary he wrote on the score (Satie intended it to be for the pianist's amusement only, an inside joke). Here are a few of those pieces. To view them all on YouTube with more information and in a larger size, double-click the video titles.
When I was in a burlesque group I performed a routine singing Madonna's "Hanky Panky".
Finally, in 2006 an acting colleague of mine asked me to compose a piano intro for a song by his heavy metal band (!). I wrote and recorded the music and it was mixed with the band's recording. You can listen to my first job as a recording artist here.