I felt my calling to make music at the age of three and couldn’t wait to start learning an instrument. My mother was Welsh with some music in her background and my father was Indian. At the age of eight, I started learning the violin at school and was instantly dedicated to the art of playing. I practised daily with no pressure at all from my parents and soon gained County Scholarships from Oxfordshire. At the age of sixteen, I became a Junior Exhibitioner at the Royal College of Music in London and studied violin, piano and various musical skills there every Saturday. Alongside this, I was always singing. By the time I was 17, I was singing in various Madrigal Choirs and took lead solo roles in Gilbert and Sullivan Operettas and, my favourite one, Die Fledermaus.
Aged 18, I studied violin, singing and piano at The Royal College of Music, qualifying with a GRSM hons degree, ARCM Teaching Diploma and one year of Post Graduate Study. After graduating I taught in London, directed a children’s orchestra and freelanced as an orchestral violinist for several years. In 1987, I made the big decision to move out of London to the beautiful seaside town, Lyme Regis. I had good friends in Lyme and I was beginning to find the hectic pace and impersonal nature of City life less and less appealing. So I gave my notice and embarked on the huge adventure of creating a new life, full of music and nature, down in the South West - with the sparkling backdrop of the ocean!
I’ve met many brilliant musicians here and played in various ensembles. In 1993, I met a Sitar player and my love and interest in Indian music flowered. In order to start playing Indian ragas, I needed to learn to improvise. I had always played with the anchor of written music in front of me and the idea of playing without this was terrifying! But I was determined to take this risk. After a few very fraught weeks, I found myself able to take baby steps with improvisation and from this point, I felt a sense of great flight – I was flying through immense inner landscapes with great freedom.
I wanted to study Indian music further so I took lessons for a few years with Mr Chandrashekar (known as Chandru) in The Bhavan Centre of Indian Music and Dance in London. I have continued to play Indian music with Sitar and Tambura since then - and my love and fascination with this art continues to deepen.
Since 1996, I have played in four different bands: Na-Da with Tony Roberts playing World Fusion music with a hint of Jazz; Up and Running, a Celidh band and Folkadelica playing Folk and Eastern European Gypsy music. Currently I am playing in a band with the sarod player Chinmaya Dunster. Once again, our music comes under the vast colourful umbrella of World Fusion.
I have played and been interviewed for two television programmes, one broadcast in 1995 on HTV and a German TV programme broadcast in 1998. I always enjoy new musical ventures and collaborating with other artists. I have improvised whilst talented dancers perform and have also created music for Poetry evenings. As an artist, I think it is important to be open to new ideas and ventures to keep yourself fresh. I have also travelled with my violin, playing in Europe, Japan and India. In India, I played in ensembles for meditation events attended by thousands of people. This was a great joy. It is always an honour to take people into deeper spaces with music. Meditation & Healing has been another great love of my life, travelling alongside Music. I am thrilled that there is much documentation now on the beneficial effects of music. This includes benefits for mother & baby during pregnancy, the healthy development of a child's brain and dementia patients.
Currently I teach privately from home, I sing in a Chamber Choir and coach the ladies - and enjoy all manner of musical engagements. I love playing for weddings, special occasions and memorials. I can offer a varied repertoire; Classical, Celtic, Indian and Gypsy music - including timeless Classics such as Ave Maria and Jesu My Joy. I can also compose a special piece, just for you and your memorable occasion.
During this unusual year of 2020 and our months of lock down, I have enjoyed the simple joy of walking out onto the street at 8.00pm each Thursday to play Over the Rainbow for the NHS. I'm lucky to have neighbours in the same road who are also musicians so we could just come together on the roadside. There is also a Nursing Home in the road where I live. These homes have been deprived of all musical activities, as well as beloved visitors over the lock down months. I thought we could cheer them up with some live music on VE Day. So my neighbours and I created a short programme and performed on the roadside again for an eventful forty five minutes. We had been unable to rehearse - and though it was sunny, the wind was in full force! However, it was an uplifting occasion. Some of the videos are on the Performance Clips page.
I feel grateful for the gift of music each and every day of my life.