I was born in the southern suburbs of Cape Town in 1959, and have searched for music in the sounds around me as far back as I can remember. Often as a child I would try to make my own instruments with wood, wire and nails, or even play with sound by vibrating my ruler up and down the edge of my schooldesk.
In 1969 I was given a guitar for Christmas. My brother, who could play a little, attempted to teach me some basic chords but soon gave up as the strings were about an inch away from the fretboard, making holding a chord down a Herculean challenge.
After three years I bought my brother's red Hofner electric guitar from him. By this point, I had also begun teaching my cousin John Mair to accompany me on guitar, and within two years we had become 16 year old guitar legends in the Southern Suburbs, playing in makeshift rock bands at school dances and community festivals
Although my father was a
passionate collector of east coast Jazz, formal education in music was
discouraged in our house. I undertook to study music in the enclaves of my
bedroom and the local public library, immersing myself in an eclectic brew of
Harmony, Counterpoint, Sonata form, Bebop, Cyclic Jazz, Eastern Quarter Tone,
Acoustic, African and Latin rhythm patters and anything else that could be
found under the general heading of "music".
After I left school I was conscripted to 2 years of military service and persuaded to study Commerce. I joined the corporate world for 18 years at first as a financial information analyst and then a computer analyst programmer.
In 1990s I discovered MIDI and the ability to connect computers to synthesizers and make music. This triggered a compositional orgasm in my life: I was now able to compose for any range of instruments I chose, and in any style I could imagine!
In 1992 I met Alfred Hinkel of Jazzart Dance Company, who was looking for new, exciting and different music to use in his dance productions. I was intrigued by the idea of composing to motion, and a relationship was forged between Jazzart and me, keeping me musically stimulated for over a decade.
By the beginning of the 21st century I began to miss the spontaneity of performing live music. The stage bug really bit hard one Saturday night in 2005 when my brother-in-law spontaneously asked me to accompany him on lead guitar at a pub gig in the South of England.
Over the last 10 years I have
joined and formed a number of blues/rock bands, as lead guitarist and part time
singer, which have played local clubs, pubs and occasional
blues festivals around the Western Cape. I am currently giving guitar, bass and sound production
lessons daily, studying music on-line, writing songs and playing pubs and clubs as a solo artist Renesongs