My family were definitely not artists--nobody I knew was an artist, and as a child I tried everything not to be this weird person that I am. Although we descended from the 18th century romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley (as wildly weird and creative as they come) somehow that wildness got lost, and my parents did not encourage signs of individual creativity in their offspring.
Growing up in rural Gloucestershire, I studied (and loved) classical piano, but was always more interested in composition and songwriting. At age 12 I found a beautiful grey Grundig reel-to-reel tape recorder in an Oxfam shop - this opened the door to a new world- I could hear what I sounded like! This process has fascinated me ever since. At 16, I can remember listening to pirate radio late at night, when I started to hear music by Pink Floyd, King Crimson and Bob Dylan-- and discovered there was more to music than Chopin and Mozart! This revelation inflamed a growing rebellion against formal education, classical music and all grown-ups.
Leaving my unhappy relationship with school at 16, I had no idea what to do. Music school at that point was primarily for classical musicians, and by then I had taken violently against any more studying. Instead, I made my way to London and discovered Flower Power and all that went with it in the early 1970s. Open-mouthed we heard stories about Woodstock, went to the first ever Glastonbury festival, Knebworth in 1974, and encountered sounds that were entirely new, thrilling, and most definitely not Mozart.
Shortly after, I was signed by Models One, my first job being for Vogue with Norman Parkinson. I worked for ten years around the globe as a fashion model, which meant that partying and staying thin and cool became my full-time career (music sidelined again). Eventually, and fortunately, I ended up in rehab...way before it was fashionable. I then got married (and divorced), had babies (the best!) and found myself restoring a 12th-century monastery in a remote part of Suffolk where I now run an event business – and, at last, make music.
Recently, I created a studio from an old shed in my garden, and have given into music. Given in to the whole other world of it, becoming weird and internal, becoming someone who doesn’t care so much about being weird, becoming ecstatically divinely happy / tormented / confused / despairing / blissful. I even went and got myself a music degree 6 years ago--an only partially successful attempt to somehow regularise my position to myself. To make it seem more normal. I’m not so bothered about that any more... just to have the time and space to create music seems to me the biggest luxury in the world and I thank the Universe nightly for this privilege. To share it with you as well is to me like a miracle. I hope you enjoy listening.
“All art is prayer.” Tarkovsky