Annie Locke bio
It’s perhaps unusual for someone to complete a degree at the Royal Academy of Music, with piano as a principal study, and not realise that they can write music…
Yet this is precisely what happened to Annie Locke. And for quite a while, even after leaving college, she was totally unaware of her ability to do so.[ Annie Locke bio ]
But then, Annie discovered that she could indeed write and improvise music. And her first album, The Living Earth, created within a year of beginning to compose, sold over 50,000 copies, mainly by word of mouth, and was apparently placed in the top ten of Billboard’s new age chart at the time.
Her work, with its lingering melodies, and stemming from her classical roots, is distinctive, yet easily accessible and immediately appealing. Many people also comment on how relaxing they find her music.
Raised in the suburbs of London, Annie’s musical career began when her mother bought her a piano when she was about 5. Having learnt the basics from her mum, she set about teaching herself for a couple of years until a lady, who ran a private school next door, offered her free lessons.
At age 3, she had been diagnosed with a rare blood disease, which was very nearly fatal a couple of times and meant frequent spells in hospital. But she finally recovered fully when she was about 15. Her father. too, was very ill and had to give up work. All this meant that she could only practice for about a half-hour a day – by no means ideal. [ Annie Locke bio ]
However, things improved a lot in her late teens, and she managed to get accepted into the Royal Academy of Music, London, receiving a degree with piano and oboe as main studies.
Career at the BBC, and then discovering the synthesizer
From there, Annie joined the BBC, wanting to become a music producer. Initially however, she followed up some experience she had of drama in the BBC Television Drama Department, working as a Production Manager alongside such noted film directors as Michael Apted and Mike Leigh, as well as with notable actors like, amongst others, Patrick Stewart, John Hurt , Francesca Annis and Tom Bell. Later, she also directed a couple of classical music programmes, one from Longleat House, the home of the Marquis of Bath, and worked on some opera productions, also at the BBC.
She enjoyed all this greatly and still had no idea that she had a talent for writing music until, one day, she met a lady who was improvising on a synthesizer at a large exhibition. She got to play that synthesizer, was immediately captivated by all the sounds and suddenly found herself able to improvise freely for the first time. She immediately bought her own synthesizer and began recording her improvisations. [ Annie Locke bio ]
How her first album came about
Soon after, Annie helped to run a workshop in Finland. The night before, she recorded a new piece to play during the workshop. The participants, unbeknown to her and clearly impressed by her music, made a collection, and asked her to use it to make an album. Very soon after, she was asked to write some music for an exhibition of crystals at a Theme Park. So the two things came together, and she produced The Living Earth, which was very successful and became especially popular for relaxation and all kinds of therapies.
After the success of the first album, she left the BBC, then wrote her next two albums, Portraits and Memories, also popular for meditation and relaxation, in the space of the next couple of years. All three albums are synthesized instrumental and a crossover between classical and ambient new age music. [ Annie Locke bio ]
Back with her first love – the piano!
From the first, she was always improvising piano pieces, which didn’t really fit with these albums. She played some of these at concerts including a solo piano concert at Cheltenham Town Hall, which is a noted venue in England for classical music. But her long-held desire, to do some solo piano albums, was finally fulfilled with this latest album, A Glimmer of Hope, which she plans to be the first of several similar albums.
Annie’s New Album – A GLIMMER OF HOPE
This album contains a spectrum of solo piano pieces selected from those she wrote early on, through to those written more recently. Here you’ll discover beautiful, melodious piano pieces – at times relaxing, sometimes stimulating – that will whisk you away on a river journey, entice you into a deep forest, take you riding through Montana and exploring exotic places…
Excerpt from a review of A Glimmer of Hope by Kathy Parsons of MainlyPiano.com
“Annie’s classical roots are apparent in the richness of the harmonies and the beautiful flow of the melodies, and yet this music is timeless… I can’t wait to hear what else she has for us!… Recommended!”
Link to the full review: http://mainlypiano.com/reviews/annie-locke-a-glimmer-of-hope
Excerpt from a review by Steve Sheppard of One World Music Radio
“It’s a rare but wonderful thing, when you find a solo pianist from the UK in a genre that is usually dominated by the US.
The compositions and arrangements are a total pleasure to listen to… A Glimmer of Hope is a release that could be described as a panacea to cure all ills.
The music contained, within this album, touches the heart, gives us hope and leaves us at peace and in contentment. Annie Locke has taken to the solo Piano genre like a fish to water and the wait of twenty years has been well worth it.
If you’re a lover of the solo piano genre, you’re really going to want to check this one out; it’s an album that has something for everyone.”
Link to the full review: http://www.oneworldmusic.co.uk/annie-locke/4594058506
Annie Locke on writing her music
One of the things I love doing most is improvising music. When I feel in the right mood, I switch on the recorder and, often without any idea of how I’m going to start, begin to play…
When I’ve finished, I listen back to the recording. I usually don’t have any recollection of what I’ve just played, but, on a good day, I can discover that I have somehow improvised one or two complete pieces… [ Annie Locke bio ]
It still feels like absolute magic to me and I’m very grateful to have discovered this ability. Most of the pieces on this album began life exactly in this way – then were written out and re-recorded. Please see the track notes for more details. [ Annie Locke bio ]
Annie Locke’s music has become popular with people of all ages and from all walks of life. The reasons for this are simple enough; her music touches the hearts of folk because she plays from the heart and wishes to help bring some sunshine and quiet into all our lives.