Annie Locke bio
Annie Locke has become known and respected in many parts of the world for her special contribution to relaxation and contemporary classical music.
Her work, with its lingering melodies and unusual textures of sound, is distinctive, yet easily accessible and immediately appealing.
Annie Locke started playing at the age of five when her mother bought her a piano and gave her a few basic lessons. She then carried on teaching herself until a lady, who ran the small school next door, heard her play and offered her free lessons.
She won a scholarship for lessons at secondary school. It was not easy for her to practice in those earlier years as she spent a lot of time in hospital with a rare blood disease which was very nearly fatal. She eventually recovered when she was about fifteen.
Her father was also very ill from the time she was three and, because of this, she could only practice for about half-an-hour a day. Nevertheless, she managed to get a place at the Royal Academy of Music, London, from where she obtained a music degree, with piano and oboe as main studies.
Time in Television
She joined BBC Television, in her twenties, wanting to become a classical music producer, but somehow ended up working on her other love, drama.
She was fortunate enough to work (mainly as a Production Manager) with many talented directors, including Mike Leigh (on Abigail’s Party), Michael Apted (who has directed many notable feature films including Gorillas in the Mist and Bond film, The World is Not Enough) and Alan Clarke (see track note about A Man Called Alan).
She also worked on major TV opera productions and directed some music programmes (including a broadcast of Haydn’s music from Longleat House in Wiltshire – home of the Marquis of Bath).
Making Her Albums
Annie only began to write music after she left college, whilst still working in drama, and after playing a synthesizer for the first time.
Some of the sounds inspired her to start improvising pieces, which she recorded as her first album, The Living Earth. After the success of that album, she left the BBC to pursue composing and performing full-time.
She found that she had a special gift for writing relaxing, therapeutic music with strong melodies, and her first three albums, The Living Earth, Portraits, and Memories, gained a following amongst therapists, health professionals and many others wanting to relax.
Her music, mainly by word of mouth, reached many countries and, in the days before the internet took off, she sold over 100,000 albums. The Living Earth reached the top ten for music of its kind in the Billboard charts in the USA.
How ‘A Glimmer of Hope’ nearly didn’t happen
Annie was just starting to record her new album when she had an accident in which, amongst other
things, she fractured both her wrists very badly in several places.
This could have stopped her playing altogether, but luckily the surgeon, who also happened to be a keen musician, suggested fitting titanium implants in both hands and wrists to stabilise them. The operation was a great success and, although she had to re-learn some of her playing skills, within a year or so her playing was as good as it was before.
Annie 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…
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.