Cheeky Fest
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Cheeky Fest

Rupert Cheek, 31 Jan 2018

Why I love music

I’m involved with music because as a child it was not only a positive outlet but a necessary one, an imperative one, as it was a way for me to connect to others. Music is quite literally my first language. When I was young (3 or 4), I was not talking so had speech therapy. That didn’t have much impact so I moved to music therapy. Music therapy helped, and music still helps me, to communicate and connect with others, to express / be myself, to be part of the world.

I [recently — mid 2010's] asked my mum about her memories of my speech & music therapy

Speech therapy

She felt………
anxious about how I felt
pleased that someone was trying to help
guilty as I thought that it was my fault that you weren’t talking
relieved that I had something constructive to do & a way of communicating sounds using signs

She thought that I felt…………
Pleased that you could communicate even if only with making sounds
Frustrated that you couldn’t say what you wanted to

Music therapy

She was………..
amazed by the effect it had on me
delighted that I was enjoying it so much
hopeful that it was going to work much more that speech therapy
relieved that there was an alternative to speech therapy which seemed to have achieved all it was going to achieve

She thought that I was………

excited by the music
enjoying the ‘music’ making very much
free to ‘shout’ because I’d found my voice
very happy to be communicating with ‘musical’ speech
emotionally charged because it was good fun and something I loved
able to ‘talk’ in a language instigated by me i.e. I was ‘in charge’ with [therapist] Pamela following my lead

My earliest musical memories involve listening to my mum singing and playing guitar, listening to the radio when my dad had it on. I fell in love with (a record of) Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker / Swan Lake at the age of 8.

The same year (1988), my oldest brother gave me a tape of Queen’s album The Works. I was hooked.

3 years later, Freddie died. I remember the Tribute concert the year after. My parents got me 2 tickets to see/hear Brian May and Kerry Ellis perform at the Royal Albert Hall some years ago when they released their Anthems album.

Kerry previously was a star in the queen / Ben Elton musical “We Will Rock You” in London, which I saw twice.

One of Mike Oldfield’s tracks in particular (not from TB) is emotional for me as it was used in an acrobatics display my brother used to do with someone else at this acrobatics club.

Mike Oldfield is a British musician who became famous due to his album Tubular Bells (and the later Tubular Bells II, Tubular Bells III and Millenium Bell), which was the first album released on Richard Branson’s Virgin Records label.

My educational background is in music — I had piano lessons for many years and studied music at university — piano, composition, theory, history…

In 2002 I graduated with a BMus from at Roehampton Uni in SW London. I studied music (including piano & composition) and gained experience as a piano accompanist for “Shades of Harmony” (an intimate female choir) and a string trio. I also helped a solo singer pass a grade exam. I wrote a thesis (supervised by Dr B Norton) on Philip Glass’ opera trilogy comprising Einstein on the Beach, Satyagraha & Akhnaten. E.o.t.B changed the way I listened to music because the structures, rate of harmonic change were so different to anything I’d heard before. Maybe listening to Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells paved the way for my passion for Minimal music.

During 2002–03 I studied film/TV composition at Kingston Uni. I got involved with an arts event called “transit station”. The first Station was at Kingston, then we travelled to Berlin & Edinburgh. I collaborated (as composer / pianist) with dancers and live / performance artists and filmmakers.

In 2003 I created the soundtrack for Death (G)row (Right Charlie Prods). In 2005 I composed the score for a short film (The Spotter, dir. Li, prod. Main) by students at the London Film Academy.

During Feb — July 2005 I worked with Sheen Mount School as a pianist. In 2011 I gained further experience as an accompanist at St John’s primary school in Kingston. During 2006–07 I worked as a play-worker & gained a level 2 CACHE playwork certificate. In 2007 I gained experience as a youth music tutor.

During 2010–12, under the banner “piano Talent”, I worked with London based singer-songwriter called Nix Nugent. Piano Talent is now a platform to promote myself as a piano teacher and pianist as well as other pianists, teachers, composers etc… @pianotalent / fb.com/PianoTalentUK

Around 2007 I started working as a composer on an opera / musical / music theatre piece based on a book called We All Know Too Much by Chris Eales. This is a project I would like to bring to fruition in the future. Find out more in the Facebook group / Flickr group / @waktm

Since 2010 (initially at rupertcheek.blogspot.co.uk) I have been developing my skills / experience / passion for using social media to connect with musicians and help them to connect / communicate with others.

Music promotion via Cheeky Promo, born on 1st January 2013, is the first step towards a performance space, rehearsal / recording studio, arts centre, education organisation and music startup incubator and/or accelerator.

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