Musicians first: schoolmates, old friends & people I've worked with
- Gwendolyn Toth/ARTEK
- I worked with Gwen and her New York based early music ensemble from 1993 to 1999, and am on two of their CD recordings - "L'Orfeo", and Drew Minter's "Love Letters from Italy". ARTEK's approach to early music has shaped my own in a pretty big way.
- Mark Morris Dance Group
- As member of ARTEK, I toured the US wit the Mark Morris Dance Group in 1997, with their programme "I Don't Want to Love", a gorgeous choreography of some of Monteverdi's madrigals. Definitely a highlight of my career as a performer! Besides, I got PAID to stay in Berkeley for a week, see the San Francisco halloween parade, and watch a gorgeous show over again, and all I had to do was play harp for 20 minutes every night. If a musician's life always was like that, I might still be at it! :D
- Belinda Sykes
- I had heard about Belinda well before I got to meet her in the postgraduate "General Ethnomusicology" seminar I attended at SOAS in London in 1999/2000. Recently I spotted her on the soundtrack for "River Queen"! She also threw the best party I ever attended. :D
- Siobhan Armstrong
- The first time I met her was as a teacher, and I might have listed her as mentor or fellow spirit, but mostly Siobhan has been a great pal and fountain of advice (e.g. concerning the vexed question of how to fly a harp), and after all, she did come to study in Bremen for a while. The bio on her website, btw, is a clean understatement - just today I found out that she's the one who plays harp on the 2004 "Merchant of Venice" film soundtrack...
- Alban Gerhardt
- Alban and I went to the same high school in Berlin. He was just a grade or two younger than me, and already the undisputed star of our annual school Christmas concerts. Now he is a world famous cellist - I met him again recently when he came to Wellington for his New Zealand debut with the NZSO.
- Simone Kermes
- Back in 1997, I spent a week or two in Cologne to record Handel's "Saul". The part of Merab - full of angry coloratura arias, but also featuring one very moving lyrical piece - was taken by a young soprano just out of Fischer-Dieskau's lieder masterclass. She stayed in my mind not only because she blew me away with her performance, but also because she seemed a friendly, unassuming sort of person and we got along pretty well. So I was delighted when, on my flight back from Europe this year, I saw her featured in the Lufthansa flight magazine! I'm glad to see she is getting the recognition she deserves.
- Hille Perl
- I've known Hille for aaaages - from performances when she was just starting out, as well as working on the same gigs when I was a student
in Bremen, and she recently finished. Once, when I hitched a ride back from Hamburg with her, she earnestly told me I needed my own car, and so the next week I went and bought one. I always find it hard to believe that she is just two years my senior.. not that she looks that old! She's probably the most aesthetic gamba player on the planet.
Teachers, mentors & shining examples
- John Howe
- If it wasn't for John, I would presumably still be a very frustrated harpist, rather than a very happy multimedia artist. And I still wouldn't know how to properly hold a pencil. Besides, his website is something to aspire to!
- Stephen Stubbs
- Of all my former teachers, Stephen has earned my eternal gratitude for safely seeing me to the end of my studies in Bremen. Now he's back in his native Seattle, and running a baroque opera school. If it's anything like the continuo classes and summer schools he and fellow Tragicomedian Erin Headley used to run in Europe, it comes very highly recommended!
- Hilliard Ensemble
- I attended a summer school with these fellas way back when - about 1990 or 91 I think? - and their recordings, particularly those with Jan Garbarek, have been an inspiration.
- Suzie Le Blanc
- The first time I saw Suzie on stage was back in the 1980's, in one of the first performances of the newly formed ensemble Tragicomedia, at the SFB in Berlin. She stood out not only as a gifted and intelligent singer, but a striking stage presence. At the time she must have been just out of school - and I got to follow a good part of her singing career at close quarters. She then moved back to Canada, I moved to New Zealand, so I lost sight of her - but recently a friend pointed me to her exemplary website. Looks like she has been soaring! Not only as a singer, but also as a film actress.
Absolute inspirations: music, art & literature
- Easily the coolest musician alive. Besides, if *she* manages to become rich (?) and famous with the rather off-beat stuff she does, there is hope for all of us. :D
- Claudio Monteverdi
- Easily the coolest dead musician. I first met him in high school - when I was in grade 5 our music teacher bravely put on a half-staged performance of "l'Orfeo" and I got to sing in the school choir. Little did I know then that this opera would also be my first professional CD recording.
- Astrid Lindgren
- Fortunately my mother has impeccable literary taste, and she brought us up on Astrid Lindgren's books. In fact, she even named me after her! Her books have formed me in ways too numerous to name - and I still enjoy reading them! The site is in Swedish, but it's so much nicer than the offical English language page.
- Ursula K. Le Guin
- I don't know why it took me until only a year or so ago to discover her books, but it was an instant infatuation. And a massive inspiration to paint: Check out my illustration gallery!
- Of course there are about a million websites devoted to the Professor, so he should have a dedicated links section, really, but he cannot be missing from my list. I suppose the reasons are rather obvious...
- Ilon Wikland
- Having grown up with Astrid Lindgren's books, of course I grew up on this lady's wonderful illustrations as well. And she was born in Estonia, where my mother comes from!
- Alan Lee
- I had the good fortune to see a stack of Alan's conceptual drawings for the "Lord of the Rings" movies in an exhibition here in Wellington a while ago, and I swear that just by looking at them, by pencil sketching skills got a 100% better!
- Weta Workshops & Weta Digital
- They just rock. What can I say. Got a pretty neat new website, too! :D
Fellow spirits: people I've met virtually or in real life
- "Crooty" aka Stéphanie Noverraz
- Fellow illustrator, fantasy fan and New Zealand enthusiast. Stéphanie has a day job as 3D modeler in Switzerland. In her free time, she creates beautiful, unique illustrations, takes photos, and writes reviews of fantasy novels.
- "Inkibus" aka Alana Schmitt
- The incomparable LammengorthauRockatansky, aka Mouth of Sauron! When she is not on the internet, this vastly creative and original person works on her very very own brand of painting, takes photos of mysterious hooded people, or works on her day job in her parent's handcrafted furniture business somewhere way, way off in the woods of America. Or she tends the chickens.
- Dryad Studios
- Inkibus's day job! Check it out! They make some pretty unique furniture.
- Catherine Anne Hiley
- Another fellow illustrator, book- and printmaker, and gifted caricaturist. She grew up in Regensburg and Berlin, and now lives in Edinburgh.
- "Dragonlady" aka Goupil
- Yet another fellow illustrator, from Switzerland. Her art is colourful and inventive, and her dragons are absolutely the best !
- "Elara" aka Bonnie Branson
- She studied animation, decided she didn't like it, and became a school teacher in Boston instead. I wish she'd get to paint more, though, her illustrations are truly poetic special.
Aotearoa/New Zealand; art, culture and travel tips
Geekdom: multimedia, internet, scripts and other useful things