Home Bio Albums Video Animations

Looking south down the Saanich Inlet from the Salt Spring shore.

I was born in Toronto. 
I began organizing sound into coherent patterns when I was very young.
As we all do.

They say I sang in Swedish before I could speak English. 

I made drums out of cardboard boxes.

Also hats.

Once I could walk, I developed an original technique 
for playing the garden hose in the cellar, making
my family believe damp ghosts dwelled in the laundry room.

My violin playing was enthusiastic but scared our cats.

One day my father bought himself a Heintzman upright piano
and I knew I had found my thing.
I learned to play in about 3 weeks.

One hand at a time, of course.
I only used 3 fingers on my right hand 
2 on my left.

By the time I was twelve, in 1960, 
I was playing church dances.

I got paid $5 per gig, which, 
after my rent for an amplifier left me with $2.

But I was happy!
I got to go to dances without having to dance.

My first band featured piano, clarinet and snare drum.
We played Fats Domino's Walking To New Orleans for 40 minutes
Then Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer's Moon River 
until it was time to go home.

My father and I played songs like Careless Love, 
Someone To Watch Over Me, 
Blue Moon, Chopsticks,
even Rachmaninov's C Sharp Minor Prelude, but in C.

To impress my little brothers 
I pretended I could read the Fireside Book of Folksongs, 
but I was just making it up.

My life as a teenager centered on piano, chess and beer.
By age 20 I had played in many Toronto bands, 
usually with an emphasis on rhythm and blues.
The Omegas! JT and the Lightning!
The Diplomats!

I understand there are survivors of those days 
hiding in the Ontario woods 
perplexing weekend tourists with their unorthodox chords to 
Midnight Hour and Knock On Wood.

I was severely injured by several Universities 
and eventually gave up.

I joined a commune of one near Downeyville Ontario called 

There I finally taught myself to read music, 
studied Bach, Chopin and Beethoven,
wrote songs, played 12 string guitar and nearly froze to death.

I burned an old cedar fence to stay warm. 
This perplexed my neighbour who gave me a pile of maple stumps
and then I almost burned Neverneverneverland to the ground 
by means of a chimney fire.

I hauled my Heintzman upright piano around in a trailer 
behind an old blue Volkswagen and performed where I could.
I eventually found employment as a studio musician in Toronto 
and worked with many fine musicians including Bruce Cockburn, Raffi, 
Marc Jordan, Shirley Eikhard, 
Fraser and Debolt and Len Udow,
and played on records, and TV and radio shows.

I studied composition and piano with Dr. Sam Dolin  at the Royal Conservatory 
and continued to learn all I could of the music of 
Bach, Chopin, Beethoven, 
Scarlatti, Mozart, Debussy, 
Ravel and Satie.

Over the next few years I recorded three albums of my own,
Ancient Ships, Bells Of Earth, and Small Circus, 
featuring music for piano, harpsichord, organ and marimba.

In 1989 my family and I abandoned downtown Toronto for southern Vancouver Island. 

For many years I have been lucky enough to have worked with Richard Condie.
I have scored all of his NFB animations, 
including the Oscar nominated classics The Big Snit and La Salla.
Richard and I agree that our favorite is The Apprentice 
for which I also made all the soundscapes in addition to the music. 

Other animations I have scored include the Oscar winning NFB short Bob's Birthday
and all 52 episodes of Nelvana's TV series 
Bob and Margaret which was broadcast worldwide.

Now I'm focusing on my first loves, 
piano playing, improvisation,singing (not in Swedish) and song writing.

I look after my vegetable beds, 
row and sail my little boat around the islands and study Mompou.

I no longer play the garden hose.

Home Bio Albums Video Animations