Welcome to my music and writing - with a little bit of family history, and ever so slight name dropping thrown in for good measure.


I'm a singer-songwriter, classically trained guitarist and playwright based in Barnet, with a passion for music, singing and writing. Since I can remember, hardly a day has gone by without singing. These musical genes were passed down to me from my great-grandmother Dora (whom I was fortunate enough to have known), who was a piano teacher, and my grandfather George, who received training at The Royal Academy of Music, and was a semi-professional singer in the 1940s - with even a fan club! He had a wonderful voice, similar in style and tone to Harry Secombe (and just as good I would say) but unfortunately had to turn down an offer after the war to join the popular George Melachrino Orchestra, due to family and work commitments. He also enjoyed writing, as my mother does also - so it definitely runs in the blood. (Amazingly, he once told me that he had seen Stan Laurel getting on a train and that he looked "Bloody miserable!") And my great auntie Paula (whom incidentally was once chatted up by the actor Stewart Granger - before she told him that she was aged just 16 years old) trained at RADA, in the same class as Patricia Hitchcock (Alfred Hitchcock's daughter), so that's an interesting link, as I have always loved the theatre and 1930s/40s films, and enjoy fine acting/directing.   


I have been writing for the past three decades in one way or another, and contemporary songs for the past 13 years, having played guitar since I was 7 years old - certain that I was intuitively drawn towards it all those years ago. I started singing and accompanying myself on the guitar, and then soon progressed to studying classical music, when I discovered the sweet and beautiful sound that this versatile instrument can make. I spent many happy hours giving recitals at school music festivals and concerts, playing compositions from the likes of Leo Brouwer, Manuel Ponce and Francisco Tarrega, and found that I enjoyed performing in front of an audience. My early musical influences and appreciation of melody and harmony were shaped by the songs I was listening to from a young age, by Paul Simon, Wings, Dionne Warwick, Barbara Streisand, Neil Sedaka and Neil Diamond - I still remember the album covers! In a nutshell, I truly love singing, playing guitar and entertaining. I feel that it nourishes my soul and I hope that joy comes across to those who are listening. And I get the same buzz today from learning and perfecting new songs. My own songs have received an enthusiastic response from audiences as they have catchy, melodic tunes with sincere, heartfelt lyrics - sharing the relaxed style of artists such as Katie Melua and Yael Naim. There are so many talented singer-songwriters out there - the above singers, plus Adele, Gary Barlow, Roy Orbison, Mike Batt, David Essex, Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Elvis Costello, Cat Stevens, and the Bee Gees are just some of my inspirational favourites. I feel that if I'm able to produce work anything close to theirs, then I am happy.

 

I have previously performed in musicals as an amateur and professional (with West End musical and BBC comedy directors), comedy revue (plus writing eighty topical, satirical songs and sketches) and four-part harmony choir, including numerous performances at The Bloomsbury and Mermaid Theatres. From 2004 - 2011 I regularly performed a set of Gershwin, Berlin, Bart, Porter and Rodgers & Hart songs with a piano accompanist and since 2011 I have been singing with my guitar. Some exciting and interesting experiences along the way have included auditioning for talent shows such as Stars In Their Eyes (where I reached the final 200 auditionees) as their youngest ever Bing Crosby, and Opportunity Knocks (when the great Bob Monkhouse was presenting it - which probably shows my age), recording songs at a BBC radio station, rehearsing at Sadler's Wells and the Royal Opera House, receiving a nice letter from Neil Sedaka's assistant (the day after sending my lyrics to him), standing outside the stage door until midnight in the freezing November cold (I have written a short comedy script inspired by this!) - waiting to give my cd to Katie Melua (I eventually handed a copy to a friend of hers and another to her tour bus), and posting a copy of a play to one of my childhood comedy heroes - Stanley Baxter, and receiving a kind letter on his behalf (a whole 6 months and two days later, when he was aged 92!) From my experience of receiving replies from film production and theatre companies, people do genuinely seem to be interested, and offer their advice and best wishes - which is reassuring these days.  


My personal songwriting rules are simple - 1) That the most important part of the song is the melody.* 2) That the most important part of the song are the lyrics. 3) No wishy-washy songs allowed! As I'm sure any other writer or artist will explain, there are few things which match the satisfaction of coming up with something which is original - with the added enjoyment of sharing it with others. I always strive to find the best melody to fit the best lyrics that I am able to write at the time. Sometimes the melody arrives first, at other times the lyrics, and if I'm lucky, both together. Occasionally I've been fortunate (in the right zone) and have written songs in 25 minutes - some of my better ones, as they happen organically. Others have taken longer (4 years with a chorus in my mind, before finally writing the song!) Ultimately, I am seeking a publishing deal for other artists to sing my songs and am always keen to find new places to showcase them live.


Thanks for listening and showing interest. I hope you enjoy what you hear and read. There is much more to come during 2019...

 

Yours musically,

 

Marc  



 * “There are only 7 notes that you can work with; the difference is in getting them in the right order. Not everybody does, otherwise everyone would be having a successful composing career. The difference is if you’ve got a knack of knowing something… you just know when you hear something that it works… When you write a pop song, you write with melody first.” Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees.



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