I have always been very curious to explore new ideas on musical instruments, and to see how far I can push things both musically and technically. Over the last few years I have focused my attentions on bagpipes and the ancient Greek and Roman aulos.
My musical career so far
I started playing the highland pipes at the age of 16. From then onwards music became the big passion in my life and I was fortunate to be taught by some supportive music teachers. After school I studied music at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in Greenwich, London. While at the Conservatoire I was awarded the Silver Medal for Early Music in 2013 and for three consecutive years the Beryl Maggs Prize for Recorder.
Performing, Teaching and Instrument Making
Once I left the Conservatoire, I began my career as a self-employed musician and composer, working in a wide variety of different musical fields. This musical journey has led me to many exciting areas as a performer, teacher and instrument maker.
As a performer I work as a soloist, in duos like the Branschke Armstrong Duo, and ensembles like Concerto Caledonia and The Savage Prunes. I have also performed in theatre productions such as the Suppliant Woman, which toured around the UK and to Hong Kong.
As a teacher I enjoy working with individual students or in larger groups. More about my teaching experience can be found soon under Booking & Teaching.
Additionally, I collaborate with various makers in developing new designs of instruments and through this I have gained experience in fine tuning and specialised in designing and making reeds.
My musical journey continues, and the most recent and unexpected fascination has been involved with reviving the Ancient Greek aulos – a double pipe played by the Greeks and Romans between ca. 2500 and 0 BC. Several of these instruments have survived but none of them have reeds, which provides me with the exciting challenge of developing reeds to work in reconstructions of these pipes.
When I was a teenager, learning the Highland pipes, I found I enjoyed composing and arranging music for them and this is continued throughout my musical journey. As I progress from one instrument to another I enjoy discovering different styles and possibilities for each specific instrument or musical ensemble that I encounter. My latest venture is writing for my sextet consisting of three duos (bagpipes, violin, harp).