Helen is a well established and respected Bristol based musician. She is a pianist, a 'keys' and synth player, a singer songwriter, a composer, an arranger, a musical director and a music educator. She also plays the trumpet, the flugel, tenor and french horns, the harmonium and melodica.
She juggles a busy schedule of freelance writing, rehearsing, performing and recording for a variety of professional musical projects and occasionally audio, visual and media companies. Whilst many of these contracts can be individual, Helen currently has regular work with these established artistic partnerships.
She is one quarter of the legendary 60's instrumental surf rock band The Rumble-O's undertaking vintage organ and trumpet duties. She becomes lead vocalist and synthtress of mystery with psychedelic prog-meisters Asteroid Deluxe who are releasing their debut record in Nov 2017. She plays wurli, piano and harmonium with friend and musical soulmate Annette Berlin in a brand new vintage blues and jazz covers duo Café Elektric and regularly writes, records, performs and tours across the UK and Europe with heavy weight rock band Crippled Black Phoenix, folk artist Martin Callingham and post-punk poppers Shōun Shōun.
Past acts have included fronting Bristol psych-art trip-hoppers Pressplay, playing trumpet as a member of the horn section for latin funkers Mofunk and many guest performances or sessions including for The Moonflowers, Goan Dogs and Episonic
Helen also has a brand new solo project U R S A that showcases her latest songwriting which you can read more about and listen to on the SONGS page. Lastly Helen is busy at the writing and scoring stage for an ambitious short film score project The Family Cine Film Project which you can read more about and listen to some tasters on the COMPOSITIONS page.
Helen holds various music college teaching posts and runs her own piano teaching practice for all ages and abilities http://bristolpianolessons.biz. She also runs her own rehearsal and recording studio in Bristol http://www.mivartstudios.co.uk
Helen has a passionate involvment with community music projects as well as professional ones and has sung and arranged for a Bristol community choir Angel's Banned http://www.angelsbanned.com and performed with Bristol and Paris based community project The Greatness of the Magificance Fantasy Orchestra http://www.fantasyorchestra.org who have many prestigious shows a year. Helen is a committee member for the Fantasy Orchestra.
Background and qualifications
Helen began playing the piano at the age of 5, taking formal lessons aged 8. After working up the 8 grades of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music classical performance exams as a pupil of Sylvia Bowden LRAM, she went on to study music; first at higher education, completing the Pre-Professional Music Course (2 A level qualifications) as a pupil of the late Mark Ray (where she also completed the 8 grades of the ABRSM theoretical exams and grade 7 on the french horn) then at degree-level at Dartington College of Arts, where she majored in composition as a student of Frank Denyer and was awarded a BA Mus in composition. She was also awarded the Certificate of Teaching by the ABRSM in 2008. Now after a long break from formal tuition Helen has returned to study for a DipABRSM on the piano as a student of Helen Reid's at Bristol University.
Recording, scoring & equipment
Helen has a large extensively equipped rehearsal and recording studio at Mivart Artists Studios in Easton, Bristol in partnership with recording and mixing engineer Tom Wilding http://www.wildingsounds.co.uk but she also has a modestly equipped home studio including her Steinway baby grand piano, her Wurlitzer electric piano, a collection of professional microphones and preamps, a Focusrite Saffire Pro40, Alesis active studio monitors and Sibelius 7 and Reaper on iMac. Helen also has a wealth of experience recording audio using other DAWs such as Pro-Tools and Logic and Nuendo.
She has scored and arranged a variety of works for small to large musical groups, ensembles, sections and full choir.
Helen has among many other instruments and equipment a Roland RD 700nx stage piano, a Nord Electro 5, her analogue synth - Octave Plateau Kitten II, Yamaha DB12 speakers and a Fender Deluxe Reverb amp for live performances.