I'm from a family of musicians, but I found that out only in January 2001 at the age of 45, because I was adopted when I was eight weeks old. My adoptive parents were not musical and so I had to discover music more or less for myself. I work as an international development consultant and have worked in 38 countries between Chile in the west and Vietnam in the east.
So I guess I have a pretty unusual combination of experience and abilities. It's quite pleasing that when people talk about me, whether in connection with my professional work or with music, the word that most often crops up is "brilliant". That's not my doing: it's the way God made me, so give him the glory!
There have been many influences on my musical view of things over the years, but perhaps the most relevant have been Sergei Prokofiev, Igor Stravinsky, Bela Bartok, Benjamin Britten, William Walton, Ralph Vaughan Williams and Olivier Messiaen. However there's also a fair bit of rock, jazz and folk that I've assimilated over time, from groups such as Yes, Jethro Tull and Capercallie, and artists such as Dave Grusin (who remains my favourite jazz pianist).
I guess that explains the diversity of my music, from modes of limited transposition in 'A Himalaya Concerto' and 'Nocturne' to the eclectic fusion of rock, Renaissance and Greek traditional styles in 'Masquerade' (which had a five-year-old Vietnamese girl dancing around a room in Hanoi!)
I compose on impulse in response to need. Ironically my very best music has been written in response to situations of great personal tragedy, such as the premature death of a young lady, the devastation caused by the 2015 earthquakes in Nepal or human rights abuses in Burma.
My main instruments are the piano and the recorders. I used to play the oboe also, which is why my music often features quite exquisite oboe parts. Though not completely self-taught my technique is distinctly unorthodox (e.g. glissandi on a recorder or playing two recorders at once).
I am happily married (since 1978), with a son, a daughter and four lovely grandchildren. I've been a committed Christian since 1975. Although based in southwest England I have travelled widely in my work as a development consultant. I enjoy cooking Vietnamese, Thai, Indian, Moroccan, Italian and Spanish cuisines.
Fantastic work ... The final movement was brilliant. I adored the way it approached an almost shimmering Gamelan type texture at times. Thanks for a great listen.
Charles Jackson-Allen, on 'A Himalaya Concerto' Musician, Trowbridge, England
A major new work ... stunning. I love it. The music is so fresh, beautifully written and takes you straight into the heart of the Himalayas.
Idris Harries, on 'A Himalaya Concerto' Clarinettist, Queensland, Australia
Beautifully done. Very powerful. You have captured the way that great mountains seduce, invite adventure and bring the spirit out to play – yet sometimes terrify.
Emily Barroso, on 'A Himalaya Concerto' Writer, London, England
I must say that the clarinet part certainly is challenging. You have stretched the instrument to new paths. Very impressive work indeed!
Louis Panacciulli, on 'A Himalaya Concerto' Music Director, Nassau Pops Symphony Orchestra, NY, USA
I love the harmonies. The tension and release reminds me of the Tallis Fantasia and the Tavener piece sung at Princess Diana’s funeral.
Idris Harries, on 'Elegy for Strings' Clarinettist, Queensland, Australia
This is absolutely beautiful. It is truly inspired.
Jane Butler, on 'O Love' Holt, England
This is a beautiful piece. My High School choir thoroughly enjoyed it. The melodies and harmonies are gorgeous and flow wonderfully with the text. I would highly recommend this piece to any choir.
Mary Morgan, on 'O Love' Park City, Utah, USA
One of the most beautiful pieces of music I have ever heard.
Benedict Rogers, on 'O Love' London, England
Enjoyed very much listening to the songs. A flavour of innocence and freshness is woven into the melodic lines. It moves with grace and freedom without any hint of the constraints of convention sometimes found in song composition.
Stephen Skews, on 'Idylls' Trowbridge, England
I don't know how you managed to do it, but you've succeeded in making this sound more original than the original.
Kenneth Pelmear (1923-1995), on 'An Hos Los Coth' (1974) Musician and composer
You play in tongues with your hands on the piano.
Makiko Nakachi Concert pianist, Prague, Czech Republic