I am a performing composer and musician playing Piano Violin & Guitar, synths and other stuff. She was a founder member of Rock/Roots band Elephant Shelf and also the Delta Ladies. I compose in a variety of styles from pop to rock to jazz and classical music I am also well versed in multimedia recording and music production.
I have been playing various instruments since I was about 15. I started on Harmonica because it looked easy and it was cheap. I didn’t get on that well with it though. I had always enjoyed the Piano but where I was living it was not possible for the family to have one frustratingly. We tried to get my Grandmas old piano, but sadly we lived in an upstairs flat and could not get it in. I made do with something called a reed organ, which was a bit like a harmonium with an electric blower. I did learn some basic things on it though. I also had a guitar which I made serious efforts with too. One instrument I had always really liked was the Violin and I started playing that too. It was very difficult to start with and I gave up for a year or so, but for some reason, I thought I would have another go at it and started again.
Fast forward a few years and I had been messing about with second-hand tape machines and making recordings by bouncing sound from one tape recorder to another. I had a fairly stable job and at that point, the Mk1 Teac Portastudio first appeared. Well, I had to have one. By this time I had started to build up an interesting collection of Instruments keyboards guitars and so forth. I had rarely played live though. I was a bit of a techie and when I discovered you could create something called an mp3 file and put it on your website, there was no holding me back. I have a lot of music on the web. Everything from completed tracks to demos. The material spans roughly from about 1995 till the present. It covers a lot of musical genres as I have always been diverse in my musical tastes. I am still exploring musically and trying to learn something new along the way. Time passed and having assumed that I would not be doing anything much live ever, in 2004 I was invited to join a band. I have carried on with my personal musical outpourings till now, but have also played around 2200 odd gigs as well. That’s something I never thought would happen. It’s funny how life takes you in different directions than you expect.
Actually a lot of the music is up beat and optimistic so figure that one out, I wish I could.Perhaps because music takes me to another place that I can not otherwise occupy, or maybe at the best of times opens a doorway for me. I think I have drifted through every musical style in the history of Mankind, or person kind perhaps, or am I getting a bit Californian: as I have always been interested in almost every sort of music from pop to the musicals and the classics, I would love to get into film /soundtrack writing but it is of course like every other part of the music world highly competitive. In the last few years I got back in to playing live again with a band called Elephant Shelf and also the Delta Ladies, and I perform the occasional Glass Cage song with them. I am also doing acoustic versions of some of the songs in live performance from time to time. This is something that I would like to expand on when the time is ripe for it.
Why Glass Cage?
I am not really sure, its about being restrained by something you can’t see but is most definitely there. We all place restrictions on our hopes, and we are often scared to step outside the bounds and see what we can realy do.Is this pretentious or what.Whoops! Do you play live? I play live with a band called Elephant shelf.They are a Blues Rock & Jazz flavored outfit all around London.Over the past 7 years we have done around 900 gigs including some festivals, so it keeps me busy, but I am still thinking of a way to get the Cage on the Road somehow.We also had a cabaret venue called “The Bordello” in Stoke Newington which ran for about 6 months. We have booked bands into the Music Palace in Crouch End which we sometimes play and a new venue in West London called the Tune Inn in Acton which is modelled on the American style of bar and has a very good vibe to play at.
How, do you think, does the internet (or mp3) change the music industry?
It opens exposure up to everyone, they can make up there own minds about what they want to listen too, it’s very democratic. Its great to have control over the music we make and to be able to let people hear it. Would you sign a record contract with a major label? I wish, dream on, someone please keep me in the style that I am not accustomed to !I will be re-releasing some material on CD later in the year, I just need to sort out better artwork.
Band History: Almost a band so many times, but now back to being a solo artist with a virtual band. I am looking to put together a live outfit that will play under the name Diana Stone’s Glass Cage as I have musicians that I can borrow occasionally for this when they are not too busy.
I also play a lot of jazz standards on the piano (mostly for my own amusement)and a new venture will be a band called songbook which will feature a lot of standards. I have started playing the accordion which will be making a debut with the Delta Ladies soon.
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