music makes life make sense

 

music makes life make sense

I am Phil Best, a performing & recording artist – pianist, singer & composer – based in London, SW6, Hammersmith / Fulham border.

I trained as a classical pianist but abandoned a very promising early career, partly to escape the intense pressure  that I felt but also to pursue my own unique brand of music-making which includes improvisation, my very personal, poetic compositions and songs using cutting-edge technology to create a natural, vivid and spontaneous musical experience, whether live or recorded.

I love to tell inspiring stories with music. Using my fluent musicianship skills, I create original, powerful and accessible music that communicates with unusual directness and clarity, fusing Jazz, Soul, Classical, Post-minimal and Pop influences.

Whether improvising – or composing in real time – or interpreting music by other composers, I love to play live, even when recording! I love this spontaneous approach as it makes the music feel vivid, passionate and emotionally connected. I have no interest in contrived music that attempts to be clever, cool or inscrutable but aim to make music that offers a kind of solace or catharsis. Live music, when created with true spontaneity and fluent skill in an intimate space, has tremendous power to move, inspire and even transform.

I champion amazing new physical modelling technology that accurately recreates the extraordinary power and majesty of a wide range of modern, historic and futuristic pianos using only a small but wonderful stage instrument, a powerful laptop and an excellent speaker system.

Above all, I aim to make music that is fresh and exciting, that communicates a real depth of feeling yet is always inclusive, unpretentious and powerfully honest, whether complex or simple, dazzling or disarming.

I currently have two projects as an artist with more in the pipeline.

Solo piano project in classical, post-minimal and colouristic jazz styles, featuring my own dramatic, atmospheric and richly coloured pieces and improvisations, alongside repertoire by the classical composers – Chopin, Debussy, Mozart, Bach, Rachmaninov, Beethoven etc. – played in a fresh & accessible way, on historic, contemporary and futuristic pianos using exciting new technology.

I have released 4 solo piano albums: Inside stories – an album of improvisations; an album of Mozart piano music; an album of piano music by Liszt and Ravel and another improvised piano album called Freshly Squeezed.

My new album, Nocturnal, featuring six Chopin’s Nocturnes together with six of my own, will be available on Spotify and iTunes and other music sites very shortly.

Jazz/soul project featuring sweet, soulful vocals, intricate piano, warm, dusky electric pianos and all manner of sounds played on the keyboard or the extraordinary Roli SeaBoard.

I write poetic original songs with a nostalgic yet original style and a subtle but powerful emotional connection: whether sweet, smooth, funky, chilled or dark and moody, this music always has rich melodies and delicious juicy harmonies.

I will be publishing more free YouTube and SoundCloud tracks soon and aim to release a full album, early next year.

Music is like nature: the elements are familiar yet the scene is always different and it fills us with awe & wonder.

Improvising is like walking in nature: I don’t devise beauty, I discover it!

OTHER WORK

Piano Teacher & Lessons in Music Theory, Composition & Practical Musicianship

I teach piano using my own innovative method. My style of piano tuition is practical and fun and is designed to develop fluent musicianship. Fluency is deep understanding of how patterns of rhythm and tonality work on the keys. It fosters naturally strong and flexible technique in the fingers and arms supported by the whole body and mind. Find out more about my PlayPianoFluently training system…

I have over 25 years’ experience teaching piano and I trained at the Royal Northern College of Music. My piano lessons will give you the tools to explore any style or genre of music – classical, jazz, rock and pop etc. I believe that the best way to learn piano is to work on real musical skills such as playing by ear, fluent sight-reading and improvisation. Once you have completed my foundation course, I will help you study any music you choose and if you like we can prepare for ABRSM piano or jazz piano examinations.

Singing Teacher, Voice Coach, Accompanist & Performance Coach

I have been providing singing lessons and vocal coaching for over 2 decades. My singing lessons follow my own powerful and innovative program for vocal training. My approach as a singing teacher is to help the student first to release their natural voice. You do this by learning to open the resonating space in the vocal tract in a way that suits your particular voice type and to support this freely resonating tone with energised breath from the body. This makes for a healthy voice with a natural expressive quality, strength, stamina, flexibility and an excellent vocal range in terms of pitch and dynamics. In its natural, released state, your voice easily reaches high notes without strain and is capable of a full range of dynamics from a powerful belt to gentle soft tones.

We then also work on vocal musicianship to gain excellent rhythm skills and tonal awareness. This vocal training develops sought-after skills such as sight-singing and the ability to improvise melodies and harmonies. I am equally happy training voices for classical, jazz and pop/rock styles of music. Once the foundation course is completed, we can study for ABSRM examinations, if desired.

As well as giving voice lessons, I also work as an accompanist-coach/repetiteur and have many years’ experience working with singers and instrumentalists of all types to develop their performance, presentation and communication skills and stage confidence. I am particularly interested in drawing out a musician’s authenticity, sensitivity and unique, natural musical personality. To do this I focus on rhythm, vocal or physical freedom and accessing a state of flow – a peak performance state based on simultaneous focus and letting go.

I also offer sessions to help people to find this optimal performance state in other areas such as business and education. This work improves communication and presentation skills as well as general creativity/productivity. I am also extremely interested in meditation and personal transformation. To find out more about my coaching in these areas, visit my website ResonantFlow.com.

 

Composer, Arranger, Songwriter, Session Musician & Producer

I also compose and arrange music. My music covers a broad spectrum of genres: classical, jazz, soul, electronic pop, rock/pop and experimental. I enjoy writing to a brief and have an extensive back-catalogue which is constantly expanding. I can provide finished pieces or excerpts and loops as well as professionally-engraved scores and parts. I’m an experienced session musician on piano, keyboards and vocals, with extremely fluent sight-reading and improvisation skills. As well as being able to create music across many different styles, I also offer a full range of production skills including vocal harmonies and programming of electronic and sampled instruments – drums, strings and many others. You can visit my music library – JigsawMusic.co.uk.