Posts Tagged ‘Bernie Taupin

09
Dec
14

A Temper of Peace and an Extraordinary Commitment

A Temper of Peace and an Extraordinary Commitment

By Martin Page

Martin Page, acclaimed songwriter, has included The Huntington in his estate plans.

As a professional songwriter and artist, I’m always searching for that elusive elixir of inspiration, that spark that ignites ideas for songs. The Huntington is the place I go to open the mind, free the spirit, and break open the dam of creativity.

I was first introduced to The Huntington by my manager, Diane Poncher, around the time I was writing my first two number one hits with Elton John’s lyricist, Bernie Taupin—”We Built This City” (Starship) and “These Dreams” (Heart)—and I was immediately aware that I had found my second home…away from the busy, stressful, overactive music studios of Los Angeles.

I originally came from England, where nature—green fields and trees, the New Forest National Park—surrounded my childhood, so to come to The Huntington was a little like returning home, to a place that fed my soul with beauty and peace.

My recently released solo album was largely created in my mind while strolling The Huntington grounds. In fact, The Huntington graciously allowed me to use an image of their wonderful sculpture, “Day” by Paul Howard Manship, as the album cover. The album’s title, “A Temper of Peace” (a temperance of peace), is what I am able to attain while strolling the grounds, which I do at least twice a week. It’s where I tune my soul.

It’s rare to discover havens that feed the intellect and heal the human condition—places that offer health and wholesome reflection. The Huntington is one such unique place, and I can’t think of a better institution to support. I am extremely proud to be part of its Heritage Society.

The Huntington is grateful to Martin for his farsighted generosity.

 

 

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21
Nov
08

11/21/2008 – Interview in Melodic Magazine

Original link to article: http://www.melodic.net/?page=interview&id=235 

Transcript below:

After 13 years, Martin Page´s long-awaited follow-up album to the smash hit “IN THE HOUSE OF STONE AND LIGHT”, is a soulful work, spiritually charged with Page´s trademark layers of melodic atmosphere and emotive vocal performances.
Martin is one of the best songwriters around and a true gentleman, his new album “IN THE TEMPLE OF THE MUSE” is what melodic.net calls first class melodic pop / rock.
Let me present, Martin Page!
Hello Martin, how are you doing in Obama land, do people over there believe in a bright future?
Martin: There is most definitely a feeling of optimism in the country; a sense of dignity and respect seems to permeate the air at this time. Let us hope it continues.Your long awaited new album “In The Temple of the Muse” is fantastic, but why did it take 13 years for you to release another record?
Martin: I am a strong believer that until you have something of consequence to say – keep quiet. I feel no pressure or demand to release solo material just for the sake of it, which I think is a disease of the music industry in general. The songs on “In The Temple of The Muse” came to me over a long period of time, and I was lucky enough to have the time to give them the necessary attention and respect they demanded – to be sympathetic to the songs in order to develop them properly into a project I totally believed in.I can hear Sting and Peter Gabriel influences in your albums, are they musical heroes for you?
Martin: Both Peter Gabriel and Sting grew up, as I did, in England during a musical era that affected us all – the 60’s and 70’s. I believe we have many of the same influences – namely, the Beatles, Motown Soul, World Music and Folk. So, it’s not a stretch to hear similarities in our music, our style and our approach.

Not many songwriters can put up a list of such great hit songs like you, just to name a few for our readers:
King of wishful thinking – Go West, We built this city, It´s not enough & Good heart – Starship, These dreams – Heart, Magnetic – Earth Wind and Fire, Ghost in your heart – Bad English, Deal for life – John Waite etc.
Is your wall filled with platinum records?

Martin: Yes, I’m fortunate enough to have a few on my wall, and it certainly helps to view them now and again when I need to be reminded to strive harder for that special, unique song that communicates to a wide audience.

I have a tape with your first solo album “In The House of Stone and Light” on the a-side when it came out and Mark Williamson (from Manchester, England) “Time slipping by” (1994) on the b-side of the tape which I thought was a perfect combination. I listened a lot to both albums back then.
Have you heard that album?

Martin: I’m afraid I haven’t heard Mark Williamson’s album – but I must thank you for investing in my first solo album – you have good ears!!!

What do you think of the music climate of today where artists like Rihanna, Britney Spears and Coldplay rule the charts?
Martin: The digital revolution has greatly influenced the musical climate of today – both for good and bad. There is definitely a lack of interest today in the album-oriented artists, because single-song MP3’s are so readily available, and I think that is sad, as ultimately art suffers. On the good side, the digital revolution has taken the power out of the hands of the major “corporate” record companies and presented it to the individual, independent artist, and that is a very positive thing. The danger today is that we accept and become anesthetized by cheaper, quicker, unimaginative, soulless music that doesn’t rise to the standards of the past.

I have always wondered what your main instrument is, the piano?
Martin: My main instrument is bass guitar. I started my career as a bassist in funk and soul bands back in England in the late 70’s. When the revelation hit me that songs were more important than instrument prowess, I taught myself keyboards and guitar so that I could write songs and produce my own demos. I’m a bit of a jack-of-all-trades, and I enjoy to dabble on as many instruments as I can get my hands on.

You have written quite a few songs with Bernie Taupin ( who´s known for his work with Elton John), have you ever met Sir.Elton John?
Martin: Yes, I have met Sir Elton John on numerous occasions. I was very privileged to work with him when I produced his vocals for Bernie Taupin’s solo album, “Tribe”. I’ve always been a huge fan of his, and he proved to be the consummate professional to work with.

You have written hits for popular Soundtracks like “Pretty woman” and “Days of thunder”, do you still get any offers on writing songs for soundtrack scores?
Martin: I do still receive offers to work on movie soundtracks. I find it a joy and a challenge to match music with visuals. I have always felt that somehow my music lends itself – and is emotionally suited – to visuals. I would ultimately like to do more work for movies in the future; it remains an ambition of mine.

Who is the most gifted artist you have written a song for/ or worked with? (I guess this one is difficult to answer but you can name more than one if you want)
Martin: This is a very difficult question for me to answer, as I have been extremely fortunate over the years to have worked and collaborated with a host of extremely talented writers and artists. But, I will mention a few who inspired me and expanded my musical horizons. Maurice White of Earth, Wind & Fire; Robbie Robertson of The Band; Peter Cox and Richard Drummie of Go West; Jack Hues of Wang Chung; Hal David; Paul Young, and of course, Bernie Taupin. I learned from all of these artists and their very different talents left a lasting impression on me.

Which 5 albums would you bring along to a deserted island?
Martin: Well, providing that the deserted island has electricity and a system on which to play these albums, these would be my top 5: Abbey Road – The Beatles; Selling England by The Pound – Genesis; Talking Book – Stevie Wonder; Goodbye Yellow Brick Road – Elton John; A Hard Days Night – The Beatles.

One last question, I think lots of your fans are wondering if you will make a 3rd solo album. Any plans?
Martin: I am actually, at this moment, finishing songs for my 3rd solo album. I have recently been in a prolific creative period. This new album that I am presently working on feels like a natural extension of my previous two solo works. I’m extremely excited about the new songs and the direction they’re taking. I hope to release it sometime next year.

20
Nov
07

11/20/2007 – Signposts

I was just recalling how music, in particular certain albums, has influenced me during pivotal times in my life.  Whether as a schoolboy – full of rebellion and attitude; or as a teenager frequenting the local dance halls looking for girls; or as a budding bassist/songwriter learning every lick from every 45-record I could get my hands on; or as a mature man experiencing life’s ever-changing triumphs and disappointments, certain albums and songs have come along to mark milestones, as it were, in my life.  When I hear these recordings again today, I am instantly transported back to the time and place when those familiar melodies first seduced me – complete with all the emotions and feelings that I felt way back then.  How many times has a song become consolation for a sad moment or a celebration for an occasion of joy?  Music, like no other art form, has the power to embed itself into the fabric of our life story.  For instance …

I remember, as a teenager, traveling with my parents to America for the first time.  As a result of my father’s career in aviation engineering, we moved constantly between military air bases, and I often felt lonely being separated from my friends back in England.  I would spend my time secluded in my room, listening over and over again to the pastoral magnificence of Genesis’ progressive rock masterpiece, “Selling England By The Pound”.  This album, with its visions and atmospheres of ancient Albion, ignited my imagination and became my passport home to the green fields of Southern England.  It became my confidante and good friend during lonely days and nights.

At a crucial crossroads for me in 1973, I remember hearing Elton John’s seminal double album, “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road”.  Every song on this epic work was a mini-movie unto itself.  I was entranced by Bernie Taupin’s cinematic and literate lyrics.  Not one track on this inspired work was filler material (a very rare phenomenon these days!).  Not sure at the time whether I should pursue a career as a professional soccer player, a graphic design artist or as a – God forbid – musician, hearing this album made my mind up for me.  So, I purchased my first serious guitar and set off for the Yellow Brick Road myself, hoping to become the romantic troubadour I secretly, deep down, longed to be.

Of course, any music by the Beatles holds fond memories for me, as I grew up in their heyday, with their songs.  In particular, whenever I hear, “A Hard Days Night,” I’m whisked back to my school days and my first crush on a girl in my class:  I recall trying to impress her by singing the song to her during a fateful lunch break (I hasten to report, she was infinitely more interested in the cookies and milk that she was devouring than she was in my passionate performance!).

Each one of us has our own personal musical soundtrack, so I thought it would be fun to share mine with you.  Here are twenty albums that have hugely influenced and touched me:

 

1. A HARD DAYS NIGHT – The Beatles 11. THE PRETENDER – Jackson Browne
2. ABBEY ROAD – The Beatles 12. WHAT’S GOING ON – Marvin Gaye
3. FOX TROT – Genesis 13. JOHNNY THE FOX – Thin Lizzy
4. SELLING ENGLAND BY THE POUND – Genesis 14. MUSIC OF MY MIND – Stevie Wonder
5. GOODBYE YELLOW BRICK ROAD – Elton John 15. CATCH A FIRE – Bob Marley & The Wailers
6. SECURITY – Peter Gabriel 16. THUNDER THUMBS & LIGHTENING LICKS – The Brothers Johnson
7. I AM – Earth, Wind & Fire 17. THE GOLDEN AGE OF WIRELESS – Tom Dolby
ZIGGY STARDUST – David Bowie 18. SO – Peter Gabriel
9. COURT AND SPARK – Joni Mitchell 19. THE COLOUR OF SPRING – Talk Talk
10. THE MOTHERSHIP CONNECTION – Parliament 20. A WALK ACROSS THE ROOFTOPS – The Blue Nile

 

In today’s rush of noise, speed and commotion, it’s somehow reassuring to re-visit the music of more innocent times, when a simple tune and mood stirred our deepest feelings, reached into our hearts and became our trusted companion; these remain emotional signposts for each of us throughout our journey.

 

“Come, said the muse

Sing me a song no poet has chanted,

Sing me the Universal.”

 

  • Walt Whitman

Thanks for stopping by.

– Martin

P.S.  I was recently made aware by a friend, of the desperate plight of the Yellowstone Buffalo.  Please visit www.buffalofieldcampign.org to learn more and help.