Inspiring Local Pianist is Music to the Ears

Meet Ealing's own Kathie Touin

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An accomplished composer, recording artist, and pianist - Kathie Touin has an extraordinary talent and can turn her hand to pretty much every aspect of her profession. You would never know she suffers from a potentially crippling movement disorder.

And why should you, having just released a moving new album of piano music , Kathie is proving that she's not going to let it get the better of her.

Kathie grew up in Southern California where she began playing the piano at age seven, first learning classical music and then in her teens moving into jazz and rock. But when she was a teenager she started to struggle with hand problems. "Several years ago I was finally diagnosed as having a focal hand dystonia," she told EalingToday. " Musicians can be stricken by this unexpectedly, having it deeply affect their careers. It mostly occurs as a Focal Dystonia of the hand in pianists/keyboardists, guitarists, and violinists; and of the embrouchure for horn and woodwind players. There is no cure for dystonia."

But there was little sign of it hampering her career when she joined her first band at 15, playing everything from heavy metal to progressive rock and pop.                       

After studying composition, arranging, performance, production and engineering at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts she worked in a variety of bands, and focused on writing her own songs and compositions.

It wasn't long before she landed a recording contract and quickly released Soliloquy, an album of classical piano pieces, to much acclaim. It sold out its first run and received international airplay.

Writing music caught Kathie's imagination and her original songs began to take on the shape of an album, which she demoed at her home. But before she could begin the final recording process, her life took an unexpected turn... she met and married a wonderful Englishman (also her publicist!!).

Packing her demo tapes and scribbled lyric sheets, she arrived in sunny Ealing to join her new husband where, shortly after, she set up a 24-track home recording studio and got to work on the collection of songs she had created.

Within six months, Kathie had completed her first album of all original words and music - Butterfly Bones, a deeply personal, occasionally silly, sometimes sweet, sometimes edgy retrospective of the events of the past few years in her life. The album showcases Kathie's songwriting, and led to comparisons with Aimee Mann, Sarah McLachlan, Tori Amos and Maria McKee.

In September 2007 Kathie Touin released her latest CD, Soliloquy Deluxe, which contains 21 tracks of beautiful piano music.

Based on her sold-out album Soliloquy, it features re-mastered tracks, newly-released bonus tracks and specially-created artwork to create a beautiful package. The music includes Debussy's Clair de Lune, Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata, Keith Emerson's A Blade of Grass and three original compositions by Kathie.

Expect to hear a lot more from Kathie and make a start by visiting her website where downloads are available!

January 11, 2008