Patrick writes:

I went to the Royal Northern College of Music, but derived little benefit from it.  Professional musicians need to be prepared to compete with others. A threatening sense of individuality led me to suspect that, since we need to be loved, competition is corrosive to the human spirit. We must love one another or die, as Auden wrote on the brink of hostilities in 1939. 

Instead, my first paid job as a pianist was to accompany dancers, to be that person who sat patiently in the corner of a succession of studios in Chester and London whilst dancers developed their choreographies, their enchaînements or simply worked at the barre . For them I provided stimulating and meaningful music. Most pianists who do this sort of thing hone their reading skills to razor-sharpness, but not in my case. I found it quicker, easier and ultimately more successful to invent new music at the drop of a hat. These formative experiences account for some of the music on these webpages. 

I played with Northern Soul Bands in the 70s. After the endless invention of the dance school, the realization that what everyone wants is that you “play that funky  music …  white boy …  till you die” , I loosened up a little, and discovered the awesome power of a cool piano riff, something so dazzling that it might have underscored the creation of the cosmos, and yet so physical that you have to dance all night. Riffs that never stop, because they’re still going on, somewhere, it’s just that we can’t hear them as we move out of their orbit. We need to sleep, even if they don’t. 

And then, when I had a family I moved with tectonic inevitability into the education system, which, like prostitution, is a place where you get paid for doing things that others want you to do. As a teacher I was probably average: I liked most of my students and felt sorry for more of them. What I actually taught was fatuous nonsense, especially in the nineties, when I took the lid off the dustbin of music analysis, tried to write like Foucault, and found accurate and pithy ways of summing up what others already knew, but had the grace to remain silent.  

I travelled. Moscow, the Middle East, Holland. In Cairo, a teenager asked me “what, exactly, is music?”. And, as quick as a flash, without thinking I said “encoded knowledge”. (I’d been thinking about it for a while.) Oh, she said, visibly crestfallen.  

I still live with the challenge of that off-hand cleverness, and the exploration of this alternative theory of knowledge, is what my music is all about.  

I do not  like the music of Ludovico Einaudi, but identify instead with the arguments of Stravinsky, the smartness of Ravel and the indolent luxury of Debussy. Look hard, you’ll find them everywhere on these pages, blended with Brubeck’s naughty arithmetic and marinated in the smell of funk.

Patrick has been composing since his teen years. He can’t stop it. 

He has been awarded: 

  • The Mrs. Leo Grindon Prize for Shakespearean Setting 
  • The Edward Hecht Prize for Composition 
  • The International Music Publishing Company Prize for Composition 
  • First Prize in the Pianist Magazine Composers’ Competition 2021 
  • Third Prize in the Pro-Arte International Composition Competition 2023 


Stage Works include:

  • Miller & Me (Pleasance Theatre Edinburgh 1989) 
  • Sex Dreams &Two Reelers (Buster Brown’s Edinburgh 1991) 
  • Sweet Miracles (Gilded Balloon Edinburgh 1997) 
  • Solidarity: A One-Act Opera: San Francisco Chamber Opera 2010