“Music has been in my life from as early as I can remember. My father always had something playing in the background. I grew up with the sounds of Ennio Morricone, The Tornados, The Beach Boys, Chris Rea, Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Elvis, ELO, Andrew Lloyd-Weber, Paul and Barry Ryan, The Righteous Brothers to name but a few.
I had the great pleasure of discovering the piano in 1979, aged three, during a visit to a friend of my mother. I saw their polished piano standing there in the front room and was immediately drawn to it. I instantly fell in love with the sounds that surrounded my ears as I gently tapped the keys. From that day forward I have been mesmerised by the piano and the beautiful sound it creates. I remember sneaking into the assembly halls at Primary and Secondary School, where the piano always lived, and played quietly to myself, hoping I wouldn’t get caught although it was worth the risk. We didn’t have a piano at home so ten crafty minutes on the school piano were precious!
I began writing music (by ear) the day I received a little electronic Casio PT-20 organ one Christmas, from my parents. I cherished being able to hear it whenever I switched it on. I was always so disappointed when the batteries ran out. It would take days, if not weeks, for my mother to replace them. Those days seemed very long and drawn out and I felt like a lost soul until my little keyboard had power again. For me it was like opening a door into a new world every time I played it.
I started recording my first demo’s at the age of twelve, when I got an upgrade to a synthesizer and discovered the joys of producing electronic music. My parents responded to my passion for writing music and fuelled that fire by encouraging me to study music and take part in ‘Music on a Summer’s Evening’ concerts at secondary school. I got my first taste of performing aged thirteen, whilst playing my first completed song ‘Time goes by’ in front of 400 parents. I loved every minute, from writing the music and lyrics, to auditioning, rigging up the keyboard and performing. I joined one or two rock bands at the same time. It didn’t last long as there wasn’t really a need for a synth player, especially with the covers they chose. I was thrown out after failing to attend rehearsals and decided to go solo from there on. I eventually moved into home editing using software such as FastTracker2, at the same time the World Wide Web became visible in everyone’s homes. A new world of music opened up in front of me and I was able to access great sounds to play with. I would burn the midnight oil perfecting three-minute tracks, and then upload them to my website to share with fellow composers. I joined one or two internet-based music groups and from them I expanded my knowledge of how to generate new soundscapes.
I then took a break from composing to devote my time to my children and soak up the surroundings of the beautiful Sussex countryside where I still reside.
I have now returned to the wonderful world of writing music with different ears from the ones I used ten years ago. My tastes in music have varied over that time but now I relate to music that helps heal and soothe the heart, which is where my new sounds come from. I surround myself and my soul with the sounds of Asher Quinn, Anthony Phillips, Brian and Roger Eno, Enya, and a plethora of film composers including John Murphy, Ennio Morricone, James Newton Howard, Rachel Portman and Yann Tiersen.
My real name is Mei-Ling Grey. In musical circles I go by the name of Myristica, which is the name of a tropical Asian evergreen tree. The Myristica Fragrans is cultivated for the aromatic seed it produces – nutmeg. This is my favourite spice especially when sprinkled on warm rice pudding. Utter comfort food. It’s like a hug in a bowl! I love music that creates the same effect and I hope that when you hear my music you will feel as if you’ve been hugged or wrapped up in a warm musical blanket!
Nowadays my intuitive music is influenced by the sun, moon and stars, life, love, the universe and all the simple things that fill my heart with peace.”