In Iris' Own Words:
I did not come from a musical family, although my mother loved music. It was her encouragement and enthusiasm which inspired me to make music a large part of my life.
I started playing the piano at the age of five, taught by a formidable lady who used to hit my hands with a ruler whenever I played a wrong note! In spite of this she got me through all the Piano examinations. I also spent many years playing the clarinet, but now play the Alto Saxophone instead.
I read Mathematics at London University where I obtained a First Class Honours Degree in Mathematics. I then took up teaching as a career. I climbed my way up the teaching ladder and eventually was Deputy Headteacher of a large comprehensive school. I took early retirement because of ill health. This is when I started to compose piano music.
During the last 14 years I have composed nearly 120 piano pieces. I started out creating a CD called LazyDays (piano and synth strings, available on CDBaby.com). Then I worked with Chick Holland of Lahaina, UK and together we produced 2 CDs - called Autumn Shadows and Nature’s Symphony (piano and synth strings - both available in the UK from Tutti).
Since then, several important musical events have happened in my life. First of all, I became good friends with Robin Alciatore who is an award-winning Classical Pianist from California. She loved my music and produced a CD of some of my pieces which is called “Reflections” (solo piano, performed by Robin). I am honoured that she should wish to do this.
I also signed a Publishing Contract with a large UK Company called North Star Music. They have signed 20 of my tracks and hope to get my music into films, radio and TV. They too have produced a CD of my music called “Pause to Music.”
Then, through a wonderful experience on the independent music website called Broadjam.com, I started working on collaborative CD projects with Tom Salvatori from Chicago, Illinois. Tom is an excellent Classical Guitarist and composer with similar stylings to mine and he suggested that we should produce a joint CD combining his guitar compositions and my piano compositions. Tom's publishing company, Salvatori Productions, Inc., owned along with his brother/producer Mike (also a renowned composer of video game scores), released our first collaborative CD "When Evening Falls” in 2007. John Catchings, an excellent string arranger and cellist from Nashville, served as arranger.
It is such a pleasure to work with Tom, Mike and John. The quality of the work produced is second to none as they will only release work on high quality recordings using the talents of real performing artists on real instruments. They have taught me the difference between real strings and keyboard synth strings. Learning this proved to reveal my work in the best light possible...as their collective focus on such a high level of quality makes such a significant difference in creating a timeless sensibility to the work produced. I soon found myself recording on a magnificent 1938 Steinway B Grand Piano in the most beautiful studio (Doz Studios, Tunbridge Wells) in the UK.
And the result? "When Evening Falls" was a smashing success with contemporary instrumental radio program hosts and grew to be ranked #2 on the NAR radio play charts, ultimately moving on to be voted the Best Neo-Classical Album of the year; a prestigious NAR Award that we were at once humbled and excited to receive as it was voted in by Instrumental Music radio program hosts internationally.
Salvatori Productions, Inc. is now part of a very creative and leading edge collaborative alliance to blend great digital art with great music as Fluid Stills(r) produced with a technology-based initiative called Long Glance Media. Their aim is to create an elevation of content for flat screen TVs (aren't we all tired of the fish aquarium and the faux fireplace)? The music from "When Evening Falls" was placed as Score for the Long Glance Media DVD release entitled "Fallen Tree," which features the brilliant and captivating art of Florida oil painter and educator Mick Brandenberger. Mick's digital art panels are presented with subtle changes that transition the Fluid Stills(r) from panel to panel in sync with the music score.
Continuing to support the initiatives of Long Glance Media led to our second Salvatori & Litchfield CD release in 2010; actually a 2-CD set called "Ever Ever On" that presents a follow-up CD of sorts; engaging alternating guitar and piano compositions in a similar vein to When Evening Falls – again featuring the warm and tender string arrangements of John Catchings…but this time produced with full-on chamber string ensemble! Our most ambitious effort to date!
Long Glance Media wound up releasing two DVDs of the subtle, gorgeous artwork of oil painter Bill Turner from Georgia (USA)...one scored with our solo new guitar and piano pieces and the second features the full chamber string ensemble in accompaniment. Released at the end of 2010, the CD and DVDs are just now starting to pick up momentum in garnering great reviews.
Then, John McEwen, a Church music director and Choral arranger, discovered my piece "Nature's Serenade" on Broadjam.com and asked, knowing that a dear friend of mine had written lyrics, if he could arrange it as a short Choral piece for his Church choir. This was completed in 2009 and it is called “We Thank You, Lord." It received its premiere performance by the Orpington Choral Group (UK)at their celebrated 2009 summer concert, and I was so very pleased to be in attendance as composer. The McEwen arrangement is published in the USA and available as an mp3 download by Salvatori Productions, Inc.
In March, 2012, Salvatori Productions released my CD of original compositions, a collection of 14 newly recorded pieces in a solo grand piano album called "Dream Clouds." I personally am most proud of the title track Dream Clouds, as Tom has so kindly pointed out to me - "it will forever be recognized as a new milepost in the growth you've achieved as a composer." - How nice!
In May, 2012, in collaboration with my music teacher and piano coach Patrick Meehan and Salvatori Productions, we released a collection of our favorite classical piano Duets (Piano Four Hands) - featuring Patrick and me...recorded on the beautiful Steinway at Clowns Pocket Studios. This full length CD release is entitled "Romantic Interludes." It represents Patrick's debut recording and it was such a joy to bring it to full realization as a CD release along with him.
In March, 2013, our work was featured in FANFARE MAGAZINE, a prominent US-based Classical Music bi-monthly periodical, with a joint interview with Tom and me along with several CD reviews (see a full reproduction of the article below).
And finally, in June, 2013 Salvatori Productions released my newest CD of original compositions, another collection of 14 solo grand piano pieces in an album called "Life's Journey." Again, both Tom (and I) agree that we are proud of the progress I'm developing in my composing with the piece "A Mountain to Climb." Tom likes to say it is yet another high water mark for me and tells people "A Mountain to Climb...is sublime" (which has a nice ring to it, probably because it rhymes :)
It is truly the blessing of my lifetime to be able to create music that gives enjoyment to other people. Thank you so very much for your interest in my music...and thanks for listening! As Tom always says..."Quietly Enjoy."
- Iris Litchfield, Bromley, UK June, 2013