I met Andrew Keeping at the Royal Academy of Music, here in London, when we were students together. I was studying singing, and Andrew the Classical Guitar. He approached me with some music by
Stephen Dodgson he wanted to perform (Andrew’s knowledge of repertoire is impressive), and we ended up performing a number of concerts together, culminating in a recital at St Martin in the Fields,
Trafalgar Square, in the presence of the composer himself. It was an unforgettable experience.
Upon graduating, our careers took us off towards the four corners of the Globe, and I lost touch with him for some time. When my Opera career came full circle, and for health reasons I was
forced to prematurely quit that stage, I returned to the UK, and began writing and producing music during my convalescence.
It was at this point that I came across Andrew again, and was delighted when saw he had also begun his own business and music studio, and was also establishing himself as a composer. We
immediately picked up the friendship we had shared while at college, and began looking for projects on which we could collaborate together.
As we began to catch up with each other’s lives, I was touched deeply by the way Andrew described the extraordinary work he and his wife are doing with young people, welcoming foster-children,
many victims of abuse, and helping them rebuild their lives as members of the Keeping family. Although that doesn’t really surprise me: you couldn't be as good a musician as Andrew is, without being
at least as good a human being.
To date, Andrew and I have collaborated on several projects. “The American Dream?” (https://classicalbanksy.bandcamp.com
), which features
Andrew on Electric Guitar and fellow RAM alumnus Oliver Preece on trumpet, marked the launch of my label Lyric Media Group, in early 2017. This was followed up in Spring 2017 by my remix of Ray
Tarantino’s “Futureblind,” (originally recorded in 2014), with Andrew providing some absolutely stunning Classical and Electric guitar. We have also worked together on commercial music for -
literally - some household names, including Glade.
The chance to get together with Andrew and make music the way we do, is always something I look forward to, because I know it will always be both a joy and a success. His musicality, versatility
and sensitivity are unparalleled in my opinion. I trust his opinion and input implicitly. His criticism is always constructive, gentle and invaluable. As a former singer, I can at times be more
histrionic than an instrumentalist would tend to be. Thankfully Andrew is the kind of guy who can take all that in his stride. I feel lucky to count such such a talented colleague among my
collaborators, and privileged to be able to call him a friend.