Helen Jane Long’s debut album ‘Porcelain’ is an expressive, inspiring and evocative collection of original compositions which cross the worlds of classical, chill out, and filmic music to create an indefinable combination of music minimalism.
Helen’s credits within TV and film are numerous, ranging from the Lord of the Rings trilogy, to cult films such as ‘Surveillance’, ‘Out In The Cold’, and scores for Channel 4, The Galaxy chocolate and Minstrels adverts, BAFTA Awards, Fifth Gear and the Volkswagen commercials. In fact, her music has received an overwhelming public response triggering film and advertising agency phone lines into meltdown, and she is in constant demand working with the likes of Howard Shore, Jerry Goldsmith, Ron Goodwin, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as up and coming art house directors.
Rather than hanging out with the great and good of the entertainment world, however, the 32 year old from Hampshire feels more comfortable racing around on a Valentino Rossi super bike. In fact, Helen’s second passion in life is sport – and the adrenalin junkie is as equally content water-skiing or competing in triathlons as she is playing the piano and composing.
Helen’s eclectic musical tastes range from Rachmaninov and Debussy through to Amy Winehouse and the Flaming Lips. She leapt onto a piano at the age of 4, training as a classical pianist, and also plays the clarinet, guitar, and cello amongst other instruments. The cello used on Helen’s debut album was actually handmade by her father.
Helen didn’t start composing until she was at university where she became increasingly frustrated with her music degree, and decided to spend her entire student loan on a massive sequencer keyboard. From then on she slowly but surely amassed the technical equipment needed for a home studio, building up the knowledge to record, produce, score, arrange, and mix her own music.
After university Helen worked for the BBC on Blue Peter and Live and Kicking, hanging out in their music studio with Ronnie Hazlehurst (Only Fools and Horses), Dennis King (Black Beauty) and Nigel Bell (Ladies in Lavender). In between commuting to London and training vigorously at the gym every morning and evening, Helen worked throughout the night building up music compositions on her computer.
Helen has an ever increasing online fan base and receives messages of support from people across the world from urban music fans through to housewives, city boys, teenagers and their grandparents. This phenomenal response is evident on her MySpace site, and eventually provoked Helen to send a demo CD of her music (in a tin can!) to various record companies – she was signed almost instantly.
Helen says “I don’t tend to follow any particular formula or pattern when I compose. I just play what I feel. In many ways I use composing as a form of therapy, a way of expressing thoughts and feelings without necessarily verbally communicating them….I hope that my music has a similar effect on those listening to it too”.
‘Porcelain’ was released on Warner Classics & Jazz in June 2007.