WHO IS THIS MARK NORTHFIELD PERSON?
He produces precise, thoughtful and frequently melancholic pop/rock with a prominent classical and theatrical streak, often in collaboration with guest vocalists. Musical reference points include Kate Bush, John Grant, The Magnetic Fields, Tom Waits and Pink Martini.
His professional work as a pianist for dance has helped shape his eclectic output. Cherry Mint Koala developed as a result of collaborative performances at ArtsEd in London, where he's currently Head Ballet Pianist for the Musical Theatre degree course. (ArtsEd was named School of the Year at The Stage awards 2016.) He manages a team of class musicians there and has composed music for short films made by acting graduates at the school.
This working environment is an excellent laboratory for both developing new ideas and twisting existing tunes from various genres and eras into unexpected shapes. The latter approach is exemplified by Mark's new album 'European Dream', which brings darkness and emotional heft to the generally maligned genre of Europop.
To date, Mark has self-released several albums and EPs, and also shown his visually creative side through promo videos featuring his own stop-motion animation, choreography, puppetry and drag/zombie action. His latest video - for a slightly sinister interpretation of Whigfield's 'Saturday Night' - is one of his most colourful yet, and features the animal mask designs of Steve Wintercroft (www.wintercroft.com).
MUSIC AND VIDEO
PREVIOUS ALBUM REVIEWS
'His music owes a great deal to his background as a classically trained pianist, which throughout the course of Alterations, he happily augments with not only elements of pop, but indie rock as well. Those combinations, along with the complex arrangements and sharp songwriting make it tempting to fall back on the convenient hyphenate of baroque pop as a cheap way of summing the album up; to do so would be to marginalize not only the broad range of the music itself, but its grand ambition as well... There really isn't a bad moment on Alterations, Northfield is an excellent composer with a firm grasp on what he wants to accomplish.'
...cleverly weave one song into another and pepper the constructional perfection with both spirited performances - Ellen Jakubiel and Alexandra Howlett provide exceptional assistance here – and the kind of wry lyrics that take grumpiness and dump it squarely on the table of Noel Coward... methinks Mark Northfield writes out of both love and misery and that is what makes him a treasure and his album, “Alterations”, a joy.'
'His way with words is at once poignant and cryptic, sharp and vague, storybookish and metaphysical but always humorous, delivered with a twinkle in the eye just waiting for you to get the joke or at the very least recognise your own life in the situations he describes... an album of continued surprises.'
'Ever wondered what a Sondheim musical from his darker years would sound like if it was recorded by an indie pianist and some buds? Well, wait no longer!... Ascendant features some terrific vocal performances from a variety of singers and some marvelously crafted tunes, with arguably the most beautiful of the year in "Zero."'
ADAM DOWNER - SPUTNIK STAFF REVIEWER
(Listed in Adam's Top 20 of 2008 and Top 100 of the decade, with a curious epilogue.)
'The Calm... a neo-classical exploration of melancholy bursting into expressions of beauty and stillness with an Anglican Church choir bent. This is the highlight of the CD and one of the most hauntingly beautiful choral pieces I've heard in some time... Ascendant is a very strong listening experience. This one's for fans of Chamber music, The Cure, The Smiths and any other melancholic pop band of the last twenty years.' 4/5
'Mark's dreamy piano-based music has a tinge of theatricality to it in the same vein as XTC. It flutters between Beatles-grade melody and esoteric dissonance. It introduces choir-like vocals or string ensembles without warning before just as easily returning to unnervingly intimate whispering vocals and beautifully played piano passages...'
ACHIEVEMENTS TO NOTE
His cover version of Robyn's 'Dancing On My Own' was used for a week long series of trails on BBC Radio 2 in Oct 2014
He received BBC local radio play for his festive charity single with Gareth Forster 'Christmas Eve, Gracechurch St' in 2014 and 2015
For any other inquiry, please use the same address, or if urgent leave a message at +44 7971 829770