For lovers of Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and Fleetwood Mac Ian Martyn’s expressive and greatly inspiring new single ‘I Can Feel Your Power’ epitomises the support and comfort that art can bring to people. Keep on reading to find out more about Ian!
How did you get your initial start in music?
As a school boy I learnt to play the trumpet, gaining grade 8, playing in an orchestra, a brass band and greatly influenced by Herp Albert and The Tijuana Brass. Unfortunately I had my trumpet stolen and never managed to return to playing the instrument.
I also took piano lessons to grade 5, up to the age of around 14 years, but didn’t enjoy playing the classics at that time. Of course it was the swingin’ 60’s then and so much great pop music just kept coming along.
I used to borrow a friend’s acoustic guitar and learnt a few chords. At the age of 16 I then started to write my own songs around only a few chords. The lyrics were always about an emotional part of life and I found then that this was a way to capture a moment, an event, a happening ; just like an artist does with a painting, or photographer with a picture.
What would be your ultimate aim in the industry?
My music has helped me through my difficult times over my life. Like when our son grew up and left the nest, my wife and I had ‘empty nest syndrome’ and missed him so much at the time. So I wrote a song about him growing up and leaving.
When my wife was ‘letting go of life’ due to the cancer, I rewrote 2 old songs of mine for her funeral. My friends helped me to get these recorded at such a difficult time.
So many people told me these songs helped them to manage her passing also.
I then found that writing my emotions, composing music to feel the lyrics, and vice versa, was a healing time for me. I had lost my wife and mother within 5 months of each other and I was on my knees with pain and grief.
My ultimate aim now would be for my music to help other people who may be suffering, for whatever reason.
My songs are also of happiness, joy and love.
More recently I have met and fallen in love with a beautiful lady I met in a Buddhist monastery in Scotland. Two of my songs capture this moment
The first is ‘Déjà vu’, a spiritual and romantic love song describing old souls meeting up in life again, trying to understand and make sense of the encounter.
We are not alone in this type of soul meeting. It happens to many others, too.
The second song is ‘You Are The One’, an unusual blend of a waltz with a tango, romance and passion, wrapped around a love story, with great solo instrumentals to flavour the song.
We turn to music for so many things in our life, pleasure, to feel good, dancing, but it also helps us in our times of need. The lyrics, the melody, the emotion, arrangement, can move us, can give us a sense of belonging, purpose, support.
I really hope my music can do that for people who need a way to express and feel their emotions.
What a privilege that would be !!
How long have you been writing your own music?
Since I was 16 years old, as mentioned earlier. Then periodically through my adult life when something dramatic occurred.
However, the songs on my album ‘Life’s an Emotional Journey’ have all been written since my wife’s passing, with the exception of ‘I Feel You Slippin’, which was adapted from earlier in my life, but brushed up for this time. Also ‘Let Me Wish You Luck’, rewritten from my college graduation time to that of a couple now questioning their relationship. Great Dire Strait ‘ish solos from Nick Tilley to go with my keyboard playing.
The songs on the album are about an emotional journey, which has a beauty along with the sadness.
‘I Can Feel Your Power’ was a message that came through my dream one night. I just woke up with an incredible sensation of wanting to say ‘thank you’, but not realising what for. The words are very special to me, as they embrace the past, with the present.
The song almost wrote itself, as the words just came pouring out, I was only the scribe through an inner message. I have had some very spiritual moments during my emotional journey. That’s why I write about these emotions and would like to share with others. It feels like I have something to say with my songs and it is my path to record them for others to share and benefit.
Who are your top 3 influences and why?
My family have always been important to me. They are one of the main reasons in my life. None of us live close to each other, which means we don’t meet very often.
My friends are also important, as they share so much in daily life. We can discuss our concerns, thoughts, support each other when needed and laugh together.
I must not leave out ‘music’. This influences me in so many ways, depending on mood, what’s happening, how I would like to feel. I am still a huge Beatles, Eagles, Supertramp fan
Is there anything you would like people to know about your current release?
This collection of songs from my album, ‘Life’s an Emotional Journey’, has been a most wonderful experience to go through. The whole fun (and tears) of trying to write songs about a part of life, capturing the lyrics, musical composition and arrangement, has been challenging but absolutely amazing time.
I have had the privilege to have worked and co-produced with two outstanding producers, Richard ‘Digby’ Smith and ‘Larry Hogan’.
Between them they have worked in their careers with Led Zeppelin, Clannad, Bob Marley, Cat Stevens, Paul McCartney, Ronan Keating, Thin Lizzy, Bob Geldof, Eric Clapton, The Waterboys, Free, Bad Company, just to name a peppering of artists in their careers.
Richie Buckley, (Van Morrison), played the saxophone on ‘Déjà vu’ and Peter Eades (Clannad), the drums on ‘Déjà vu’ and ‘I Can Feel Your Power’.
In addition I have created song videos, which can be viewed on my website www.ianmartyn.co.uk, with the most talented painting artists from around the world. (America, Russia, Iran, UK, Australia).
I searched for artists who had paintings to match the emotions in my songs.
Imagine my delight when world renowned artists like, Jack Vettriano, Leonid Afremov, Rassouili, Daniel Eskridge, Adam Scott Miller, Sera Knight, Josephine Wall, Delmary, Laurie Hamilton, Cezanne Taharqa, not only granted their permission, but loved my songs, too and wanted to be a part of this exciting themed project.
‘Dance With Spirits’ is an 11 min.55 secs. long song. It follows the emotion of respecting nature around us, appreciating it’s beauty, nurturing you through the energy of life. Then!!! A wonderful instrumental with great solos and drum rhythms. I sectioned the song in to 3 parts, so each can be played individually. Or sit back, headphones on, feet up and lose yourself for 12 minutes.
This song will be continued in to part 4, on my return to recording.
Listening to the songs and watching the video with the wonderful art work, gives another whole new feeling and dimension. It would be nice to get feedback from your readers.
Now most of this work is completed and I start the task of sharing my works.
I am not of the generation where IT and Social media fit easily with me.
What I would like for people to do is to go to my website www.ianmartyn.co.uk and listen to my songs, interact with me on my Facebook page, like and share tracks which have a meaning for them, let me know what and why.
Where are you based and what is your local scene like? Any favourite venues?
I am based in Torquay, Devon, a beautiful part of England. The coast in Devon has such a therapeutic and mysterious energy. I walk part of the coastline, meet with friends on a regular basis. The music is of a good quality here. Nick Tilley, a local musician, played guitar on a number of my tracks.
The new lady in my life, Mirjam, is from Berlin, so I am there also. The Berlin scene is a great place for music.
Mirjam’s professional work involves ‘life’ counselling’ in a variety of ways, so she is involved with working with visitors who would like to get to know Berlin and feel supported at the same time.
Who else can you recommend from your local scene for people to have a listen to?
My good friend Kevin Harding, who composes very melodic acoustic guitar music.
Nick Tilley, for his Dire Straits/Pink Floyd gigs
Kris Barras, a blues/rock musician
Give our readers a roundup of where they can find you online and hear more of your music?
Come to my website www.ianmartyn.co.uk
Visit my Face book page and message me there also