Born and raised in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, in the Northeast of England, I had very little in the way of musical training. I was in the school choir when I was young, but stopped when I joined the 6th form. I was always interested in music - continually singing, learning to play the piano a little, teaching myself the guitar and the harp, the harmonica and the penny whistle, the panflute and the bodhran. I then went on to join the SCA (Medieval re-enactment group) where I fuled my love for medieval and folk songs. I became a member of the Minstrel's guild, which helped build up my confidence a little. I was always listening to fantasy, film soundtrack and classical music, as I never really enjoyed pop or any other sort of 'popular' music. As I reached university-level age I expanded into listening to symphonic metal. I think my main influences remain medieval and folk music. I am also heavily influenced by the music of Howard Shore, James Horner and the like.