Danny has many things in common with the movie Shine.. A child prodigy, Royal College of Music he was set to become a concert pianist and performing all over the world. That is until his abusive father and a serious back injury caused him to stop. Danny talks about crossing the floor and becoming successful in the classical music business. Danny talks intense work pressure, based in Berlin, then New York, then Paris. Danny talks about exciting and terrifying relationships with women and how his moods and thoughts started resembling a helter-skelter. Sadly, the similarities to Shine continued and not just because Rachmaninov’s Third was and s Danny’s favourite too. Welcome to the word of BPTD -Bipolar, Paranoia and Terrible Destruction.
Film – The Art of Piano (a huge educator as a teenager), Horowitz Rachmaninoff 3 1978, and more Horowitz (Moscow concert). Aside from the pianistic, my obsession as a child was “Excalibur” by John Boorman which I guess gave me an exposure ad nauseam to Wagner from the age of 5. All manner of Disney as I admire Alan Menken a great deal. The Art of Violin (thank you again Stephen Wright, a close guidance in my managerial career, for producing these!), and assorted endless films of Argerich, Jorge Bolet, Benno Moiseiwitsch, John Ogdon (a great and very Bipolar man), Jascha Heifetz, Yehudi Menuhin, the list goes on and on.
Book – Virtuoso by John Ogdon. And “Piano Man”, about John Ogdon, by Charles Beauclerk.
TV – “Brian’s Story” which is the most powerful picture of Bipolar I have ever seen. Documentaries generally. My televisual tastes are not particularly sophisticated. Little Britain was a favourite. Frasier I love, The Inbetweeners (sorry), Peep Show, and an old show from my childhood called Prince Valiant! I despise anything to do with game shows, house refurbishing, racing, sport, and various other topics! Give me relaxation for my poor tired brain, please.
Music – Rachmaninoff on an hourly basis. I’m not a huge Bach lover in terms of playing it (to put it mildly – the only tonal composer other than nutcases like Godowsky I feel I absolutely cannot sightread at all!), or Bel Canto opera (please, no…). Other than that, everything classical. Puccini, Tchaikovsky, Schumann, Prokofiev, Mozart, whatever! Without a single doubt, there are two pieces that made the biggest impact on me in my life. One is Rach 3. The other is “Les Miserables”. Love musical theatre, film music, all sorts of pop music, even hip-hop and rap. All music is valid, if made with both craft and sincerity. Except drill rap, which is an offence to God and man, and disrespects its mighty predeceding genre!
Gardening – I sometimes wish I were a flower. Life would be simpler. Or a wise oak tree. Or a merry visiting hedgehog. Exercise/Hobbies – Before I achieved the vast proportions of an overfed cruise ship, I went to the gym a great deal – in order to burn off the manic energy! Now due to my various physical maladies, I am not yet able to do it. But the prognosis is for an eventual recovery and activity resuming. I have almost no hobbies. That said, I enjoy eating (too much) and spending money (too much). The main areas of acivity that I enjoy are a) giving Alexandra hugs and b) playing the piano and learning new things.
Pet/Best Friend – Our pet is Pushkin, the cat. We have an entente cordiale. Best friends? My best friend is Alexandra. It’s impossible to express in words who this lady, what she has done, and how I esteem her. I love her with all my heart. Other than that, I am very lucky. All my old friends have stuck by through cataclysmic illness – among the many, my musical mentor (and bona fide genius) Leslie Howard, Petr, Jonathan, Sir Karl (Jenkins), Bart, and plenty of others I’m inevitably forgetting to name. Additionally, Chris and James have a very special place in my heart and I love dearly. Everyone from days of yore before I went bonkers is still here, and this makes Alex and I very happy indeed.