Riopy + Emily Portman
Riopy is a pianist and composer who wants to change the world, one note at a time.
Born in rural France, his mother left home with him when he was six months old, eventually joining a cult, where family ties were discouraged - and obedience to the head guru was paramount.
Deprived of any outside culture, young Jean-Philippe taught himself to play on an abandoned piano when he was two, making up songs in his head, then performing them. Riopy was drawn to the piano as it allowed him to focus on creating music from scratch, quiet his mind from his OCD anxieties and to retreat into his own private world. “I understood tones, sounds and numbers, because I’d always been counting,” he says. “Playing piano was the only place I felt safe. I discovered something new every time I sat down at the piano. It was the only thing I enjoyed doing. And even if I wasn’t at the piano, I’d play music in my head to cope with stress.”
He left for the UK in his twenties. After he was named a Young Steinway Artist ,he recorded three albums that have reached a worldwide audience, powered by personal recommendation and word of mouth. Returning to Britain, he plays one special concert in London's most beautiful venue - Union Chapel Islington.
Emily Portman lures listeners into a surreal netherworld, conjuring a dark and brooding realm through her ethereal voice and unique take on folk storytelling gaining her a win for BBC Radio Two Folk Award for Best Original Song
‘Entrancing and unsettling’ (★★★★ Observer)
‘Spooky and surreal’ (★★★★ Guardian)
'Intense and alluring' (Fatea)