Kathie Touin is a musician, songwriter and recording artist whose contemporary and classical music has attracted worldwide airplay.
She grew up in Southern California where she began playing the piano seriously at age seven, first learning classical music and then in her teens moving into jazz and rock. She joined her first band at 15, and played in several groups through high school - everything from heavy metal to progressive rock and pop.
Kathie started playing early, with help from big sister Laurie - and soon showed promise
After graduating high school, Kathie attended the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. She studied composition, arranging, performance, production and engineering.
Leaving with a certificate in Professional Music studies, she returned to California where she worked in a variety of bands, and focused on writing her own songs and compositions.
After a few years she went solo and quickly landed her first recording contract.
The following year she released Soliloquy, an album of classical piano pieces, to much acclaim. It sold out its first run. Her original composition featured on the album, Silver Song, received international airplay.
She also began working for the record label that had released Soliloquy and was instrumental in securing a deal to re-issue an album by legendary keyboardist, Keith Emerson (The Nice; Emerson, Lake & Palmer).
When the label folded a few years later, Kathie moved north to Hansville, Washington, a beautiful small community at the north end of the Kitsap Peninsula in Western Washington. There amidst the peace, quiet and wild beauty, Kathie formed her own production company, Loro Cove Productions. She released an album simply titled Christmas - a collection of holiday instrumentals, performed on keyboards, piano and guitars.
Soon after its release, Kathie was writing songs again and a growing collection began to take on the shape of an album. But before she could begin the final recording process, her life took a remarkable turn... she met and married an Englishman.
Packing her demo tapes and scribbled lyric sheets, she arrived in Ealing, London to join her new husband where, shortly after, she set up a 24-track home recording studio and got to work on the collection of songs she had written.
Within six months, Kathie had completed her first album of all original words and music - Butterfly Bones, a deeply personal, occasionally silly, sometimes sweet, sometimes edgy retrospective of the events of the previous few years in her life.
Released in 2005, the album showcases beautifully refined Kathie's songwriting, and led to comparisons with Aimee Mann, Sarah McLachlan, Tori Amos and Maria McKee. Butterfly Bones has been critically acclaimed by musicians, djs and fans and in March 2007 was signed up by Proper Distribution for an exclusive UK distribution deal.
Later in 2007 Kathie Touin released her CD Soliloquy Deluxe, 21 tracks of beautiful piano music. Based on her sold-out album Soliloquy, it features re-mastered tracks, newly-released bonus tracks and specially-created artwork to create a beautiful package. The music includes Debussy's Clair de Lune, Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata, Keith Emerson's A Blade of Grass and three original compositions by Kathie.
Kathie sang with the London Southbank Centre's Voicelab project - performing Beethoven's Ode To Joy, Zadok The Priest, protest songs and Bernstein's Mass - and on one memorable occasion Kathie and the choir performed for Her Majesty The Queen in the Royal Festival Hall. Kathie also sang with the BBC Proms 2009 Family Orchestra in London's Westfield shopping centre.
The covers of Kathie's albums Soliloquy Deluxe and Dark Moons & Nightingales
Kathie released her latest album Dark Moons & Nightingales in November 2009. Featuring 16 original songs about letting go, finding love, the wonder of the wild and the puzzle of places - plus an intriguing instrumental - the album attracted airplay on Radio Caroline, BBC Radio Scotland, BBC Radio nan Gàidheal, BBC Radio Ulster, Frome FM, Biggles FM and elsewhere.
R2 Rock'n'Reel magazine - which featured a track on its January/February 2010 covermount CD - says: "Passionate, poetic songs underpinned by exquisite piano and rich, full arrangements. The magical Season of the Raven shimmers like heat-haze on granite and the whole album has an elemental quality, romantic in all its ragged beauty."
In April 2010 Kathie and her husband - and her studio - moved to Orkney, a stunning group of 70 islands off the north-east mainland of Scotland.
Kathie made two appearances at the 2011 Orkney Folk Festival, accompanying Orkney singer Jo Philby and singing with the Song Shop Choir.
Following her festival appearances Kathie released a demo version of her song, The Selkie of Skaill Bay, available as a download through CDBaby, iTunes and other outlets...
Kathie again accompanied Jo Philby at the 2012 Orkney Folk Festival and at a series of Orkney gigs throughout the year, including appearances at the Firelounge, Kirkwall, Hoy's Gable End Theatre and the Orkney Brewery, Quoyloo. She plays keyboards on Jo's latest album Beneath The Starry Sky, which was partly recorded at Kathie's Starling Recording Studio. The Orcadian said Kathie's "piano playing and arrangements are exceptional."
Also in 2012 Kathie accompanied Sandwick Young Farmers in three appearances at Orkney Arts Theatre as well as shows at Sandwick Hall and St Andrew's Community Centre, Tankerness. Later that year she appeared in a concert at Inverness Cathedral with fellow students from the University of the Highlands & Islands. And in 2013 Kathie appeared at Celtic Connections with fellow UHI students in the Solas ùr concert at The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Glasgow.
In Spring 2013 Kathie opened her expanded Starling Recording Studio to musicians from Orkney and beyond. For rates and more information please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
In Autumn 2013 the CD to accompany the book Fiona Driver's Scottish Fiddle Course was recorded and mixed at Starling Recording Studio. Then in May 2014 Orcadian guitarist Griogair Morrison released his debut CD, an EP called Bonxie, recorded and engineered by Kathie Touin at Starling.
On 4 July 2014 - Independence Day for Americans like Kathie - she played a Mozart piece with violinist Fiona Driver to an appreciative audience at Stromness Town Hall. On some Saturdays during 2014 Kathie could be found playing piano for diners at Kirkwall's Lynnfield Hotel.
Also, in summer 2014 Kathie welcomed the first non-Orkney artist to the studio, Simon Allum aka Ancient Colours.
In November 2014 Kathie's song tribute to Orkney - Orcadia (Wind, Sea & Sky) - was played on Alex Hawkins' Homely Remedies show on Frome FM. The song is available to download from CDBaby, iTunes, Amazon and more, and is also on Kathie's Dark Moons & Nightingales album. Listen to the song here...
For the latest please go to the News About Kathie page on this website.
Kathie teaches piano to beginners and more advanced students. If you are interested in piano lessons in West Mainland, Orkney please email Kathie: email@example.com.