Californian Kathie Touin, who now lives in Scotland's Orkney Islands, is a songwriter and musician whose latest album Facing The Falling Sky is her fifth - and the third consisting entirely of her own songs.
Kathie began playing the piano at her Southern California home at age seven and joined her first band at 15, after her grandmother put up the money to help her buy a synthesizer.
Kathie started playing early, with help from her big sister - and soon showed promise
She studied at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts before returning to California, where she began teaching piano lessons and rehearsing with a series of bands, none of which progressed terribly far.
Kathie decided to go solo and signed a recording contract with instrumental label Sundown Records, who released her debut album, Soliloquy, in 1994. A collection of mainly classical solo piano pieces, the album sold out its initial production run. In 2007 the album was re-mastered with bonus tracks, new artwork and liner notes, and released independently by Kathie as Soliloquy Deluxe.
In 2003 Kathie married an Englishman and moved from Washington State, USA to London, England where she set up a recording studio in the spare bedroom of their apartment. She brought with her a set of songs she had begun working on in the US, and in 2005 released the album Butterfly Bones, which an Amazon reviewer described as "a stunning collection of music".
Kathie's second album of her own songs, Dark Moons & Nightingales, released in 2009, featured more complex arrangements, with lush, layered vocal harmonies. Rock N Reel Magazine said: "Passionate, poetic songs underpinned by exquisite piano and rich, full arrangements."
Kathie Touin (image: Graham Brown)
Then Kathie and her husband fell in love with the Orkney Islands, off the north-east coast of Scotland, during a brief holiday visit and decided to leave London.
She set up Starling Recording Studio in their new home and began work on her next album. The production was delayed several times by ill health and personal losses, but was finally completed in August 2019 and Kathie Touin's Facing The Falling Sky was released in November 2019. DJ Steve Conway said: "It's like a late-night conversation with an old friend in a remote windswept house."
A year later, in November 2020, Kathie released a single written and recorded during the Covid lockdown - This Time (Save The World?). In May 2021 a video to accompany the song was issued. The video was directed and produced by Kathie.