Thousands of miles and an ocean away from Newtown, in a little house in Basingstoke, England, British composer/pianist Helen Jane Long heard the shocking news about the murders at the Sandy Hook School. Her heart was in her throat as she quickly checked on her sleeping five-year-old boy, Jake. Her fears allayed, she settled in to watch with horror, the American story unfolding on British television. After that, she says she just “couldn’t get it out of my head” and felt “strangely compelled” to be there, to “somehow comfort” the families. Unbeknownst to her at the time, her U.S. booking agent had already confirmed a date at Sound, the new venue in Newtown. She is “grateful for the opportunity” to bring some comfort with her show and plans to honor the victims and their families by lighting a candle for each of the Newtown 26, with a moment of prayer, prior to her performance there.
One of the very few young, successful, British female composers, classically trained pianist, Helen Jane Long’s original compositions cross the worlds of classical,
chill out, and filmic music to create an indefinable combination of music minimalism. While preparing for her
third album, Intervention, Helen Jane Long composed in a solitary fashion and the music came from a deeply private place. Intervention was written in the wake of several deaths in her family, among them her Grandmother. Coupled with the piano, cello and violins, it is what gives the album its' deeply emotional pull. That’s what Intervention is. Music to get you through stuff, a sound that takes you away from your troubles, even
while affirming your turmoil.
Classical music was her path since the age of 4, but Helen Jane Long didn’t know then that she would be named to the UK’s Classic FM Hall of Fame in 2011 or that her
music would be used commercially for British Airways, Volkswagen, Bosch, Barclay’s Bank, Mercedes, National Geographic, Discovery, and the BBC. Helen’s credits within TV and film are numerous, ranging from the Lord of the Rings trilogy, to cult films such asSurveillance, Out In The Cold, and scores for UK’s Channel 4, The BAFTA Awards
and Fifth Gear TV programs.
She gained credibility with musical tastemakers after releasing her 2007 Porcelain release and subsequently gained worldwide fans with her 2010 Embers album, but maybe the most significant sign of her success is that there are over 10,000 musicians and fans covering her music on YouTube.