Welcome! My name is Robert Russell, and I’m from Brisbane, Australia. Thank you for dropping by.
You might know me as the keyboard player from Awaken Solace, or as a composer and songwriter from YouTube, or maybe from somewhere else. Let me tell you a little more about myself.
I had a very musical childhood, learning piano from an early age at a music school. I quickly developed an affinity for classical music, especially from the baroque period, and have early memories of wishing I could be a baroque composer when I grew up. I was entered into many piano competitions, doing reasonably well, and took piano exams up until the end of my schooling.
I also excelled in mathematics, my other true academic love, and had to make a decision as I left school on which I would pursue at a university. I chose to enrol in a mathematics degree in my hometown of Brisbane while continuing to be active musically in my spare time. At this stage, I was quite an accomplished pianist, and was still heavily involved with my school, accompanying and performing for musicals and choirs.
My career in music really took off at this stage and in a couple of different directions. I joined my first band by becoming friends with my music teacher’s son, and I got involved with the local musical theatre scene through one of my mathematics lecturers, who happened to be a dance teacher and choreographer.
This first band eventually led me into another band, the glam/rock powerhouse, Lord Byron, where I took the role of composer and keyboard player. We produced an EP, an album, and eventually travelled to the UK to pursue our dreams. Regretfully, imminent residency issues fractured these dreams, and Lord Byron at the time, and I moved back to Australia.
My liaison with the local musical theatre scene was also very fruitful, landing me opportunities to perform, meet many wonderful people, become a musical director, and be placed in charge of a strong community choir. I also eventually became interested in composing and arranging for musicals, the former of which has led me to co-producing an original musical, Living Dangerously with R&R Productions, and the latter of which led me to the lofty heights of becoming the official arranger for Schools Will Rock You, the high school adaptation of the Queen musical, We Will Rock You.
Meanwhile, an introduction to the music from the Final Fantasy series reignited my desire to become a composer, and I got straight to work writing music suitable for computer games. I set up the Final Fantasy Symphony Monthly Composition Competition to give me inspiration and a direction in my composition, and have continued to manage it (on and off) ever since.
Soon before returning to Australia after my time in the UK, I was introduced to the symphonic metal band, Nightwish, who have greatly inspired most modern day composers, and I am no exception. It wasn’t long until I became a founding member of symphonic metal band, Awaken Solace. We’ve produced one album, with another very soon to be released at the time of writing.
A couple of years after the inception of Awaken Solace, I decided to start releasing some of my older compositions as well as new music through YouTube, which I’ve found to be a very enjoyable experience. It has already allowed me to work with some wonderful people, and its success has forced me to consider creating this website, so that people may purchase my music.
This brings us up to the current day. Who knows what is to come?