James Rhodes - Quercus

James Rhodes



James Rhodes was born in London in 1975. A keen piano player, at eighteen he was offered a scholarship at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, but went to Edinburgh University instead. James stopped playing the piano entirely and dropped out after a year. He ended up working in the City for five years. After a devastating mental breakdown that led him to be institutionalised, he took the piano up again. He is now a professional and applauded concert pianist, writer and TV presenter. His memoir, Instrumental, was published to great critical acclaim and became an international bestseller, as did his short book How To Play the Piano.
Books currently available by this author

Date published: New > Old

Quercus

Fire on All Sides

James Rhodes
Authors:
James Rhodes

For many of us who suffer from depression or anxiety, the simple act of endurance, of having to appear 'normal', is a daunting, painful and heroic task. Getting out of bed, packing the kids off to school, showing up for work, preparing dinner... These can be astonishing achievements when it sometimes takes a superhuman effort simply to stand upright. How do you keep going? How do you do what you do, day in, day out, conforming to people's idea of you and functioning in the way society expects you to, when all you want to do is disappear and hide?In Fire On All Sides, Rhodes attempts to find how to make the unbearable bearable in the most exposing circumstances imaginable. As he embarks on a gruelling five-month concert tour, performing in front of thousands of people, the tortuous voices in his mind his constant companions, he has no choice but to face these wild, mad ramblings head on. Luckily, there is the music. There is always the music. Bach, Chopin, Beethoven - they are his holy grail, his mechanism for survival. Just.This is an important, urgent book. It's about going through your day feeling like you can't find a way out of the crazy, it's about not setting the happiness bar too high, it's about accepting the messy imperfection that is life.Rhodes explodes the myths surrounding depression, anxiety and stress - the plagues of our society - into a million pieces, then sticks them back together again with his characteristic thought-provoking, laser sharp and humorous style. The really good news? It's going to be OK. Just.

Quercus

How to Play the Piano

James Rhodes
Authors:
James Rhodes

Learn to play one of Bach's most exquisite preludes in just 6 weeks, even if you have never played the piano before. An accessible and inspiring book by the pianist and international bestselling writer James Rhodes, who promises that it gives anyone with two hands, a piano or an electric keyboard and just 45 minutes a day the tools they need to learn to play Bach's Prelude No. 1 in C Major in 6 weeks, even if they know nothing about music and have never even touched a piano before.How often do we convince ourselves that it's just too late - too late to learn how to ride a bike, too late to know how to meditate, too late to travel the world... As we get older and time slips through our fingers like water, we become resigned, almost defeatist, about abandoning our dreams. For James Rhodes, after the inevitable "How many hours a day do you practice?" and "Show me your hands", the most common thing people say to him when they hear he's a pianist is "I used to play the piano as a kid. I really regret giving it up". Where does this mourned and misplaced creativity go? For Rhodes, it's still there to be tapped into by all of us, at any point. This inspirational book gives us the means to do this, by breaking up Bach's seminal Prelude No. 1 from the Well-Tempered Clavier into manageable segments, teaching us the basics of piano playing - how to read music, the difference between the treble and the bass clef, sharp and flat notes, how to practice etc.. - and encouraging personal interpretation in a way that is guaranteed to soothe the mind, feed the soul and unleash creative powers we didn't know we still had. All of this will culminate in an ability to perform one of Bach's masterpieces."If listening to music is soothing for the soul, then playing music is achieving enlightenment. It's going from kicking a ball around with a few pals to playing alongside Ronaldo."