Pianist Riopy on commissioning music to soothe anxiety | Live Chats at Lunch

The French pianist Riopy has commissioned a new piece of music to help soothe anxiety for Mental Health Awareness Week. In this interview he describes the motivation behind the project.

Jean-Philippe Rio-Py, known professionally as Riopy, is a French-British pianist and composer. Born and raised in France, he grew up in a secular cult and began to teach himself piano at a young age when he discovered an abandoned instrument. His cult did not allow musical activity, and with no access to printed music, he began to compose music in his head. He later said that he ‘was drawn to the piano as it allowed [him] to focus on creating music from scratch, [quiet] his mind from his OCD anxieties and allow [him] to retreat into [his] own private world.’

Aged 18, he left his home and the cult, and spent short periods in Paris and Los Angeles. Arriving in London at 21 years old, he worked at a small instruments shop for a few months, before continuing his training on the piano in Oxford. Later, Riopy began performing around London at venues ranging from the Royal Opera House to underground venues like The Arts Club in Mayfair. His piano compositions also began attracting the attention of ad agencies and film/TV music supervisors, with his work being used in campaigns for companies like IKEA, Mercedes, Armani and Samsung, while being heard in trailers for the films The Danish Girl and The Sense of an Ending, as well as documentaries for the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 networks in Britain.

RIOPY says that ‘The music set me free,’ and insists that it helped conquer his persistent OCD.

Music video, tutorials and sheet music for his Mental Health Awareness project are available at https://www.riopymusic.com/pages/111

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Photo of Riopy: Pierre-Emmanuel Rastoin

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