Enigmatic Orcadian Jennifer Austin is a renowned and respected pianist and emerging visual artist. With unrivalled mastery, she casts the black and white of piano keys into the full spectrum of light, illuminating the human experience and dazzling, enchanting and visibly elevating her audience.
Her sound has formed the keystone of many a musical arch – the piece that locks together the whole – ensuring any project she engages in amounts to vastly more than the sum of its parts.
This energy has flowed into her performances with musicians Adam Holmes, Heidi Talbot, FARA, Rachel Sermanni and Blazin’ Fiddles as well as to up and coming talent at annual BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician Awards.
Meanwhile, her original compositions have been commissioned by BBC Radio 6, clothing brand Finisterre, whisky distillery Highland Park, and celebrated film makers Walid Salhab and David Gray amongst others.
She has toured Norway, Canada, Barbados, the Unites States, her native Scotland and the British Isles and, in 2015, held Live Music Now’s music residency in Mumbai, India.
Alongside this she still finds time to develop the next generation of musicians, teaching and coaching at a variety of festivals and schools as well as through bespoke private lessons, where her world-class experience and first-class honours degree in Applied Music from the University of Strathclyde go on to benefit her students.
Her creative talent extends into the visual arts with her signature oil paintings portraying velvety ocean waves, inspired by Orkney’s unique co-ordinates at the cusp of the Atlantic Ocean, the North Sea and the Pentland Firth. These pieces are seeing her build a loyal and growing supporter base, from which she is increasingly receiving commissions.
She is currently producing material for upcoming solo concerts and exhibitions, where she herself will step into the light… and let her talents speak for themselves.
With Aurora green eyes, this Northern Light is not one to be missed.
Words by Sepi Golzari-Munro