IRIS GILLON – A CREATIVE GENIOUS
Born with a flair for design, Iris Gillon had an eye and a gift for visual beauty. At a very young age, Iris was making and designing her own clothing, making up recipes in the kitchen with her mother and more. Born with a talent and a drive very unusual for a child, Iris had a fire and a passion for putting together musical groups, concerts and planning projects for herself, her family and her friends. In her earlier years, Iris was more involved with music than with art, however, as her life progressed, more and more visual design became an integral part of her life.
Endowed with a perfect pitch Iris could pick up a tune and play it on the piano at the age of four. Iris could sit down at the piano and improvise a song she had only heard once and she could get a small singing group with guitars organized to perform a new song very unusual at such a young age. She would be making suggestions to all involved as to the color of their outfits and positions on the stage, making performances visually exciting as well as working with the sound.
Iris Gillon’s father was a university professor of English and Comparative Literature and a writer and her mother was a successful architect and builder. Iris’ parents encouraged their gifted child to pursue a musical career, providing her with excellent teachers and instruments, an amazing grand piano and several guitars including a 12-string Gibson that was bigger than she was when she got it! Both of Iris’ parents were very artistic, her mother as a very successful architect always provided Iris with the most beautiful surroundings, cathedral ceilings, all glass walls, hand-built stone fireplaces and an inspired encouragement to Iris to explore her creative side.
At the age of seven Iris put together her first singing group with a few talented friends, which entertained neighbors and school mates with performances of popular folk music of the time. At a very early age, together with her small musical groups, Iris was a great improviser and would make up songs, and sing tunes in her head, being compared by many to the young Mozart or Beethoven. Her skills on the piano were impressive and where other children her age had to practice, playing the piano came naturally to Iris Gillon. By the age of ten years old, Iris was composing original music, coordinating several musical groups, setting up performances in her home and in her friends’ homes and at school. When Iris would compose a piece of music, the cover of that composition would often also have drawings on it.
As with other renaissance music organizers and composers, Iris Gillon had a creative fire that burned in her soul. At the age of five years old, Iris was producing her own mini concerts in her home for her parents and their friends. Iris’ singing and dancing led her into activities combining drama, dance, music and anything creative. When Iris had play-dates with her friends as a small child, much of their time was spent making up dances, building singing groups and learning songs, designing clothing and making new outfits out of remnant materials, knitting, sewing, drawing and improvising. Iris Gillon was a leader of musical and creative groups of other children.
Iris Gillon took dancing lessons with ballet teacher Barbara Alias, who led her into splits, twirls and other elements of classical ballet, then leading to years of passionate embrace with modern, jazz and ballet dancing that lasted well into her adult life.
IRIS GILLON - THE TEENS
At the age of 12 Iris was celebrating the full life of a musical-genius prodigy. Iris Gillon was a very quick study, with photography memory and a perfect pitch ear, an eye that could capture every nuance of detail, Iris excelled at whatever she touched. As an early teen Iris studied music with some of the professors of music at The State University of New Paltz, wherein she was allowed, as a budding composer to both perform her own original compositions on piano but others learned some of her pieces as well to perform at the University, even including one of her professors!
Iris Gillon was also a prolific song writer as a teen. Deeply inspired by the beautiful natural surroundings of the Shawangunk Mountains where her family lived, Iris worked on her piano performance, her dancing and her song writing every day.
Tons and tons of songs for voice and guitar were written by Iris during her high school years, as she was led by the hand of fate to bring forth melodies and tunes. These, as the years flew by, developed into symphonies, concertos, movie sound tracks and more... each one, unusually enough, topped by an unusual cover boasting a hand-drawn pictures sketched by Iris herself.
As artistic as Iris was, her art hobby didn’t officially start till the age 16 when Iris was caught doodling on the pages of some books with magic marker by her Dad.
Iris’ Dad was a literary scholar and deeply in awe of the printed word. He redirected Iris’ exploding talent away from his historic library of rare books and purchased her a box of multi-colored markers and a drawing pad and Iris proceeded to continue her doodling on these pads with the designated markers.
Iris Gillon’s first large marker drawing to emerge from this pad was an amazing picture that was so incredible that Iris' parents decided to frame it. Once on the wall, that glass covered mirror of life multiplied into another and another and another and caught by the bug of color, within a year, dozens of paintings were birthed from that home, covering wall after wall. To this day, wherever Iris lives, even in a home with thousands of square feet, the place is covered with splashes of colors from her drawings and paintings, everything in life, a palate for her creative surges.
IRIS GILLON, THE TEACHER AND AUTHOR
IRIS GILLON, TEACHER, COMPOSER AND MUSIC PRODUCER
While her parents traveled in Europe, Iris threw her sweet sixteen party at the family lake-side estate, with barbecue, dancing, swimming and sailing. Little did she suspect at the time that her talent for organizing events like this would one day, become her main profession!
Now began an earnest phase in her musical career when Iris became a student of Alexander Lipsky, one of the most renowned piano teachers in the world, he himself having studied with the famous creator of the Kalmus Serious in Europe, boasting best friends such as Issaac Stern and Izhak Pearlman.
Within a short period of time she acquired a substantial repertoire of classical music, which eventually enabled Iris to give successful performances at Carnegie Hall and at other engagements, drawing warm praise from publications as big as The New York Times, The Woodstock Times and numerous other local smaller newspapers as well.
At the age of only 18, Iris was enlisted by Commodore Computers to write a music teaching manual to help their customers use their special music learning computer called MELODIAN. This teaching manual was very successful and sold many copies via Commodore and Iris then went on to write her own speed reading music manual which she shared with many students that followed her for over two decades.
Iris Gillon started her first music production company at the age of eighteen and also teamed up with one of her music students who was a computer programmer for IBM and was twenty-two years old. They became quite good friends and when he observed her working on some of her orchestral compositions by hand, he suggested that they collaborate and try to automate the process by creating music writing software together. Iris and Roger formed a company together and spent several hundred hours creating hand crafted notes that would print perfectly on Roger’s early IBM computers. Thus formed the seeds of her first collaborative company with Roger wherein they created sheet music writing software together called SCORE WRITER that they took to IBM who ignored them and then to Microsoft who also ignored them… Alas, Iris and Roger were young and knew nothing about lawyers and copyright protection and a few years later they saw another company with SCORE-WRITER in the market using most of their designs and well… so much for their hard work…
Continuing with her new-found advanced skills in computers now attached to music, Iris became one of only five composers in New York City to become an expert user of the Historical Fairlight Computer. She was one of only five in the entire country to use this computer in combination with classical acoustic instruments and to create movie soundtracks combining advanced technology with antique instruments. Soon to emerge were some of her more successful albums which were snatched up by a small record company called Nesak International and sold countless copies all over the world. Some of these titles included in The Third Ear Music Collection published by Nesak International – YOU ARE THE SUNSHINE, YOU ARE THE RAIN, YOU ARE THE FOREST, YOU ARE THE WIND and YOU ARE CHRISTMAS. Included in these albums were excerpts from her Piano Concerto, her Cello Concerto, her double trumpet Concerto and several symphonies. Also included in these soundtracks were several scenes from the movie that Iris scored for the movie FAST FOOD which was distributed on TV stations around the world for many years.
During her twenties, Iris composed the music for numerous NYU Student short films and several others including the full length feature film created by her father called THE BET, published and released by Conrad Film Corporation.
The New York Film Orchestrawas the first symphony orchestra which actually housed a synthesizer section within the orchestra, with three pianists performing live on a combination of the most modern equipment with the oldest violins in creation.
When the Fairlight Computer was released in the U.S., and Iris Gillon became one of the first composer-programmers and experts on that machine in the country. She was also one of the first to combine writing orchestral movie soundtrack scores, combining live musicians, a symphonic orchestra and computer-generated musical tracks that were programmed and performed in conjunction with the visual elements. This fascinating work landed Iris Gillon a full page article written about her in the exclusive Business Week Magazine. Iris Gillon was one of a thousand women in business featured in that magazine at that time!
Iris Gillon was then featured in a full-page article in the Funk and Wagnals Encyclopedia as a Music Technology Specialist, alongside with Robert Moog, Stevie Wonder and the Juilliard School of Music.
IRIS GILLON - AT COLLEGE
Iris Gillon attended Hartt School of Music at the University of Hartford as a Composition Fellow. At Hartt School of Music, Iris developed a passion for Philosophy, Comparative Religion and did some part time tutoring and paper-writing assistance as she dived deeper and deeper into her music studies.
After one year at Hart School of Music, Iris was invited to Sarah Lawrence College and accepted a unique study program that allowed her famous Piano and Music Teacher Alexander Lipsky to be intimately involved with her music studies.
Iris Gillon’s concerts and advanced studies at Sarah Lawrence landed her an invitation to study even more piano performance in Israel with the world re-known piano teacher Enrique Barenboim (father to the Conductor/Pianist Daniel Barenboim) and during this time in Israel, Iris transferred to a unique private study college that allowed Iris to create her own college curriculum with her studies abroad and she graduated from Empire State College which included her special studies of music from around the world.
Iris accepted an invitation to study at The Juilliard School Of Music and follow to graduate with a Master’s Degree in Piano Performance. The Faculty Jury at the School declared that Iris Gillon was "unusually talented and brilliant."
Iris Gillon’s Master Degree shines on the wall of her office alongside several hundred plaques including testimonial letters from happy IGMC customers, famous artists commending Iris’ musical production and composition skills and more. It is really quite an amazing gallery of accomplishments.
Barely graduated from The Juilliard School of Music, Iris continued on with her composition and performing until she created her own symphony orchestra called the New York Film Orchestra. This led to the recording of several of her concertos and symphonies and movie soundtracks.
Many of the musicians that were in this first symphony orchestra created by Iris Gillon still work through her company Iris Gillon Music’n Celebrations, IGMC performing classical concerts, gala openings and wedding ceremonies.
IRIS GILLON - SMALL BUSINESS OWNER
Having discovered her power to lead musicians when she first coordinated her orchestral ensemble, Iris also became quite adept as a recording engineer and orchestral conductor.
During her first orchestral compositions Iris sat in the engineer's chair, helping to mix and record her orchestral works with the use of the first SSL (computer-controlled mixing board) studio in the country.
A decade in New York City living as a music teacher, composer and performer, composing more and more music for all sorts of small ensembles and small orchestras, Iris was a member of ASCAP and was receiving royalties from her movie soundtracks and orchestral performances of her works as they were performed all over the United States, Europe, South America, Canada and Australia.
In 1989 when IGMC first took root and more and more musicians came to Iris for work and at the same time, more and more people heard of the quality events and musical groups that were emanating from this young lady’s magical touch, the dynamic hands of destiny led Iris into a whirlwind of parties, galas, events corporate product launches and more. With Iris at the Helm, IGMC (Iris Gillon Music’n Celebrations LLC) produced hundreds of parties, weddings and events every single year luring Iris further and further away from her past of music writing and performing and leading her deeper and deeper into the realm of the NYC Party and Events Industry.
Now in 2010, Iris Gillon is the absolute leader in quality event production, events music production, wedding and event planning in the entire Tri-State Area. With over one hundred million dollars of events having passed through IGMC’s doors in one way or another and with Iris having touched over fifty million dollars worth of catered events and over twenty five million dollars of musical performances, there is no doubt, that Iris Gillon is the top event planner and events music producer on the East Coast of the United States.