"When i was 9 i got a guitar for Christmas. I didnt like it so I used it as a cricket bat until it got smashed by a fast ball. Six years later i found it in the garage, glued it up and put one piece of fishing line on it. Chords were difficult, but when i found out that i could play riffs like 'Wild Thing' i began wondering about the other five strings. My world changed when i heard Jimi Hendrix and later on John Williams, Alirio Diaz and Julian Bream. Before that it had been the voice of John Lennon, Bugs Bunny cartoons, rain on the roof, cicadas, crickets and radio static."
Originally trained as an artist, Houghton began music studies at the age of 20, receiving advice and encouragement from the late John Champ, one of Australias greatest pianists, music educator and radio broadcaster.
Phillip studied classical guitar with Sebastian Jorgensen at the artists colony Montsalvat, in Eltham Victoria where he later lived and worked. As a guitarist Phillip toured extensively and was recorded by the ABC before deciding in 1980 to leave performance and concentrate on composition. Australian composers Hellen Gifford and Peter Mumme encouraged his fdeveloping style. He has written for theatre, dance and film (including John Dingwall's feature The Custodian and the Plasmo animation series by Tony Lawrence).
As a composer Phillip is self taught and his compositions reflect the influence of many styles: classical, jazz, rock, ambient and world music. His early influences include the music of Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, King Crimson, Gryphon, Gong, Miles Davis, Satie, Debussy, Ravel, Riley, Crumb and Eno, while his work continues to reflect a strong interest in art, mythology and the environment.
Houghton's guitar music has been performed and recorded
by leading musicians, including John Williams, Carlos Bonell, John
Mills, Nicholas Goluses, Timothy Kain, Guitar Trek, Karin Schaupp,
Slava Grigoryan, Gareth Koch, Anthony Field, Peter Constant and
Marion Schaap (ZOO DUO). Some 20 of his guitar solos, published
by Moonstone Music, are on the national syllabus (AMEB) and he is
also represented in the new Benjamin Verdery Guitar Series for Frederick
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