Robert John Godfrey, pianist, composer and philosopher was born at Leeds Abbey Farm on the Leeds Castle Estate in Kent, England on the 30th of July 1947. His father was Lt John Godfrey, a war hero who won the Military Cross during WW2 in Burma. His mother was Patricia Boucher whose father Richard farmed the Leeds Castle estate. Godfrey was educated at Finchden Manor in Tenterden, which was described by its founder George Lyward as a "therapeutic community for intelligent adolescents"; other alumni of which include Alexis Korner and Tom Robinson.
Godfrey's entry into the world of music came late. He didn't start playing the piano until he was thirteen years old. A freakish and hitherto undiscovered talent quickly emerged and by the age of sixteen, he was able to play the Brahms Bb concerto well enough to give a public performance with an amateur orchestra. In 1965 he entered the Royal College of Music, where he studied under concert pianist Malcolm Binns. During his college years he became part of the swinging London "gay set" which included notables pop record producer Kit Lambert , pianist and teacher, Peter Feuchtwanger, Decca classical music producer Peter Wadland and composers Michael Tippett, Richard Rodney Bennett and Hans Werner Henze.
However, life as a concert pianist was not to be. In 1969, an opportunity to work with Norman Smith at Abbey Rd who at the time was producing both Pink Floyd and Barclay James Harvest, the band with whom Godfrey would work for the next three years. His work with Barclay James Harvest made him one of the founding fathers of progressive rock music genre and set the scene for his future life. In 1974, together with friends he founded the progressive art rock band, The Enid and has remained at the centre of the bands activities for nearly forty years.
As in the case of any dedicated composer, it is impossible to separate the musical talent from the greater person. The images and ideas contained in his music are not directly inspired by the compositions of others but rather from his interests in the deeper issues of our existence and our place in the cosmos. His life has been one long quest to try and understand these things.
Now he has recently embarked upon a solo career and is to release an album of his romantic piano music later this year.
"Science is the only true religion; everything else is mere slight of hand"
"I seem to spend half my time telling myself that God doesn't exist and the other half talking to Him about the problem"
"If I am talking to myself there's got to be at least two people in here"
"The only eyes you can never look into are your own - and when you look into the eyes of another, all you can ever see there is yourself"