I started played the violin at the age of seven, studied music at university, and then have worked both in the recording industry and the arts ever since. During that time, I have been composing music at some level almost consistently. It combines my love of diverse musical genres with my experience as an audio engineer with my own studio. My work ranges from combining classical and dance music samples into a soundtrack for a contemporary dance group, to recording and layering many violin tracks to create an atmospheric backing track, to recording and mixing samples in multi-track software to create soundscapes.
Here are some examples of my most recent work.
Land – May 2019, Sound for an installation at Chelsea Flower Show, The Plant Room
This soundscape has been designed to aid creativity. The installation at the Chelsea Flower show consists of planting designed by Zosia Berkeita-Lewis and screen prints by Laura Slater, and will also have art materials available for people to stop for a while and be creative. So I have used lots of natural ‘brown noise’ which is supposed to enhance creativity – the sounds of waterfalls and forests, along with some soothing tones and high frequency sparkles and shimmers.
Plants I and II – Dec 2017, The Herbology Room, Room 700, Leeds Library.
These are two soundscapes I created for an installation in Leeds Library of plants and botanical drawings as part of the British Library’s celebration of Harry Potter twenty years on. I tried to evoke the magical and mysterious sounds of plants growing, balanced with the fact that the soundtracks would be playing in the gallery all day, every day, for a month!
Mountains – Nov 2017
This is a work in progress with artist Kevin Hickson to accompany a video of his stark black and white photographs of the Scottish mountains in winter. It is designed to conjure the savagery and majesty of the mountains at their most inhospitable.
Time – Oct 2016
I wrote and recorded this rough draft for a short film about a prisoner being released from jail and meeting his son, now a grown man. The brief was to create a very still but sorrowful main theme to evoke the sadness of a life lost. The piano plays the chimes of Big Ben in the left hand, whilst the melody is made up of notes 3, 6 and 5 of the scale – the days in a year. At a later point, the theme is used again, this time reversed:
Funiculark – Sept 2015 performed on the Shipley Glen Tram, Saltaire Festival
I created this backing track to accompany me on the violin as part of a series of one-off performances on the tram during the festival – a journey that lasts exactly 2 minutes and 15 seconds. I mixed the Neapolitan song Funiculì, funiculà with Vaughan Williams The Lark Ascending to describe the short ascent from Victorian tram station, up into beautiful lush forest, and back into the station at the top of the glen where there used to be a popular funfair.
Song to the Siren – Aug 2015, performed by Em Brulée, Double RR Club, London
I built up over twenty violin layers to create an atmospheric backing track for cabaret singer, Em Brulée to perform at a David Lynch-inspired cabaret night in London. See here for the video.
The Garden of Unearthly Delights – Oct 2014, Light Night, Leeds
For this music for Space2’s installation for Light Night, I used samples from 16th century plainsong, to Prokofiev and Schönberg, underlaying them with submarine hums, drones, and anchored to the main theme, Nocturne from the Tron Legacy soundtrack by Daft Punk. The performance consisted of a dancer, me playing the violin, choreography by Gary Clarke, and video projections by Kevin Hickson.
Plastyk – July 2014, Premiered at Yorkshire Dance, Leeds
This work was an arts council-funded collaboration with four artists called ‘Lost in Translation’ for Space2. Working with the artist Kevin Hickson who videoed and photographed dancers from Yorkshire Dance and Fallen Angels (a dance company from Liverpool where recovering addicts find healing through dance) choreographed by Gary Clarke, I created a soundtrack that would embody the feelings of being trapped within a cycle of addiction. See here for the video.