Music, Film and Creativity

My 2 cents on writing music and everything that goes on around it.

Resistance to Shipping 2 Mar 2017

Over the last few weeks I've been enjoying listening to “Linchpin”, an audiobook by TED educator and author Seth Godin. Seth talks about what's in the way of showing up in the world and the marketplace with authenticity and a compelling, individual take on things.

He encourages the reader to see herself as an artist who has a unique contribution to make in their field. What can get in the way of this is what he calls the “Resistance to Shipping”. As soon as I heard that term I knew what he meant. I've often experienced the feeling that a particular piece of music or project that I've produced isn't quite there yet, or not ready to be shared widely, that it needs some more work or another round of improvement before it can go out to the world.

In the course of my work, my life in general and my online life I often share my output, of course. But the feeling is there nonetheless, and sometimes can colour decisions about timings or who to send some things to.

The underlying emotional barrier is a fear of rejection, which I am pretty sure is a universal for any creative person. There is also an element of perfectionism, which says that unless something is perfect it's not worth sharing with the world. What Seth Godin says about this is that “perfect is the enemy of good enough”. Aiming for the highest possible standards is reasonable, but letting the chase for perfection get in the way of products, ideas or pieces of music going to consumers/audience/community is a shame.

With that in mind I'm undertaking a little shift in how I operate online. I'm going to start taking more risks in putting my ideas, thoughts and finally of course, music, out.

I'm already in the process of rolling out a number of soundtrack collections via a distributor so a larger proportion of my work is gradually becoming available as music to stream, download or license. But I'm not going to stop there.

I had a great conversation last night with Chris Chow and Rupert Peddle, fellow BAFTA Crew members (editor and steadycam op respectively) who encouraged me to share some “making of” films of my processes. I've been enjoying quite a lot of hands-on tinkering over the last year or so and I'm going to accept that challenge/encouragement and find ways to open up some insights in to how I work and how I've made certain sounds/pieces in my catalogue. If that sounds exciting to you, come back soon or get in touch!
Original Soundtracks Ahoy! 21 Feb 2017 Hey! It's been a while since I've written a post here. A few weeks ago (early 2017) I noticed I hadn't spent any time on my site for almost six months, surely an indication that my mind was occupied elsewhere (as it happens, a honeymoon followed by a feature score project!).

I spent most of the autumn term 2016 working on the score for Retreat, a thriller directed by Tom Nicoll, a very warm-hearted Scottish director originally from the Kingdom of Fife. I really enjoyed working on Retreat with Tom, and he was a frequent visitor to the studio to discuss instrumentation, themes and detailed dramatic arcs. Retreat is now well on its way to completion, with my score done and the mix almost finished. It looks like a festival rollout is imminent for March/April 2017.

A post about the making of the score for Retreat will follow soon.

Oh No, Not Rudy Again! is now available on Spotify, Deezer etc.
I'm engaged in a bout of spring cleaning at the moment, both of my music and my online presence. Mostly I'm going through archive tracks and deciding whether or not certain pieces might benefit from reworking, or being published as soundtrack releases. I already have a number of soundtrack albums coming out on all digital platforms over the next few weeks, including the soundtracks to Oh No, Not Rudy Again, Queens of Syria, and when it's released, Retreat. Some of my short film scores will also be seeing the light of day, so look me up on Spotify/Deezer/Youtube/iTunes etc.

I've made a few changes to how this blog is viewed through the website. I'm enabling comments for the first time as the format will now allow for comment viewing without any complications. The site itself is also undergoing a little updating for the new year, with code being streamlined a bit to allow for faster loading on mobile devices.

Raincatcher Kickstarter Poster

Project-wise I'm feeling very international at the moment, as I'm working on a wonderful Chinese-language short film called Lasting Love, directed by Mandy Luo who I worked with before on her post-student short, Day and Night. Lasting Love is a gem of a story, a sweet story of love through the ages and the softie in me is having a great time. I'm also set to start with two delightful Italian-origin directors (Michele Fiascaris and Filippo Polesel) on Raincatcher, a scifi neonoir set at the iconic Barbican estate in London. At the time of writing Raincatcher just surpassed its £10k funding target on Kickstarter, a week early! Orchestral Session for 'Tommy' 6 Jun 2016 Last week the Sofia Session Orchestra in Bulgaria recorded my score for 'Tommy', a WWI short film by James Sieradzki. Seasoned conductor Grigor Palikarov was on hand to bring the score to life. Grigor and the orchestra did a fantastic job interpreting my score, which combines textural writing with a lot of detailed individual instrumental lines with big sweeping post-romantic melodic statements. Watch this space for some score excerpts!

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