Music has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. At the age of seven I inherited a keyboard from my late Nan and immediately started writing simple tunes and songs. Some recordings were made but I have to tell you that these will not see the light of day!!
At school I was a keen member of the choir and sang solo in several productions. The favourite of these productions, by a long way, was 'Jesus Christ Superstar' in which I played 'Pontius Pilate'. I had tremendous fun with the sheer theatrics of the part and in turn I started to learn about the relationship of drama and music combined. At this time, of course, I didn't know how this would greatly effect my future endeavours.
In my early teens I was involved in putting together my first band with some friends who wanted to play 'heavy rock & metal'.
I was to be the vocalist. It was after I'd been asked to leave the band as I couldn't really 'cut it' as a heavy rock singer that I decided to learn to play the guitar.......the 'holy grail' of heavy rock!
I soon managed to pick up the basic chords and so spent a couple of years playing in hopeless 'bedroom bands' before heading off to college. A barren area of creativity here as I was a total mess of hormones and angst! However, my guitar playing know-how was improving at a far quicker rate so this time is still something I'm grateful for today.
After 2 years of college I had scraped enough cash together to fund a full, but small, guitar rig. Coupling that with a new and more 'up to date' keyboard and 4 track recording setup, I started to write what I still consider to be my first really decent material. It was during this period of my life where I met my, now, fiance and landed a pretty well paid job as well.
So there we were, a good relationship, good music and now a good job to fund my, ever growing, hobby.
Several years on, we decided to make the jump of leaving our parent's homes to setting up on our own. After what had seemed like an eternity we found a converted chapel and snapped it up as soon as we saw it.
It was ideal...........it had room for a small recording studio!!
Over the next couple of years I invested heavily in gear and joined my first successful band as lead guitarist.
'Thirteenth Sign', who were originally
known as 'Skeletal Embrace', played plenty of gigs up and down the country and we supported some major bands of the time, but my more atmospheric ear still caused me to want more out of things than just full on 'metal'!
However, everything was about to change.
It was during a regular get together with friends that I decided to play them some of my latest tunes. The sequence of events that followed was about to change my life forever.
One of our friends, upon hearing my latest efforts suggested that, "as my music was so atmospheric, maybe I should consider trying to write music for Film & TV?"
This was a brand new idea for me and I must say, something of a revelation!
At this point, fate then jumped in, as weeks later, the same friend who'd had the idea, quite by chance, discovered during a conversation that one of her colleagues was directing his first film and was desperately trying to find a music Composer. She put the two of us in touch and after a preliminary meeting I landed my very first contract, 'The Tower'.
'The Tower' was an extreme learning curve for me as I was flung straight in at the deep-end and had to deliver to a deadline for the very first time. Fortunately, I hit the deadline early and received glowing reports from the director, Liam Winn and leading man and producer, Simon Parr.
Also, heavily involved on the project was, soundman and 'Dealing With It Films' headman, Ashley Bond. Although at the time I didn't realise it, this particular contact would prove especially lucrative. One nice touch, 'The Tower' was entered into the Raindance Film Festival where it was shown in a London cinema.
I will NEVER forget the feeling of pride I felt seeing my name on the ending credits. Magic!
Once the excitement of 'The Tower' had passed I stayed in touch with Ashley and Simon and visited several film workshops run locally by them. This led to lesser composition jobs on 'sampler' type short films. These were the projects that people who were learning the 'art' of film making made, but never the less, a great opportunity for me to learn more about what I needed to be doing as well as getting practical experience.
' Lost', ' Table Seven' and ' Simon Parr's showreel' were three such films.
My next big break came when I received a phone call from Ashley telling me that he'd been contacted by a writer who'd got an epic story to make into a film pilot and was looking for film crew. Ashley immediately pulled together his own team and asked me if I'd like the job of Composer on the project.
Having been initially cautious I requested a meeting with Ashley and writer, Andrew Grey to find out more.
I still remember feeling stunned by the level of detail Andrew managed to get across in that one evening! He'd even made his own basic recordings of the kind of thing he was looking for to give me the right direction.
I signed up straight away and waited for the film to be completed.
Once 'in the can', the film, 'Generation Lost', became the entity I'd hoped it would be. Although made on a pitifully small budget it really came together, using professionally sourced actors as well as people from local amateur dramatic societies.
In terms of score, this really got me excited as, at last, I could really go to town on my more atmospheric, romantic and moving style. The Main Theme still rates highly in my repetoire.
At the premiere, we all got together at Andrew's Cambridge University to have a corporate, 'pat on the back' evening. Some of the footage from that night can be seen here. During the evening I marketed some CD's of the soundtrack and to my surprise sold a great deal!
I often wonder if those who bought them still listen occasionally.........I do hope so!
Finally, on to the more recent times...........
A couple of years ago I finally left 'Thirteenth Sign' to concentrate more on what had now become very much my main focus. I don't regret any of my time with the band and have loads of fantastic memories, some of which you can see here in my photo slideshow
I've stayed in touch with Andrew and Ashley and they now have a joint company based locally.
'Independent Studios Uk Ltd' is one of the few UK companies making DVD's of local history footage. Over the past few years we've covered everything from 'Ghosts of East Anglia' to 'The Story of the Krays'.
My role within the company is, freelance Musical Director and Composer.
My job is simple............"make that picture come to life!"
On to the future...................................
I hope to have a long and fruitful relationship working with 'I.S.U.K' but I am also expanding my business into new directions. I still look everyday for the 'next big thing' as I've learnt over the years to never ignore anything.
If your project needs a passionate, dedicated and confident Composer....I'm your man!