Incoming! Ian Livingstone has asked me to help prep the score for a video game soundtrack he is working on, to be recorded in Prague in July. Fingers crossed it all comes off. The job will involve creating Sibelius scores/parts from Ian’s midi and audio, ensuring performance markings are in place and helping at the sessions – and I get a jolly to Prague as a bonus.
Ian is a phenomenally talented composer and and wizard with both scoring for live orchestra and scoring with sample libraries. I’ve added some strings to some of his productions and helped prep the score for a movie a couple of years back. There’s a video snippet from Predator – Concrete Jungle on my website.
I’m not short of lucky breaks – and this week brought in a chance to work with both Badly Drawn Boy and the Manchester Camerata in the same session. The gig was a soundtrack for a short movie promoting cultural breaks in the North West UK and used a Badly Drawn Boy song (You Were Right) that evolved from a guitar-vocal performance to a full string arrangement. There were strings on the original album version but I needed to build some more symphonic lines in, to suit an -in-vision shot of the Manchester Camerata. The session (at Blue Print) was a joy – great performers from the pop and classical worlds. The movie will be released as a short in cinemas.
The most professional guys in entertainment – Duncan Waugh and Chris Taylor – came back with some more cruise-liner show recordings. They are always so well put together, with detailed scores and and great production that must sound amazing in a theatre. The arrangements are usually pretty challenging but great fun to do.
Guy Batson and Henry Priestman come back regularly for string arrangements. They’ve been working with a talented singer songwriter called Jade Gallagher for a few months and sent over a beautiful song called Haunting – another simple but beautifully crafted pop song for Jade’s up-coming album. These are always inspiring to work on with plenty of counter melodies and lines that jump straight out of the songs and the production.
I’ve worked with Darren on and off for years – he came back to me this week with a project he’s working on for Sony/BMG – great beats and pop melodies. The artist is No Mercy. One of those quick turn-around jobs! I’ve never thought of getting testimonials but Darren offered me one anyway. Better still, he’s sent me mixes – always a pleasure to get a copy of the final versions and they sound awesome.
beautiful string parts excellently recorded thank you!
Hope to be using you a lot in the very near future, hopefully with less of a deadline next time.Oh dear here’s
another testimonial but – having live strings on the track takes the
production to the next level”
I had a perception of what library music was till I heard Jay Price’s library tracks for West One. He came to me recently with a collection of indie anthems for a new library project – credible songs, but released as library tracks. The sort of songs you here featured on TV ads or movies and accept as band songs, licensed for broadcast – but made available as library. I’ve put strings on 5 of them so far; he had sketched the main string lines and hooks and left me to flesh them out.
Media Tracks is a library music company and I’ve just done a couple more tracks for an album called ‘Lounge’ – with a brief that asked for the traditional, BBC radio old-school sound! The tracks I do feature string heavily of course and I’ve put a 30″ cut of one of them here. One of the tracks I did last year ended up on Newsnight though I can’t see these doing the same!
Darren and Tunde at Future Cut really are prolific. 2 more arrangements – this time for Laura Izibor, who has an amazing, gutsy soul voice. The working process works well for me and for them; I get a demo with some string ideas and a brief, I mock up an arrangment with midi and some basic live recording and we update as necessary. Then once the lines are agreed I prep the score, so we both know exactly what it will sound like – no suprises at the session hopefully!