This is a segment from a recent interview I did with an old University colleague, who is now a Musical Journalist in the North of England:
“Resurrection” is your latest track, and you say it’s your favourite composition to date. What do you think makes it special?
On this piece I worked really really hard to get into as much detail as I could. In the past, and particularly when I started out composing music; I would have big horns, over a low string “powerchord” riff, with stupidly loud percussion underneath it all. And that was pretty much how it used to go. But with “Resurrection” I feel like my music has matured a huge amount. Every chance I got, I would flip around the orchestration, or try and create some strange guitar pattern that you can’t hear but you know its there. Stuff like that. Musical gestures that are so slight that you cant actually hear them. However, take all of them out and the piece sounds completely different. All of the sounds heard in the first half of the piece, never actually go away, even during the most epic, loud parts. The main thing with this though is that I just love that second half. Those chord sequences are too tempting!
What gave you the inspiration to write this piece?
Every single piece of music that I have composed, has been triggered by seeing a piece of art. For me, they give the greatest source of inspiration. I came across Archangel, the piece of art associated with this piece, a few months ago and instantly fell in love with it. For me, when you’re looking at a picture that is so awe-inspiring, the music pretty much starts to write itself. Every picture can be a story. The music makes that story come alive. Or maybe it’s just me…
What do you want people to feel when listening to it?
Everyone will feel something different I guess. I always imagined a feeling of inspiration and tragedy. The thing that I love about it is that the idea of a Resurrection can encompass so much. Loss. Heartache. Elation. Heroic Return... I always wanted the first half of the piece to try and be sombre in nature, but even when the huge heroic themes start coming in later, I never let the music get away from that B Minor root, which ultimately gives the piece a sadder feel, despite the French Horns and Violins doing their best to pull it away. I think the ideal emotion that I would want people when listening, is to feel is exactly the same thing that I felt when I first listened to Hans Zimmer or Thomas Bergersen. Just sitting back and saying “F**k that bit sounds cool...”
You recently composed the music on some high profile TV Commercials for the British Government. How does your process and mindset differ when working for a client like that compared to working on your Solo pieces?
You basically become two different people. When I’m working on my own material, I’m the most dedicated and laziest person at the same time. I’ll work for 24 hours straight (literally) on a piece, only to then come back the next day and scrap everything because I’ve changed my mind on it. It can then sometimes take me weeks to finish it, because if I’m not feeling 100% about what I’m doing then I will just work on something else, but that’s fine because it’s my time. Whereas if you’re working for a client the timelines are usually so tight, that you can’t afford to be like that. It can be frustrating too. I will never finish a project of my own work unless I am 100% happy with it, but sometimes you have to bite the bullet and go with what the client or company wants, even though you prefer another route. They both have their good and bad points. But I will say that working all the way through a tough project with a client, and then seeing the finished product at the end is extremely rewarding.
What are your plans with this piece now that it’s finished?
Well the first thing I’m going to do is stop listening to it! I have a horrible habit of re-listening to my pieces after they’ve been mixed and mastered, and picking up on things that I’ve changed my mind on, or had better ideas about since, which is not a good thing to do! It’s been sent to a number of Epic Music Channels, so hopefully it should pick up some traction there, but my main goal is getting it distributed online. It’s the first piece that I’ve produced that I am confident about in not just a musical sense, but also in a production sense. Hopefully it should be released on iTunes and Spotify (plus a few others) over the next month or two, so fingers crossed! It will be released as a single first, but ultimately will be one of the tracks that makes up the album.