By 17, I’d been honing my composition and arranging skills and began work on my first proper solo album, “Dream Spinning”. I begged and borrowed equipment to record it and started working with other instruments, inviting friends to play clarinet, oboe and flute. The album attracted investment and we sold 1000 CDs pretty quickly. It’s still available on iTunes since it was re-released a few years ago. Around this time too, I had the chance to score a Doctor Who spin-off video and found that I really enjoyed working to picture as I’d always had a very visual approach to music anyway, being fascinated by the possibilities of creating a sonic landscape that transports the listener.
I continued to write new music, finishing my second record, ‘Circle’ at the age of 19. At this time I was assisting at a local recording studio, saving up to buy my own equipment. Soon, I received commissions for further Doctor Who spin off work, and eventually worked on official audio dramas of the series, working with Colin Baker, Peter Davison, Sylvester McCoy among others. I recorded and edited the dialogue, and produced all of the sound and music. It was time at last for me to start building my own studio, so, upstairs from my uncle’s office in a small cottage, I had my first recording room.
At 22 I had outgrown the office and found a more suitable space and set up my first company, Medium Moose Records. This little studio was the home of many fun projects including the many ambient & new-age albums I composed for EMI/Disky, which have now sold some 2 million copies.
It was here also that I worked on the score of my first feature film, ‘Chilly Dogs’, directed by comic legend Bob Spiers, and starring Leslie Neilson, Rik Mayall, Natacha Henstridge and Skeet Ulrich.
I spent some time working with my dear friend and mentor, Kenny Craddock. Together we produced a number of library albums, his own solo album and more until his sad death in 2002. By this time I had met and worked with a host of interesting people including Russ Conway, Paul McCartney and Phil Thornton. My interest in world music had also grown and inspired me to learn other instruments including accordion, whistles & flutes, mandolin, in fact, anything I could get my hands on that made an interesting sound!
Around this time, I was producing sample CDs (collections of little loops of musical performances which computer based producers use to construct their tracks) and I realised I needed a bigger space, So I moved into Broadoak Park and set up my current workshop / sonic laboratory, ‘Broadoak Studios’. The sample CDs and download packs have been very successful, earning 5 star reviews, computer music awards and various producer awards. As a result of this work, I was contacted by Paul Crockford Management who asked me to produce a sample pack with legendary double bassist, Danny Thompson. We got on great which led to several further projects together including his contribution to the title track on my current album, Jupiter.
Broadoak has grown and evolved with me, and I have become a keen collector of high quality vintage equipment, which has very much become a vital part of my sound. From this studio, I have written music for library companies, and for many TV shows including “Saving Grace”, “Eastwick”, “The Secret Millionaire”, “Panorama”, “Auction Hunters”, “Wheeler Dealers”, “Scrapheap Challenge”, “The X Factor” to name just a few. I have produced records for “John Pearson”, “Logan Wilson”, “Goldie Reed”, “Dusty Rosko”, “Otti Albietz”, “Mumm Ra”, “Carl Burgess” and many others.
All of this commissioned work took me away from personal projects for many years. It wasn’t until 2010 when I released a collection of slightly unfinished work, entitled “Past Lives” that I felt I was back on the horse so to speak, and for the first time, writing songs and singing myself. Following Past Lives, I wanted to focus my efforts on a very personal project, something that would really showcase the sound I had developed, that would be entirely my own ideas, without brief or commission. I also wanted to draw on subjects that fascinate and inspire me. These topics include cosmology, quantum physics, the paranormal, UFOs and the colourful culture that surrounds them, and particularly, life & death, past and in-between lives, out of body experiences, meta-physics, philosophy and the great outdoors! Quite a lot of stuff there! Over the next few years though, my flagship work, “Jupiter” took form until finally in October 2012, it was finished and ready to be released to the world. It is an album in the traditional sense in that while not really a concept album, it does have a flow and a narrative, encouraging the listener to hear it as a single body of work, rather than a collection of discrete songs and instrumentals. My brief to myself production-wise, was to use no synthesisers or samples on the record, but to create atmospheric and engaging, other-worldly textures by taking an organic source, such as a guitar or piano performance, and applying treatments and effects.
I’m proud of the results and I hope you too will enjoy the journey