Friday, 31 August 2012

Previous Albums Blog.

In 2006, I wrote and recorded my first full album for the London FILM4 FrightFest, and each year since then (up until 2010 inclusive) I have supplied the festival with it's own (mostly instrumental) annual soundtrack CD.

The festival runs for 5 days, so I always tried to keep the material was as wide-open as possible, whilst still exploring the darker themes.
There would usually be some feature tunes, and connective themes to glue everything together.
These albums were all written, performed and recorded at home - just to keep the neighbors happy.

Here is a selection of tracks from each of the albums, which is followed by a few words on each CD.

Use your mouse to scroll up and down over the MP3 player to see each of the tracks.

OSCURO (2006)

This was the first CD I'd ever written, and I still think that the material is (musically) the most accomplished so far from any of the other CDs - perhaps because it was the first time I'd tried to do anything like this.
The compositions have a nice dreamy, ethereal quality to them, and although it was a total experiment, - it just 'worked'.
If I was to re-edit this album - I would still probably remove a couple of tracks for timing and vibe reasons.
Artwork is courtesy of FrightFest, and was created by the one and only Graham Humphries


Much darker material throughout this CD overall, and it's my least favorite of all of the FrightFest scores, - however some of the material led me to my first movie score, and onto other projects.
It's just all too dark, and I over-analysed everything for months - and it just did not flow, perhaps due to the fact that I was very unhappy at that time.
The production wasn't very good, it's really over-compressed and half of the compositions had an unfinished vibe to them, - which was a shame because the other half really worked nicely.
I had obviously been watching Event Horizon at the time, because two of the track titles are based on dialogue from the film.
The lovely vocal performance is courtesy of a friend of mine, called Emma Brown.
Artwork is courtesy of FrightFest, and was again created by the one and only Graham Humphries.


A much happier writing process on this CD, and the whole thing took just about 3 weeks from start to finish.
After the doom and gloom process of Oblivion, I decided to just write, and not stop until it was finished.
Whatever came out, was how the album was going to sound - hence the name.
I had plenty of fun with these tunes, and it was a real breath of fresh air to write some music without any constraints.
I didn't want to make the same mistakes I'd made on Oblivion.


Just the same as ExPERIMENTAL, I had a blast writing this CD.
I used the same writing ethos from last year's CD, and included a few homages to some movie sub-genres.

I also kind-of opened the sound up on this one a little bit more, so there were more feature tracks.
Complex sequencing has always been one of my favorite guilty pleasures, and I think I really let the sequencer genie out of the bottle on this CD, and just enjoyed some good old fashioned cinematic electronica.
The overall vibe was right back to the first CD, Oscuro - which made me very happy.
I put a little video together for one of the tracks, called 'Wrecks' which hopefully you can see at the bottom of the blog.


Again - I had LOTS more fun with this one, and it has everything but the kitchen sink.
I put in some very late nights here, but enjoyed every second of the writing process.

Lots of musical bugs, devils, ghosts and other fun stuff on here.
Emma Brown re-appears on this CD for another lush vocal performance on Ghosts Of The Sea Lanes, and the ethereal spoken-word vocals are from TV voice-over artist Lucy Thorpe, who was a great sport and a total trooper - delivering my cooky dialogue in fine style.

Friday, 9 March 2012

Assault On Precinct 13: Theme Cover Version (with video)

Quick blog!
This is my homage and cover version of the main theme to John Carpenter's infamous siege movie, Assault On Precinct 13.
Carpenter's theme for this gritty classic from 1976 is an exercise in electronic minimalism, for which he and his films would later become associated.

From beginning to end it states loud and clear that this movie means business, and eschews elaborate complexity in favor of a basic musical structure and simple phrasing.

The entire score for Assault On Precinct 13 (as with Halloween) was written in just three days,
and after more than 35 years still stands up as one of the most iconic, recognizable and defining scores from the 1970s.

In order to cover the theme tune, I had to really dig into the various elements section by section.
While doing this, I suddenly heard elements that had previously completely passed me by - especially in the accompanying string sections.
The timing wasn't anywhere near as obvious as I'd originally assumed, and I realized that although I'd listened to the piece dozens of times over the years - I'd never heard what was really going on underneath the recognizable signature bass-line and delayed percussion of this amazing theme.

It made me realize all over again that we / I assume a familiarity with so much music - and our ears deceive us into hearing things that aren't necessarily there, and completely filter out amazing and complex details which have been there all the time.

I've listened to music since I can remember.
Now I wonder if I've truly heard it, - or if I've only assumed that I have.

February 2012: The Official Inbred Trailer

Be afraid. Be very afraid, - because Alex Chandon's all-new horror opus is coming up FAST!

The fantastic Darclight Films are now sales agents for INBRED.
Their catalogue includes such fare as Wolf Creek, the forthcoming Wolf Creek 2, Storm Warning, The Hillside Strangler and many others - so we're in very good company.

Just after INBRED was shot, we very quickly put together a 40 second teaser for online promotion.
Alex cut together some scary information over an ominous, gliding, slow-motion reveal of some young folk doing something very unpleasant indeed, and I knocked together some music over the course of an evening.
Since then, the original teaser has reached almost three million hits on just one Youtube page alone.

In February, I spent some time scoring the 2012 INBRED trailer, which is be the officially circulated promotional material for the movie.

The NEW trailer is a lot more complex, and really lets people know what they are in for.
It was cut together by ace editor GARETH MOLAN, who is also a producer and director in his own right, and he has created a beautifully super-charged piece indeed.

This one took a little bit longer to score, and as usual - I was in regular contact with Alex about the audio content.

So far, the online response has been immense.
It's now at 90 thousand views in just two weeks.

INBRED is here!

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

January 2012 - a whole new year

January 2012! Unbelievable ... 

A very 'Happy New Year' to everybody, and I hope the holidays were awesome, perfect and perfectly awesome. 
Here we are in 2012, and so far everything seems to be moving in the right direction. 

In terms of music, 2011 was probably my busiest year so far. 
As well as a couple of short films, I completed two new feature film scores in the first half of the year: 
Alex Chandon's supercharged horror opus 'INBRED' - and a traditional thriller called 'UNWELCOME'.

In the second half of 2011 - it was a pleasure to play some fantastic festivals in Belgium, Germany, Lithuania and Sweden, and also two European tours.

In 2012, I'm extremely pleased to be playing guitar for Tim Ripper Owens! 
Undoubtedly one of the best and busiest vocalists in the United States - and frontman of such incredible bands as Judas Priest, Iced Earth, Yngwie Malmsteen's Rising Force. 

I'm working on the set for Tim at the moment, and I have also put pen to paper on a new album of original material, which should be finished and ready to go in the coming months. 
Also currently getting some parts together for another full FILM4 FrightFest score in August. 
Everything is looking good! 

Saturday, 14 January 2012

November 2011

INBRED continues to do very well at screenings and various festivals across the globe at the moment which is great news.
There have been some incredible reviews and reports about the film over the last five months, which seems to be knocking them dead every time.
I've been putting together a detailed blog about the scoring process on INBRED, which is available here soon.

The website is looking spick and span after a major redesign and overhaul by my lovely and talented friend, Nola.
She's been working very hard to get everything looking amazing, and I think she's done a wonderful job. Thanks a million Nola, you're the best!

I'm currently getting ready for a short UK / Belgium tour (guitar) and meanwhile I'm plotting out a new album which is scheduled for completion early next year.
It's hopefully going to be very different, but more on that as it evolves over the coming weeks.

I'll be working on video and audio demos for the album very soon, which should be available here.