I recently wrote five pieces of music for a dance project at Bath Spa University, called Secret Project. Two groups of students were given the music and had to use them in their own site-specific dances, which they performed on campus. Uniquely, on the grounds of the university are remnants of Newton St Loe Castle that was originally built as a fortified manor house in the 12th century. Below you can see the surviving keep. Both groups used the grass space just in font of the keep, during their performance.
This was my first venture into the world of dance as a composer, so it was fascinating to watch, and see how the dancers had used/interpreted my music. Hopefully I’ll have some photos of the performances soon, so when I do, I’ll be sure to share them.
Last week I wrote a blog post about creating an 80s synthpop track for a short film. This week, you get to watch said short film and witness my music in context. The film is called Electricity Bills and the track which I wrote plays both at the beginning of the film (0:00 minutes) and the end (6:31 minutes).
As a film composer, an essential skill is being able to write music in different styles. From orchestral music, to electronic, experimental, jazz, bluegrass, and sometimes… 80s synthpop.
I was asked by the filmmakers of this particular short film, to write an 80s synthpop song. Now I had to do a bit of homework for this one, as 80s synthpop isn’t a genre I normally listen to. Therefore, once I’d familiarised myself with some of the conventions of the genre, and done some extensive research, I got to work on a demo.
Since I personally don’t write lyrics, the demo I created was an instrumental track. But it was always my intention for the song to have lyrics, which is why I purposely left space within the track for them. Then, I brought in my good friend Seb Guettier to pen the lyrics, and perform the vocals.
Seb wrote and recorded the lyrics over the top of the instrumental track I gave him, and I then dismantled the whole track and begun to rearrange it, creating a much more cohesive song. I hope you enjoy it.
Music composed by Aaron Buckley
Lyrics by Seb Guettier
Synth programming by Aaron Buckley
Vocals by Seb Guettier
Bass by Jan Phillips
When I first watched Michael Bay’s Transformers back in 2007, I came out of the cinema mesmerised. I half expected any car I looked at to transform into a giant robot. But sadly that didn’t happen. The visual effects for the film were undeniably amazing, and so was the music. I’ve listened to Steve Jablonsky’s score for that movie countless times, and consider it to be one of my all time favourites.
The success of the first film has led to 3 sequels, with more on the way. Including this one…
Transformers: Dark Before Extinction is a fanfilm currently in preproduction, directed by Aaron Fixter. The music for the film is being composed by Geoffrey Vernon, a very talented composer who lives in Florida, USA. However, there will also be additional music which is to be composed by me. I’m super excited to be involved with the film and have been heavily researching Steve Jablonsky’s scores from the main series of films, in order to hone in on that “Transformers” sound.
The film is currently still in the funding phase on Indiegogo and there’s plenty of goodies available for everyone who donates. Plus 5% of every donation will go to the charities, The National Autistic Society and Nice 2b Nice. All of the details can be found here – https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/transformers-charity-fan-film#/
And if you wish to get involved as a member of the crew, then visit fixterfilms.com for details.
Back on 24th January 2016 I attended the world premiere of the movie Sasquatch. The first feature film with music by… me! Well things have moved forward with the film since then and tickets are now on sale for the LONDON PREMIERE.
I started working on the film back in March 2015. But I had only begun teaching myself music composition 14 months before this. And up until then, I had yet to score an actual film. So you can imagine that there was a pretty steep learning curve that came with the project. But it was an immensely valuable experience for me.
Whilst the film only contains about 30-40 minutes of my music it took me about 9 months to go from writing the very first cue for the film, to the very last. And there were several rewrites along the way. Now 9 months is a long time to work on a film like this, but seeing as my compositional skills were still very much in their infancy, and not to mention trying to wrap my head around where to begin with a 90 minute film, I’m grateful that I had this much time to work on it.
The last cue that I wrote for the film, which also happens to appear at the end, is my favourite of all the pieces that I wrote for the project.
However, I feel as though my musical abilities and understanding of the onscreen relationship between film and music, has developed much more since finishing the film. Over the past 4 months I’ve written the music for a number a projects, all with particularly tight and overlapping deadlines. This has forced me to write quickly, is an essential skill for any film composer. I now find myself able to write around 2 or 3 minutes of music a day, which is really good, considering this is said to be what professional film composers average.
If you’re in London on Saturday 16th July 2016 and are interested in going to the premiere, then you can purchase tickets here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sasquatch-the-london-premiere-tickets-25318361902