Well, a curse and a blessing really. I realised the other day that my mood is directly tied to the amount of creativity I'm consuming. I previously thought it was tied to stress levels, general contentment etc. It wasn't until I was flicking through Twitter (oh, the irony) and seeing new things being released or created that I noticed my mood physically changing.
I saw some new animation transitions for the next Android OS (see, the curse of the creative brain). I saw the band Lo Moon tweeting and made me think of their debut album I discovered this week. I saw Paddington 2 has been released, really looking forward to seeing that. The Last Jedi deleted scenes? I'll put the kettle on! Oh, and the look and feel of that Blue Zoo animated short 'Via'...it all came out of the brain of concept artist Izzy Burton. How cool is that?
I then saw that Will Belcher of Aardman is nominated for an animation award for Shaun the Sheep. I saw that composer and sound designer Matt Bowdler invited female composers to make an album using his soundsets and sample libraries to celebrate International Women's Day and raise money for Women's Aid.
On top of that I'm busy creating. Two library albums are at the mixing stage and I'm gearing up to release my first Real World Sounds sound pack next week.
So if you need to add a spring to your step today, look around at all the new things being created. You won't have to look very far.
It was such a thrill to be invited to talk to Wez Allard on Skwigly's animation podcast series: Animation Composed. Skwigly has been my go to website for animation news for a long time, and if you're interested in animation it's well worth checking out.
You can listen to the podcast below (I'm around 52 minutes in, but it's a cracking podcast if you want to listen to the whole thing).
Source (with bio info and track listing): Skwigly website
Last week saw the Scream Street production team get together to celebrate the enormous undertaking that was Scream Street series 1.
It was great to catch up with people I knew and worked with, as well as people I hadn't yet met, like animators, the CGI team, prop makers, some BBC people and more. The series needed around 60 people to happen, so it was good to celebrate the achievement with a lot of them. Fingers crossed for series 2!
p.s. the photo below was taken later on, so beer may have been imbibed!
It's important to celebrate the small victories.
Today the last episode of Scream Street series 1 was signed off. I'm incredibly proud to have worked on this amazing stop-motion series, and thankful to be given the opportunity. Fingers crossed for series 2!
There will now be a short break followed by more relentless music-making - watch this space for more details in the near future.
So Christmas is coming. Since I made the leap to composing music for a living I have experienced a large collection of firsts. My first directorship of a company, my first studio set up, my first paid composing job, my first album, my first EP, my first short film soundtrack, my first track on TV, my first TV series...it's important to celebrate the small victories, they are all markers and memories on the journey.
Tomorrow I have another first, and I'm still pinching myself about it. The Christmas special for the series I'm currently working on - Scream Street - is being aired. A double episode called 'The Grumpus', it's being repeated a couple of times, one of which is on Christmas Day. For me that's like my childhood and my passion for music aligning; the future and the past colliding. Some may think that 'making it' means fame and fortune, but for me it's getting up on Christmas Day and knowing the fruits of my labour are being enjoyed by kids all around the country.
Happy Christmas everyone, I hope you get what you wish for too.
p.s. The show times for the Christmas double episode are:
Thursday 15th December at 6pm on CBBC.
Wednesday 21st December at 11.35am on CBBC
Sunday 25th December at 9.10am on CBBC
I had the pleasure of having a drink with Keith Hopwood recently, ex-Herman's Hermits and composer of several kids animations including the BFG, The Wind in the Willows and Bob the Builder.
Amongst the stories he shared, he mentioned that he was about to re-released the original soundtrack from the 1989 BFG film, a mix of synthesisers for some scenes and full orchestra for the action sequences.
If you have a twinge of nostalgia for the original animated film (with David Jason as the BFG), you can now buy the soundtrack from his website (link below), and from most download stores.
BFG soundtrack at Pluto Music
Happy Friday. May they be full of snozzcumbers.
Coffee: check. Notepad for marking down timings: check. Final edits for the next batch of Scream Street episodes: check (and they're brilliant!). Cue sheet template: check. In-ear headphones so I won't feel like I've had a box over my head all day: check.
These are the forms I have to fill out in order to get royalties when my music is played on the telly. Scream Street is coming back folks!
The day has finally arrived. After months of secretly beavering away in the music cave, I can now share the news that I'm composing all the incidental music for a brand new animated series called 'Scream Street', now airing on CBBC.
It's a frighteningly funny gross out comedy, with the theme tune and some songs credited to the talented Joseph Rowe, a stellar voice cast and, most importantly for us behind-the-scenes people, a super friendly, uber talented production team. I'm so pleased to be a part of it and excited to hear what you all think!
So for those of you who don't know, me and the good lady wife have upped and moved from Kingston to Shepperton after buying our house. That means a new studio space that I can actually treat, which is a novelty after living in a rented property for four years.
It's now painted ('cosy grey', goes nicely with the sofa), and the acoustic treatment has arrived. It's a small room so soundproofing is impossible, but I'm hoping the acoustic treatment will stop the sound travelling too far. All I need now is the velcro tape to put it up, and to sort out fitting a carpet.
I tend not to worry too much about the minutiae of acoustics science. As long as I have a room that is fairly sensibly set up, I won't obsess about how the sound is coming out of the speakers (I will know very quickly if it sounds wrong). Sure, if I had the cash, I'd build a sound-proof brick studio at the end of the garden, but for now that's not possible. Instead, I'll let common sense prevail and restrict speaker use to the day time to avoid complaints! And right now it's all about the music, so I can't wait to get stuck into another episode of the TV project I'm working on next week.
Have yourselves a very Happy Friday.
Do you remember The Clangers?
Here's the result of a little exercise in reimagining the soundtrack to this popular children's series. I tried to keep the general feel of the original (although I've only done the first 1'40) as I was scoring to the original animation. Hope you like it! Warning: not for grown-ups.
Have a great weekend everyone.
Posts by Gareth Davies.