Unsafe Sex in the City II – Composed Music

Written on October 5, 2013 at 3:08 pm | No Comments |

It’s been several months in the making, but Unsafe Sex in the City II aired this week on BBC3. Produced by the telented Emily Clerc and with the excellent lead editor Leon Stuparich, the series shadows sexual health clinics in Leeds and Exeter and looks to inform people of the realities of unprotected sex and the risk of STIs.

According to The Times it’s “This is public service broadcasting of a high order,” and “informed, funny, well-made and immensely watchable.”

I provided some of the music for this including themes for Exeter and Leeds and the title sequence.

If you like to watch it you can here: Unsafe Sex in the City – BBC iPlayer


Fairytale

Written on June 17, 2013 at 1:48 pm | No Comments |

Marketing agencies have a habit of useing kooky acoustic tracks to entice us and fairytale is along those lines. Strumming ukeleles, double bass, bits of flute and fiddle… I could start a mumford band.

Lyrically it’s a love story set in the deep recesses of a childlike imagination. This is a co-write with Chris Price of Unthanks and Broken Joker fame. Lizzie Hibbert provided BVs


The Road To Peace

Written on June 10, 2013 at 4:04 pm | No Comments |

The trailer below features music by me but the film itself is one which which everyone should see.

In the media The Dalai Lama has been largely portrayed as a political leader concerned with the issue of Tibet, however, he also commands respect as one of the great philosophers and religious leaders of the 21st Century: a Nobel Peace Prize winner and a figurehead who propelled Buddhism onto the Western stage.

The film is incredibly moving and shows that the Dalai Lama has a presence and aura beyond that afforded by his fame. The fundamental principles of Buddhism are beautiful in their simplicity and if adopted gloabally, the world would certainly be a better place.

to buy the film click here


Pick Me Up

Written on June 4, 2013 at 6:00 pm | No Comments |

Ed Sheeran and Ben Howard are flying the flag for singer songwriters in a market which seems generally saturated with electronic music.

Ben Howard’s album Every Kingdom is fantastic and ‘Only Love’ is possibly my favourite track.

Pick Me Up is a track I did recently which payes hommage to that. It was co-written and sung by Tony Bowen.


This House – behind the scenes

Written on May 29, 2013 at 6:00 pm | No Comments |

AJ & The Wires have been quiet of late. Not least because we have enjoyed a double run as the band for the incredibly successful sell out show ‘This House’ at the National Theatre.

The experience itself has been one of the best things I’ve ever done. It was my first foray into the world of theatre and I have bloody loved it. Bring on the next show!

Anyway, for a flavour of what we’ve been up to, the Italian Stallion made this video:


Lost In The Rage

Written on May 24, 2013 at 10:42 am | No Comments |

As I turn my attention to production music I get to explore different sounds. I’m a big fan of Lana Del Rey and for a recent music brief co-wrote the below track with Lana (we’re on first name terms) in mind. Big strings and an epic feel.

Lost in the Rage – A story of being unable to move on whilst consumed by anger. Co-written and sung by Sarah Maclellan


Hang Drum – Instrument of the 20th Century

Written on March 21, 2012 at 10:43 am | No Comments |

The Hang Drum or Flying Saucer as I like to call it is apparently one of only 2 musical instruments to be invented since the turn of the 20th Century. They are all made in a workshop in Berne, Switzerland and they sound awesome. Manu Delago seems to be to Hang Drums what Pino Palladino is to bass guitar. Here is the man … and drum in action.


Got To Be Funky!

Written on March 7, 2012 at 11:25 am | No Comments |

There is no music that gets me going like funk music! When that rhythm section kicks in I just gots to move. It’s infectious. A friend, DJ and dance adversary Jim Sharpe sent me through a mix tape with a taste of the funk and soul weekly that is dropped on the Saturday sessions of The Paradise (www.theparadise.co.uk) on Kilburn Lane, Kensal Green, so I thought I’d share it.

Great for cutting rug to and great background music whilst you work. Enjoy!


The Adventure Begins

Written on February 26, 2012 at 8:49 pm | 2 Comments |

On the 23rd Feb 2012 at 10pm on Channel 4, the documentary ‘Strictly Baby Disco’ aired. The reason this is of note is because I composed the music. As a media music composer this was the most challenging job so far but incredibly rewarding. A massive thank you to Emily, Leon and the Boundless team.

The music is not be confused with my usual acoustic musings as there wasn’t a guitar in sight. The brief was to create a simple and fairytale feel to the story which follows four girls on the run up to Disco Kid 2011 which is the pinnacle of the Freestyle Disco Dancing calendar. The music was primarily classical string arrangements but with some more contemporary styles too. I’ll be posting all of the songs here over the coming week or so but first up is ‘The Adventure Begins.’


Making Musical Ends Meet

Written on February 17, 2012 at 2:06 pm | No Comments |

In May 2011 I quit my job as UK Manager for a major international company to pursue music. It was a great job with lots of autonomy, responsibility and was well remunerated. But, like Martin Luther, I had a dream. I am musical to my core and wanted to try and make a living in the shark infested and highly competitive waters of the music industry…. somehow.

“It’s better to have tried and failed than to live life wondering what would’ve happened if I had tried”
Alfred Lord Tennyson

My first task was to finish my album “Hanging Up My Cape.” This was months of intensive work and a very steep leaning curve but ultimately I was very pleased with the results. Once the joy of creating was over I was left with touring the album and working out how the hell I could make a living from being a solo singer-songwriter…. No easy task. In fact to this day I still don’t really know. Looking at it as a business model I can see no obvious revenue streams*…. at least not the kind that would pay the rent. Music sales are down and even majors with their marketing clout are struggling. Sync and perfromance royalties are the obvious way but that’s easier said than done.

So I decided to expand my horizons and put my eggs in as many musical baskets as possible. So I decided to try my hand as a guitar teacher. Helping others learn the trade and get as much joy from playing as I have seemed an obvious choice and how rewarding it was. So Guitar Lessons North London was born (catchy I know). I also decided to get involved in producing music for TV and Media which has turned out to be one of the most incredible things I have ever done. I realize at heart I am a composer rather than a performer and my first piece of scoring work goes live next week….. more to follow.

*when I say no obvious revenue streams I’m talking about earning a living, at my level, from performing writing and recording as a solo artist.