riting a song is about telling a story and for me songwriting is all about putting music to an imaginary film. Where is it located... who is in it... when does it happen and what is the timeframe? The songwriter gets to choose the camera angles, long shots and close ups. And then of course a song comes along which doesn’t fit into any of those categories at all!
It is without doubt a rewarding, magical experience to sit with a guitar or piano with no direction in mind and just play until something catches my attention, taps me on the shoulder, and gives me the clay to work and re-work until l have what looks like a viable idea for a song.
This is a very visual approach, but for me that’s the way it works.
n common with a lot other composers l have spent time writing and recording specific instrumental music for production libraries, music that can be chosen off-the-shelf by a director or editor and used in their latest film or TV production. Very often l don’t get to hear where it is used, but occasionally l can be watching TV and there it is, one of my long lost tracks, plucked from obscurity and used on anything from car adverts to Oprah.
By far the best buzz for me is to write and record music for pre-school TV. I am lucky to have worked for Anne Wood at Ragdoll Productions, creators of some of the best-loved TV shows for pre-schoolers on the planet (Teletubbies, Twirlywoos, Rosie & Jim). I can just let my inner 5-year old run riot - it is so much fun and incredibly satisfying to fit music to picture. And then there are the theme tunes for the shows - my songs can end up staying with youngsters for the rest of their lives. No pressure there then.
Loving the new artwork on my Eastwood Warren Ellis signature electric tenor. Painted by the fabulous Swedish artist Annica Neumuller