My first introduction to music in detail was in year 3 at Wardley Primary School, when a gentleman came into our classroom and asked us to write down on a slip of paper how many instruments we could hear on various recordings he played us. I must have got the answers mostly right, because off a few of us were taken to the staff room and offered the chance to learn to play a brass instrument. That was the start of a long journey that continued through school concerts with the brass band, amateur dramatics, taking up guitar (cooler than the cornet) and playing gigs at such high prestige venues as The Tyne Theatre and Opera House, The Glass Centre in Sunderland, St Albans Church Hall Windy Nook, and the Turk’s Head pub South Shields.
University beckoned and the Tonmeister course in Music and Sound Recording at the University of Surrey in Guildford, and pub and union gigs with the Fine and Dandy supergroup, and the department Trad Jazz band (singing and playing banjo occasionally).
A year in industry saw me going to Wembley to work at DAT Ltd which at the time was based in the Music Centre – a purpose built recording studio on the appropriately named ‘Engineers Way’. The building was previously home to CTS and by this time, the reborn Phoenix Sound.
Fast forward 2005 and my first job after finishing at Surrey was assisting on the record of Live8 in Paris.
Since then, I’ve done lots of different jobs in the music and audio industry – installing and fixing Pro Tools systems for established composers and internationally renowned artists, recording bands at an iconic London eatery for the wireless, assisting a composer of TV music, recording traditional East African Music on location in the field (in some cases literally in a field), recording and mixing albums with both established and up and coming bands and artists and more lately music editing for picture – both film and TV – including being in the room and working on an Oscar winning song. I’ve written, recorded and released an album of original songs (named ‘Spiralling’ – available on most streaming platforms but not Tidal – CDBaby can’t tell me why – not that it is slowing sales any…) and a second album is in the works.
During the 2020 period of downtime that everyone had due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, I built a studio at home and have set it up with a 5.1.4 Dolby Atmos system for mixing, creating and experimenting with.