Stuart Wood Music

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Part 3 of the New River Cantata. 
I was commissioned by Arts Council England to compose a work to celebrate the 400th anniversary of London’s New River. It was sung by a specially formed choir of people who live around the North London section of the New River. Recorded at Angel Recording studios on 21st September 2013 and mixed at Strongrooms on December 6th. To see the full project:

Film by

Once he told me there were a whole group of youngsters who listened to his music while at a rave party, and he was quite touched by that, that even young people connected with his music.

Soprano Patricia Rozario on the death of Sir John Tavener.

The BlueSpot Knee Clinic TV spot by videographer Melanie Malherbe, choreographed by Kirsty Davide and styling by Elin Hagberg at Vivien of Holloway. The video features the gorgeous Loula Geater, Kerry Flanagan and Kristel Mendez  Production manager, Mia Robertson ran a smooth shoot. Voice-over artist Amanda Alexander provided the call to action. For my case study of the music track and performers see: Buy On Itunes!

Case study: BlueSpot Knee Clinic Jingle

At the start of the Summer my colleague, James Taylor, casually mentioned that his knee surgeon, Shameem Sampath, was looking to create a radio jingle for his BlueSpot Knee Clinic in Lancashire, England. At that time he was going down the route of a re-record of The Chordettes classic Mr Sandman, sung on occasions at the surgery by staff, as a play on Shameem’s name. Licensing this song, however, was expensive and complicated as it was already being used by Wonga for their radio campaign.

I suggested a bespoke jingle would be a more flexible and enduring way and in the hands of the right composer (i.e. me) he could have an original music asset to add the emotional dimension to his brand that music provides. I had worked with vintage girl group, the Swinging Sweethearts, on their first single and was able to draw on the vocalists to create the jingle.

The five point plan worked liked this.

  • In consultation with Shameem, James and I established a set of key words for the jingle and jammed around these at the piano and vibraphone.
  • I recorded a demo with West End actor, Amelia Cormack which was played to Shameem on a visit to London.
  • With some adjustments to the tempo and arrangements, the vibraphone, played by James Taylor, was recorded and Amelia returned with West End actors Brenda Moore-Wait and Katy Shorten.
  • Voice-over artist, Amanda Alexander added the ‘call to action’ Text Knee to 84433! 
  • An extended version of the jingle was also recorded and will be available on iTunes in October.
  • Film-maker, Melanie Melherbe filmed a video of the single with choreographer Kirsty Davide with 3 different girls, due to availability.
  • The jingle airs on SmoothRadio in the Manchester region from October 7th.

For a company like BlueSpot to approach a composer and film-maker and work on a commercial campaign is rare. But, cutting out the ad agency makes a more creative experience for the client and is a prudent move. Communication and clarity of purpose kept everyone in the loop and it was one of the most enjoyable jobs I have worked on.

For news of the single and video release follow me on Facebook.

The New River Cantata is a community choir project I created to celebrate the 400th anniversary of London’s New River, constructed to bring fresh water from Hertfordshire to London in 1613. It still supplies 18% of our drinking water! Funded by Arts Council England, supported by Haringey Council, in aid of Water Aid. Many thanks to all participants.