I composed and orchestrated this TV and Cinema commercial for Shell for Jeff Wayne Music.
The first 45’ from The Swinging Sweethearts who are Katy Leigh, Loula Geater and Brenda Moore-Wait. Written and recorded at Hoxton Works, London, Summer 2012. Available on iTunes in a few weeks! Follow them on Twitter!
I created the arrangements and produced the recordings for the first 6 Go Compare commercials, the most successful TV spots in a generation of ads. I was also involved in the casting. All actors seen in the ads actually sang on the recordings. Based on George M Cohen’s Over There, I worked closely with the brand and creatives.
I wrote and produced Frank’s Closet which opened in July 2009 at Hoxton Hall. It celebrated queer culture and gay marriage and was a huge hit at London’s summer fringe. Photos by Spencer Cartwright. See the archive of the show on Pinterest.
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: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4KUoCF9r3Qc
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.
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.
The final weekend of the New River Cantata project. Recording at the famous Angel Studios in Islington and performing live in Finsbury Park at the Hidden River Festival. It was an amazing weekend - the download will be available on iTunes with profits going to WaterAid at the end of October.
"Simplicity is the highest goal, achievable when you have overcome all difficulties." Chopin (at Royal Festival Hall)