Music was always my passion, through and through. I was obsessed with it from my first guitar lessons with one of my oldest friends, Nigel Rippon, all I wanted to do was be a rock star! So do most people I guess. I dreamt about it, all day and all night. I formed my first band, Wraith, when I was 14 with friends from school and, although the band went from heavy metal (very Spinal Tap!) through to more prog rock over a few years, it was always my band. I also wrote all most of the songs and the lyrics. Ego much? I think it was a protection from ever getting fired! Added to the fact that you always got more royalties as a songwriter than a performer!
Part of the reason why our music mellowed slightly was that Jess joined the band as the singer and the other band members were also more interested in other playing styles, rather than just metal. The accident put an end to the band but, in reality, it wouldn't have got very far anyway.
After the accident, a friend of mine had suggested that I might want to think about going to college and studying music and I ended up at Chichester University, studying Music and Related Arts. When I was there, I was introduced to all kinds of musical genres that I had never encountered before. My prog rock brain was assaulted by all kinds of musical styles and I found it rather challenging. You had to be Grade 8 on your instrument and have reached Grade 5 Theory as part of the entry requirements but these could be waived if you were an older student and had live experience instead. I was at the ripe old age of 23 when I started and had no formal qualifications, so it was rather a vertical learning curve but I loved it.
During my time there, I realised that what I really enjoyed most was writing music and I loved the challenge of writing in different musical styles. Therefore, I decided to become a composer for Film and TV. I did it for 8 years and had some fantastic clients including Disney, Universal Studios, BBC, Channel 4, Discovery, Jaguar and British Airways. It sounds very glamorous but the reality was that you were looking for work at least 99.9% of the time!
For me, it was very simple. I was going to be a successful composer and that was that. It didn't exactly work out as I planned it, but I have very fond memories of that time.
I will be writing more about my experiences and showing examples of my work over the coming days and weeks. When I was commissioned to compose for Disney's first UK animated series, Spooky Sisters, in 2003, I thought it was going to launch me onto the next level but it turned out to be the last gig I did.
I never thought I would do anything but music but life takes you off down another path and then you realise that it was all just part of the journey to doing what I do now. What I really, really love. Changing the World, One Website at a Time.