self-criticism, nonconformity, the will to dare and to be curious, this last one including a true curiosity (and also respect) for other musicians’ work.
listen to as much music of all kinds that you can, figure out from your own instincts and from that listening experience where you want to go next and never be afraid of hard work towards the end of finding your own way, whatever the cost.
Have the confidence to go for it. Do not let preconceptions stop you pursuing what it is you want to do. There are no rules.
I love collaboration – when it works, it’s a wonderful feeling. I love the combination of ideas and opinions that result in a score you may otherwise never have written, work that is more than the sum of its parts. Of course, it can come with challenges, when you know the music isn’t quite working, or you don’t see eye to eye with your director or producer, but in my experience at least, it does seem generally to work well in the end.
…..be true to yourself and become the composer you need to be rather than the composer that you think you ought to be. Write to please yourself – never others – and be your own harshest critic, making sure that your critical reflection drives you forward. And work hard – you can’t rely on favours or lucky breaks because ultimately there is only you who can take full control of your composing.
Who or what inspired you to take up composing, and pursue a career in music? I began writing music during my first year at my secondary school, William Ellis School in North London, and received help from three of the teachers there. I showed my early compositional efforts to the school’s Head of Music, Douglas…