Stuff that occurs to me

All of my 'how to' posts are tagged here. The most popular posts are about blocking and private accounts on Twitter, also the science communication jobs list. None of the science or medical information I might post to this blog should be taken as medical advice (I'm not medically trained).

Think of this blog as a sort of nursery for my half-baked ideas hence 'stuff that occurs to me'.

Contact: @JoBrodie Email: jo DOT brodie AT gmail DOT com

Science in London: The 2018/19 scientific society talks in London blog post

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Were it feasible I would go and hear film / TV composer David Arnold talk at this thing in Edinburgh

Edit 3 December 2013
I bet London-based readers of this page will also be interested in: David Arnold's introducing You Only Live Twice at BFI in January 2014 - you need to be a BFI member or have an Amex card, and apply for free tickets - details in the post.

Musical accompaniment for this post is Bjork's Play Dead which was (according to Wikipedia) written by Jah Wobble* and scored by David Arnold for the film Young Americans. Holy crap it's gorgeous, I have it on my copy of Bjork's Debut CD and vividly remember the WTF amazement of hearing it for the first time. Press play and enjoy :)

*I'm pretty sure David actually wrote it and Jah played bass but if anyone knows...

David Arnold's iTunes listing doesn't seem to mention Play Dead or Young Americans, though Bjork's listing does mention Play Dead as part of her Debut album (that link will open iTunes GB).

This event coming up looks pretty interesting. Edith Bowman's interviewing the composer David Arnold on Saturday 24th August at 1pm in the city of my birth (Edinburgh) at some really important conference for very serious grown-ups in the world of TV, judging from the helpful pie-chart explaining who the delegates are. There'll also be some of his music for Sherlock played live.

I'm not actually going myself as the conference isn't really relevant to me, not to mention the fact that the ticket price is escalating somewhat exponentially week by week. If you haven't already got yours you'll likely not be seeing much change from £800. Hopefully they'll have employed an official conference tweetist to ping out some of the discussion. Hey, I'd do it for free ;)

Edit: 21 September 2013
Here's a short clip from YouTube of a bit of the event and right at the end of this post there are two links to podcasts / listen again programmes: (1) Edith Bowman interviews David and Matt Berry on BBC 6 Music about (2) their 'Sound of Cinema' programme which is broadcast the following day. The Sound of Cinema is part of a fairly large series throughout September 2013 of programmes about film music.

Edit 12 November 2013 - here's the full length clip.The tweetly folk behind the festival's account were kind enough to let me know about it ages ago, after I asked. I watched it then but having recently written another post that mentioned David Arnold's film composering was reminded of it and so have added the full interview here :)

David Arnold Live: Music and Storytelling
Guardian Edinburgh International Television Festival, or GEITF
Date: 24 August 2013
Time: 13:00 - 14:00
Venue: The Pentland (Level 3)

Featuring exclusive live performance of the music from Sherlock
Join radio host and music journalist Edith Bowman in conversation with award winning international composer David Arnold as they dissect the importance of composition within all media. Whether a title score for Little Britain, the music for Sherlock, composing for Hollywood blockbusters from James Bond to Hot Fuzz or curating the Olympics and Paralympics, David has done it all. But what is the importance of music within storytelling and how can it hinder or help the end result of our projects? Delving into all aspects of music creation, we will explore how David's hits have helped pictures come to life and discuss moments of immense frustration within the creative process. This is a candid interview with a highly respected composer which will also include some live performances.
Text above pinched from the Saturday 24th tab at the GEITF 2013 programme - I suppose they don't have a page per event because you have to buy a ticket for the entire conference, but their lack of granularity disappoints me.

I've had the pleasure of hearing David Arnold speak at two events this year. He writes music for films and television and was also the musical director for the Olympics and Paralymics closing ceremonies. He's done a lot of interesting stuff in his career and is very funny - this puts him on my list of people that I wish had a blog, though he's on Twitter at @DavidGArnold and over 47,000 people are following him.

Although I knew of his work before the first event I went to (Sundance Festival London, April 2013) I didn't really know his name, and deliberately avoided Googling* before his talk in London because I quite enjoy the surprise of "oh wow.. you did that!!"

He wrote the music for Stargate! I love the music for Stargate and, given my fondness for film music in general (kind of why I went to the talk in the first place) I was slightly amazed that I hadn't already put two and two together.

One of these days I'll write up my notes from the Sundance event. This is a great overview although it doesn't really capture quite how warmly funny and entertaining he is. This 8min video interview from 2011 does though. In among talking about scoring for Bond films he mentions that, in holding the hand of the viewer and guiding them through what's happening on screen, film composers are a sort of 'musical Bear Grylls' haha :-)

The second event (July 2013) I discovered by accident. Despite following him on Twitter I missed seeing any tweet from him about it. I was at the Barbican hearing the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra playing film music selected by Mark Kermode (for his fiftieth birthday celebrations) along with choices from his invited guests - for London it was actor Jason Isaacs and Simon Mayo. It was ridiculously enjoyable.

I'd bought a programme and while flipping through during the interval I spotted that the orchestra would be playing the Stargate overture and specially composed music from the TV series Sherlock (which David co-wrote with Michael Price) in Manchester on the following Monday evening, and that David would be there with Paddy Considine. Too much fun to miss, so I took an afternoon train up to Manchester (luckily Monday's my day off) and am very glad that I did, it was absolutely wonderful.

I'm also pleased to have been able to hear The Leisure Society perform We Were Wasted which features in Paddy's film Tyrannosaur.

It turns out there's actually quite a lot of film music related stuff happening this year (possibly it happens every year and I only just noticed) but I've collected some further information on my sound stuff blog - there are film music Proms and the BBC has a season on film music this Autumn - hooray.

It also occurred to me that you could have quite an eclectic film festival if the inclusion criteria were based on film scores and composers...

*Over the next few weeks I'm going to hear some other film / TV composers (Debbie Wiseman, George Fenton, Clint Mansell and Dario Marianelli) and am having to resist the urge to Google or search YouTube etc, otherwise it's a bit like opening your Christmas presents before the day.

Bonus material
(1) Edith Bowman interviewing David Arnold and Matt Berry on Saturday 14th September - this can be downloaded for another couple of weeks (as of 21 September 2013)
(2) David Arnold and Matt Berry's Sound of Cinema broadcast on Sunday 15th September - this is only available to listen live and it runs out later today I'm afraid.

See also
Nice things said in an academic journal article about David Arnold's scores for James Bond - quite right too (8 November 2013)

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