Category Archives: special features.





Doing the LOCKDOWN CHAT special feature on MMI has been interesting so far. I know we only had three thus far but I hope more people will share with us what they are doing at this really scary and uncertain time. I thought I would apply the same questions to myself, novel idea or am I just bored, I think the latter. And interviewing myself, is that a sign of the lockdown loco syndrome? You tell me. Indulge me and my nonsensical ramblings.  
Am I indoors?

I am not self-isolating, I have thankfully no symptoms. so just complying with government instructions and recommendations. Go out the garden a lot as I can still see people walking around and not doing as they are asked and observing the social distancing, makes me angry a little that these individuals are flaunting the rules and in essence putting everyone at risk. Getting food is not a problem, although I have given up on the likes of Asda and Sainsburys, its Lidl all the way as its close and they have everything. Last time I went was Saturday, so due for a little excursion just for bread and milk, nothing major. I do worry that there are still shoppers getting to close and also there are greedy individuals that are going back more than once a day for supplies, but hey this is the nature of the human beast, I guess to horde and build a stock of supplies. I think it’s the actual silence during these last weeks that I have noticed, they say the silence was deafening, well they are right, just sit in the garden or the yard or the balcony if you have one and listen.




Listening material.

Well I think if you had said a year ago to me stay inside for 4 weeks I would have thought great, but after two weeks thus far, well two weeks and a bit now, I am going a little stir crazy, so I tidied everything in the little room, or the music room/office and started going through my CD.s and LP.s. Not just soundtracks or classical, no, lots of other genres, but as an ex club DJ there are so many great albums that I still have to discover, because when you DJ you like everyone focus upon the hits of the artist, so going through my collection I pulled out the likes of EARTH WIND AND FIRE, WAR, BRASS CONSTRUCTION, DONALD BYRD, GEORGE BENSON, JOHNNY GUITAR WATSON, RARE MOTOWN, and loads of PHILLY SOUND. And believe it or not am finding tracks that I have never heard or even tried to play.
But of course, I always return to film music, JOH BARRY has had a lot of airplay, as has JERRY GOLDSMITH and the Golden Age composers in particular KORNGOLD. I also try and go for something that is not ordinarily in my most played, STILLETO for example or even lesser known spaghetti westerns for example BANDIDOS. I suppose its about re-discovering in a time such as this. I also keep up with new scores or try to as that sometimes is hard, but there have been a few things around, CREATORS THE PAST for instance. Many new scores one discovers by accident, most of the time they are happy accidents so that is a positive. There are times however when silence is good too, time to sit and reflect and germinate any ideas that I have for MMI.





What am I watching/ Well the easy answer to that is not a lot, mainly because there is nothing worth watching on the TV, so I do dip into a film here and there, but not that often these days. Again, with films I have been re-visiting movies from years back, ZULU, DOUBLE INDEMNITY, PLANET OF THE APES the original first two movies, EL CID, BEN HUR, 55 DAYS AT PEKING, THE WIND AND THE LION etc. The other evening I found myself watching a vintage SUNDAY NIGHT AT THE LONDON PALLADIUM with Charlie Drake and Jimmy Tarbuck, well that was an experience, and was that really entertainment, more like suggestive, racist rubbish. I can’t believe audiences actualy got a kick out of stuff like that. But different time etc I suppose. I don’t watch the news, well just once a day, if I watched it all day like many are I think I would go off my head (more than I am already).







After this is all over I think the way we live will alter drastically, the shops that have closed I think probably 80 percent of them will stay closed, people have got used to doing more online shopping, it was going this way anyway, the demise of cash is in sight also, its all card and contactless payments now, even the supermarkets will I think have to change the way they trade. Can we ever realy go back to large gatherings, concerts, football etc and even going to eat out I think will decline, thus eateries such as cafes, restaurants and all those coffee shops will be empty and worse will close. This has been such a shock to the system that I am of the opinion the way we lived will not return. But at least the pollution levels are lower, and the sea seems blue rather than a dirty mud colour these days.


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Will we come out of this? Yes, we will but maybe or hopefully we will emerge from it different, with a kinder and more caring attitude, we will see. I do know that we have to realise we are not the only life form on this planet, and certainly also have to take into account that although we think we are the dominant ones, we are fragile and vulnerable. And also, we have to start being more considerate and appreciative of people that work hard to help us, before this a delivery driver was just that, a cleaner was also just a cleaner and the man or woman behind the counter in stores were there to serve us, now all these and more are our lifeline. Consider that when this is over.




Some of the composer’s most recent work include music for Joshua Kennedy’s feature length House of the Gorgon, winner of the 2019 Rondo Hatton Award for Best Independent Film, starring Caroline Munro, Martine Beswick, Christopher Neame, and Veronica Carlson – music for Clarke M. Smith’s film You Are Me, a concert band commission entitled Over the Sparkling Sea, for the Lisle School District, Lisle, IL, now published worldwide by C. Alan Publications, original music and orchestrations for the H. P. Lovecraft Historical Society’s The Curious Sea Shanties of Innsmouth, Mass,  and re-orchestrating the prelude to Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Sinfonia Antarctica for wind ensemble. As composer for the H. P. Lovecraft Historical Society’s Dark Adventure Radio Theatre he has composed music for The Haunter of the Dark   Mad Science, Dagon: War of Worlds,  The Case of Charles Dexter Ward,  Herbert West: Reanimator, and Bad Medicine. He is a highly creative composer and has a number of new projects in development.




Are you fully locked down and is it something you are dealing with day by day or have you a routine?

My personal routine has not changed much. My wife began telecommuting a day or so a week quite a while ago and we adapted without too much uproar. Now she telecommutes all day and in general things are fine. I am used to a quiet house when I’m working (like a quiet studio) so we had some very small noise issues but all in all I have not really changed anything. We are not on a hard lockdown. We can go to the store, exercise in the park, etc.


Have you been writing music and are you involved on a project at the moment?

Oh yes, I write and record every day. They really are two separate disciplines. Not that what comes out is any good but I think keeping the muscles exercised is important. I usually have a few projects going. I’m working with Joshua Kennedy on some upcoming movies and I’m working on two personal albums of music right now. I am producing my own short film which utilizes puppetry and effects and it is current set up in my basement. However, paying jobs continue to interrupt its progress which is fine by me! I have an album based on the poetry of Robert E. Howard and an album concerning Lovecraft’s Dream-Quest. There are a few other’s things which slip my mind at the moment.

3, Have you turned to listening to anything in-particular whilst you have been lockdown?

Not really. I don’t listen much for pleasure any more but I do when I research. Most recently I’ve listened to James Newton Howard’s score for “King Kong”, “This Island Earth”, a few months ago I was deeply into Max Steiner. I listen to some podcasts – “Voluminous” by the HPLHS and the Ray Harryhausen Foundation in Scotland has put up some discussions of the music in his films. Also the Berliner Philharmoniker’s online Digital Streaming is free now.


4. Do you watch the news just once a day or are you looking at it off and on all day?

Oh, God. The “News”. I get my briefing from Google News in the morning with breakfast. I might check it off and on during the day but not very much. I am interested in straight reporting and not opinions, so I avoid most news outlets. I never follow sports unless it’s sailing or the Tour de France. We have taken to calling our local news “Murders and Weather” which is just about the truth.



5. What about visual entertainment, what have you been watching, any movies or box sets at all?

Oh, yes. This is my main entertaiment. Before the plague I bought the entire run of Game of Thrones on blu-ray. I had not seen any of it before. I’ve now completed it and it was fantastic! We’ve just completed “Onward!” and “1917”. We watch quite a bit maybe one or two a night. So, there’s more but nothing is springing to mind right now. BTW I did buy Woody Allen’s autobiography and it’s excellent so far. Also, on order are Steven Smith’s bio of Max Steiner, a book on tiki culture and drinks entitled “Smuggler’s Cove” recommended by Sean Branney of the HPLHS, and “The South American Gentleman’s Companion” a treatise on cocktails from that region. On my Kindle I have “Red Brain” which is the second volume of collected Mythos stories by S. T. Joshi after “A Mountain Walked”, several Robert E. Howard collections, and some weird western stories.


6, Whats the food supply like where you are, are the stores better stocked now?

Food seems to be no problem. Paper products are hit and miss. We have never eaten out much and I do most of the cooking day to day anyway. I know how to stock a pantry and fridge with staples and make almost anything from that. Also, I’m learning to smoke meats which is fun on the weekends. They were rationing bread when last my wife went to the store but that’s no longer the case. The store has put stickers on the floor at checkout to keep patrons 6 feet apart. Alcohol is in abundance.


7, Do you think that films music and the way that we work and lead our lives will alter greatly when this is over?

Probably not for me. Most of my work is over the internet so as long as it’s up and running, and we have power, my procedures won’t change much. I do some live large ensemble work so I’m sure that will change but making music is making music and it will continue. Our local theatres have closed, and the parking lots are empty. So, theatre attendance will affect how things are distributed and where. I did notice the cost of mainstream films on streaming was very high when all of this started – up to $20 US per rental, but that has changed. First run films are mostly $5.99 US now – to stream.


8. Are you sharing any of you film music to others during the pandemic…

All of my stuff is completely free to listen to at

There is also my website at





Are you in self isolation or are you just observing the recommendations where you are?


I have been on my own stay-home measure since the virus has been spreading throughout China and Europe.



What have you been doing to remain occupied, are you continuing to write music?

My life hasn’t much changed, since the life of composers is self-isolating. So, I believe today, most of the planet is experiencing the life of composers.
I am scoring a psychological thriller right now, and then I will be writing for a brass quintet. Lately, I’ve been watching the Berliner play Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra (Rattle), and Hosokawa’s Concerto for Horn and Orchestra(Rattle), after hearing of Wallace Roney’s death I played the “Tribute to Miles” album, and today, frustrated of being stuck inside, I played Iron Maiden “I’m Running Free” and “Phantom of the Opera”, the Paul Di’Anno versions of course.

Likewise, have you been watching more TV or movies or maybe box sets?
I haven’t watched any box set. The last movie I saw was the amazing Korean masterpiece called “Burning” by Lee Chang-dong, there is one of the most evocative sequence I’ve ever seen in the middle of the movie of a girl dancing in the sunset over Miles Davis’s score to Louis Malle’s “Lift to the Gallows”. Mind-blowing.






Have you been surprised at the way a minority of people are acting during the pandemic?


I am not surprised by what is happening during the partial lockdown. We react like our societies shaped us. This catastrophe magnifies the inhuman nature of our economic engine, but we have to transform this disaster into an opportunity to change this obsolete and unjust system unfit to face the life-threatening challenges that we’re facing right now and tomorrow.



Do you think that our lives will alter after the Pandemic?

Life after COVID-19 will be different. When scientists were talking about future natural apocalyptical catastrophes, it was hard for some people to integrate, because it was too abstract. From today, there is a universal, humbling, and undeniable reference that magnified the fragility of our own survival as a species.