Ask any one of my friends and they’ll all confirm one thing: I have terrible taste in music. I prefer to think of my tastes as ‘misunderstood’, but hey, each to his own, right? I’m not a music person really, I don’t go to gigs or even listen to the radio anymore. I don’t own any CDs and instead put all my chips in Spotify and it’s survival. I have never been to a festival, and couldn’t tell you who the lead singer of The Who is/was. However I do listen to a lot of music, especially when I’m working, and even play a little bit of it too. For me, music is a very personal experience. Certain melodies sing out to me and I come back to them again and again. If I fall in love with a song or artist I will listen to them over and over again.
Here are four playlists of the music I really do love. Click on each icon to listen to it in Spotify.
I love ambient music, even though most people dismiss it as synthy rubbish. It’s great music to work to as it focuses your mind without distracting you but the best minimalist music can express huge amounts with very little. I adore Loscil’s track Lake Orchard - it’s 7 minutes of a long slow drone but it conjures up a whole world at the same time.
There’s a whole edition in the wings about my passion for the English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams. I’m actually not a huge classical music fan, but every - and I mean every - RVW track I’ve discovered I have fallen in love with. His melodies rise up and down through haunting semitones which evoke a pastoral world that is starting to fade away.
The other weird musical habit of mine is movie soundtracks. I love ‘em. Maybe it’s because I make films, but I also think it can be very expressive music. I have a few favourite composers in Hollywood today but on this playlist you’ll find lots of Thomas Newman, James Newton Howard, and Alexandre Desplat. I like cascading harmonies and haunting melodies the most.
I like soundtracks so much I have completely separate playlist for old scores from 1989 or earlier. Here you’ll find some wonderful hidden treasures from the 1940s, 50s and 60s, including some early Disney soundtracks, some vintage Hitchcock, right up to the best adventure compositions from John Williams. Again, you’ll see I’ve chosen beautiful or evocative melodies which feel like they take you somewhere.