Composition Masterclass with David Lowe

22 February, 2016

David Lowe’s music is instantly recognisable from BBC News, Panorama, Grand Designs and more. He also composes for commercials, radio and brands, making him a leading expert in his field.

At a BIMM Manchester Masterclass, David set students a hands-on task, working to a real-life brief to compose music for Bloomberg. Along the way, he gave excellent insights into a career in composition.

After an impressive showreel, David described his career, from making jingles for BBC Radio to networking via his job as a cameraman in order to get his music heard and eventually used on television programmes. He also received some early inspiration:

“I attended a lecture much like this, and it changed my life. I was introduced to the idea of working in theme music when a member of the BBC gave a guest lecture at my college. I asked if he knew how I might go about working at the BBC and he managed to get me my first job working on the radio station.”

David analysed his theme for The One Show and demonstrated how he composed in layers, referencing the idea of ‘unity’ through choir voices. Students learned about royalties and technology, and other facets of work like deadlines and client briefs. They then worked on their own Bloomberg themes, with David providing individual feedback.

The mixture of practicality and advice in the session really hit home for the students, including Thomas Collins, BA2 Guitar:

“This was an invaluable Masterclass as this is exactly what I want to get into. With the workshop task, there was a personal element to the session. I really enjoyed the activity; it was a great introduction to working in this industry. I learned great starting tips, like how to get my music out there and which internships to look at.”

Luke Gallagher BA1 Songwriting, agreed:

“David offered useful advice about how to get into the industry, suggesting ideas I’d never thought of, like libraries of music. This industry is something I have been striving to get into, so it was great to speak to a professional about it. I’ve composed my own music for the series Planet Earth, as a hobby. I was able to show this to David, who offered useful feedback.”

David’s early meeting with a guest lecturer gave him the spark that led to his current career – and that’s exactly what the Masterclasses are designed to do for our students too.

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