Production graduate scores in LA

Composing music for film in Hans Zimmer's Hollywood studio

Since graduating last year, Alex Redfern (BA Music: Production 2012) has embarked on a career composing music for film and television, which has taken him from Spain to Los Angeles.

Between completing a film soundtrack in LA and his MMus thesis on music for Sci-Fi, he tells Heather Iqbal about his work with Spanish films, symphony orchestras and Hans Zimmer.

So, what’s it been like since leaving Leeds?

Incredibly busy! After graduating I started studying for a Master’s in Scoring for Film, Television and Video Games at Berklee Valencia. I finished that about a month ago, and came out to LA to do a whole load of crazy stuff! I’ve been meeting with agents and composers, and networking in the film music industry. I’ve also recorded some tracks at Warner Bros. studio with a 47-piece orchestra, which has been amazing.

LA looks like it’s an exciting but tough place to break! Do you think there’s a space for young composers out there?

I guess there are only around 100 composers that score most big films – but there are so many different movies and films, international, independent or lower budget projects, so there are still a lot of opportunities. Initially I was quite shocked at just how many young people are making music for major films out here.

You’ve worked with some really high profile orchestras – did you ever find it difficult being the youngest person there?

When I started composing in Spain, I was working with people from the Valencia Symphony Orchestra who had years of experience playing – they’re masters of what they play really – and I was conducting them, which was scary. Last week when I was up recording at Warner Bros. studios, I walked in there thinking “these players have worked on ‘Signs’ and ‘King Kong’ and these blockbuster films, this is out of my league”, but in the end I just worked hard at it, and it was incredible, and so much fun.

When did you first get into scoring music for film and the moving image?

One of the reasons I went to Leeds College of Music was its Music Production offering, but also the fact that you can combine that with studying music for film. I think something that helped a lot were Brian Morell’s classes in film music – they were inspirational and I still go around saying that they were the best film music classes I’ve had.

What’s happening next?

I’m moving to LA to intern at Remote Control Productions, the studios owned by Hans Zimmer, next year, which should be incredible. I’ve been working on a soundtrack for a short action-adventure film, which is coming out soon at a few film festivals, which I’m also really excited about. The film is Spanish and is called ‘Happy Face’, and I recorded the soundtrack to that in Valencia, with an ensemble from the Symphony Orchestra which I’m now mixing and preparing for the final delivery. It’s taking long hours and sleepless weeks, but all the hard work is definitely how I’m starting to cement myself as a composer.



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Alex Redfern

Above: Alex Redfern (BA Music Production 2012) has studied at Berklee's Valencia campus in Spain since graduating, and is now interning at Hans Zimmer's studio in LA. Below: the SSL 4000G console at Leeds College of Music, part of the conservatoire's state-of-the-art music production facilities.

Leeds College of Music's SSL 4000 G Series Console

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