Dave Anson

Dave Anson is an award-winning composer hailing from the North West of England who has built up a wealth of industry experience. Inspired to begin composing music for moving image during his time at LCoM, his compositional output has seen him work with the likes of the BBC, Channel 4 and NBC. With a focus on creating epic music, Dave’s musical style naturally fits the US market and his work has been included in coverage for both the NFL and Super Bowl.

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What ignited your passion for composing music for moving image?

I've always been a big fan of movies and television, and I’d never really connected the dots that there was a job writing music for those films until I was about 17.

It was only really when I came to study Music Production at LCoM, I had lectures with Brian Morrell, and he introduced the basic concepts of scoring moving image to us. Something just really clicked, it all felt right, and I never looked back after that!

You’ve done a lot of work for clients based in the USA. Does your music naturally fit that market?

Naturally I've always gravitated towards the more dramatic side of television and media. Even when I was younger, I was always drawn to the US shows. I think that inevitably found its way into my musical tastes for moving image. The US market likes everything bigger, faster, louder, more bombastic and over the top… I think my musical style fits hand in hand with that. 

How do you secure future work/what’s your approach when working towards a brief?

I think the most important thing about securing work, is to work as hard as you can on every project you do. Put in the extra hour you're unsure about, talk to the director and do extra work to show you're keen. You never know when that work is going to reach to somebody new. It tends to have a snowball effect.

When working to briefs, I find the most important thing is to keep referring back to the brief and reference tracks. It's SO easy to get musically side-tracked and follow an idea because it sounds great. But at the end of the day, when writing to a brief, your job is to create what is set out for you, and it's important you respect that side of the process.

How has your musical taste affected your compositional process?

I grew up as a drummer, so I think initially when I started writing for moving image, I found myself leaning towards more rhythmically inspired scores. My growing up moment as a composer was when I decided to start writing melodic and harmonic sections first, and then added or developing percussion later on. I always loved dramatic music (you can find me listening to My Chemical Romance’s The Black Parade or Greenday’s American Idiot most weeks at least once), and I think it's incredibly important to take influence from other genres and keep an open ear to what music is doing now, and how it's growing, because there is more new music now than ever before, and it's an incredible time to be a musician. 

You’ve worked with the likes of the BBC, Channel 4 and NBC. How important is this experience when securing future work?

Getting to work for the likes of the BBC, Channel 4 and NBC is always an absolute pleasure, I'm extremely thankful that I get to do that week in, week out. I think all experience on a CV is good to have, the main thing being if you can look back at the job and say 'I did a good job on that, and I’m proud of it'. Having experience with the big names definitely help when pitching to clients, as it gives them confidence that you can work successfully for major networks. 

What was the most important thing you learnt during your time at LCoM that has helped you progress in your career?

One of the first lectures I had with Brian Morrell was an introduction to music for moving image, and I remember him saying 'someone has to write all of this film music, why can't it be you?' It just stuck with me really well. I think a lot of musicians struggle with confidence and imposter syndrome, and that lecture and quote has always stuck with me.

In addition, I learnt a lot about audio and how everything works in a super practical way during my time on the Foundation Degree in Music Production.  

What was your reason for setting up Glass Sound Studios?

As I came through the Foundation Degree in Music Production (and BA Music Production Top-up), I always had a passion for producing music. Setting up Glass Sound Studios as a commercial studio gave me a way to express that love for production, as well as keeping myself in touch with new music that's being released and written by younger generations. It's been a really fun first year, and I’ve had the chance to work with some incredible musicians from all over the country. It's a great palette cleanser when you've had a whole day of composing hybrid orchestral scores, and great way to work collaboratively with others (composing can often be quite a lonely job!).

What’s coming up next for you in terms of projects?

We're coming up to the NFL post season soon, and things with the NBA are starting to heat up. TV networks will be requiring a lot of new music, and that will be take a good chunk of my time up. It's always one of my favourite times of the year, when I get to fully indulge myself into a sport and industry I love so much. You'll find me locked away in the studio working long days with very epic and over the top music!

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Find out more about our Foundation Degree in Music Production

Alternatively, discover the course content for our degree in Film Music

To learn more about Dave and his work, visit his website

If you’re a graduate of Leeds College of Music, join our alumni networking portal here

Perfect opportunity from the @ASurteesTrust for students and @LCoMAlumni whose work is rooted in, or influenced by,… https://t.co/ZnOnmDxM6Z
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