Lauren Hutchins

"The most important thing I've learnt at the Conservatoire is to encourage feedback and criticism from others and not to take that feedback personally!"

What has been the most important thing you've learned at Leeds Conservatoire?

The most important thing I've learnt at the Conservatoire is to encourage feedback and criticism from others and not to take that feedback personally! It's very easy to get caught up in your own vision for a composition, sometimes you need to step back and let someone else tell you that something isn't working.

What are you planning on doing after graduation?

After graduation I plan to freelance as a composer - getting involved with film projects and library music. I'm also very interested in doing music therapy, so I'll probably look into that too!

Is there anything you've encountered over the last few years that has really made you push yourself as a musician or anything new that you had not tried before?

The main thing that has made me push myself that I haven't had to do before is create music so regularly! It isn't the easiest thing to get used to doing, but after 2 years I can now confidently produce work fairly quickly (most of the time!). Something new I have experienced is working with other musicians for live recordings which have been a lot of fun.

What is the best piece of advice you've been given at Leeds Conservatoire?

The best piece of advice I've gained is that there is music in silence too! It's so easy to over score films, but silence between music can be effective emotionally, harmonically, texturally, narratively... the list goes on.

What has been the best project / opportunity you've had during your degree?

The best opportunity I have had during my degree was taking part in a film music residency for female and non-binary composers with Brighter Sound (a creative music charity). Ran by academy member Laura Rossi and composer Christella Litras at Studio12 in Leeds, I was able to collaborate with other composers to create sound design and an original score for a short film. The project really improved my confidence as a composer and also led to some great connections and friendships.

What has been the biggest challenge and how has this helped you develop?

The biggest challenge has been composing in a huge variety of styles outside of my comfort zone. This challenge has been beneficial in helping me develop because it's enabled me to prove my versatility to myself so I am no longer put off from writing in different styles/genres.

What is your favourite Leeds Conservatoire Memory?

My favourite memories have been from extra evening events such as Film Night and B-Side. It's always great to see what other students are doing and to have a nice chill chat/hangout in the cafe:bar.

What advice would you give to others thinking of applying to your course at Leeds Conservatoire?

My biggest piece of advice would be to have an open mind when it comes to your composition style - you don't have to limit yourself to one specific style (or even know what 'your style' is) and you'll really surprise yourself by trying out new things.

How would you describe your experience at Leeds Conservatoire in three words?

Creative, collaborative, inspiring.

Find out more about BA (Hons) Film Music at Leeds Conservatoire.

Check out Lauren's website, or follow her music page on Facebook, Instagram or SoundCloud.

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