Wednesday 13 December 2017

Composing the Music Score for 'Saint Padre Pio: Pray Hope and Don't Worry' Film from Mary's Dowry Productions

About a week ago I completed the music score for our Saint Padre Pio production, our latest release.  I have been meaning to write a blog about how I wrote the score, some of the ideas I had and basically a bit more info on the depth of the music.  It's been a very busy time and unfortunately the score is not so fresh in my mind as it was but I shall do my best.

Saint Padre Pio DVD
I began with a slightly ominous feeling; this production was one of our longer ones and I always find the productions above 28 minutes more of a challenge because by that point I really need to discover new ways to keep the interest musically, to not be too repetitive, to keep the film on point so that the gems that are being delivered are absorbed by the person watching the production.

The Introduction:

I decided I would approach the music score for this production with a quite atmospheric/bleak/powerful mood.  I thought about the content of the production and this saint's journey, Saint Padre Pio's stigmata, suffering, mission, his love for the Mass.  Taking the music score a bit at a time so as not to overwhelm myself, I focused on a minute and a half introduction theme that would encapsulate a general mood or message of what the listener was to expect from this production so I thought, slightly brooding, but also uplifting 'hope', stirring, prayerful and profound spirituality.  I write better when I can focus on meditative music, spiritual contemplation, if the dialogue speaks for a time about the Mass, insights into the particular aspects of the saint's spiritual life.  


I took the harp and led with an atmospheric repeated phrase and then instantly brought in Celtia Voices and soundscapes to gradually built up an atmosphere and then led the melody with piano.  I kept the pace going so that as well as being contemplative, there was a slight trepidation feeling, almost like 'of things to come'.  

Listen above to an example of the very beginning of the film.

Something I have gotten into in the last several scores is to use 'Trilian' basses with pulsing.  This really helps to create movement but at the same time can be quite subtle.  I created myself a template from the music score I wrote for our production on Saint Robert Southwell ages go.  Because I'm still using this template, many of the same instruments load.  I also still have some instruments from Saint Don Bosco production that I used for the terrifying 'To Hell and Back' dream sequence.  I was able to leave 'apocalyptic warning' pulses for later use and add a more subtle movement with a different patch that wasn't so extreme.  I added this as a bass/pulse to the harps sequence and enhanced the movement and atmosphere.

Themes and Ambience

Rather than a sweeping cello melody, which I usually do for 19th Century settings, I used the cello as I was using the harps by copying the harps notes and pasting them with the cello.  I don't usually use the cello in this way but it built up the sound sequence by having semi-fast notes being played with the harp and cello.  I had my doubts for a while but I decided that it was different and what the intro needed.  For the melody, I chose simple piano.  Piano always goes well with ethereal voices and it was atmosphere that I was trying to create here.  All I needed to do was give the piano and voices space and to this I added high strings which always creates a cinematic ambience.

Listen above to an example of further on in the intro with instruments building so far.

Building the Mood

One of my college tutors years ago, Clive Loseby, gave me the most valuable tip once when he said about one of my compositions 'that's overkill on the flute'.  He told me not to stick to a single instrument all the time.  Until then, I had chosen my lead instrument and written melodies with it as if the instrument claimed the piece.  Ever since then however, I'll take a few bars with one instrument, then take the same tune but switch to a different instrument.  It's awesome what a difference this makes and I've been grateful to him ever since for this tip.  At this point in the introduction, I switched the lead piano to lead guitar instead.  I copied the harp notes once more and pasted them as piano an octave higher so that the repeated background sequence grew in depth even more.  By this point, the timbre of the piece was building.  

Screenshot from Saint Padre Pio Film
35 seconds into the introduction I decided I would now use sweeping cello harmonies and also bring in 'Altus' voices as a contrast to 'Celtia' voices so that male and female were bouncing off of each other in a subtle back and forth.  The rest of the introduction is mainly repeated themes with additional instruments, harmonies with two types of guitars and clarinet.  I decided I wished to have clarinet in this score, simply because it's different, I don't often use it, but also because I'm trying to stop myself spending money on new samples at the moment by utilizing the instruments I already have!

Underscore - Keeping the Listener on Their Toes

Moving on from the Opening Titles and into the underscore for the narrative, I relied on different sets of soundscapes to really set an expectant atmosphere and I decided I would keep the Trilian Bass going well into the narrative as a kind of modern/historic fusion that was unpredictable.  When I listened back to this, it kept me on my toes which was just what I wanted!

For the most part, I decided that I would write what I do best, various themes with all my favourite instruments.  I was really pleased as I wrote solely on improvisation along with the narrative and changed the mood as I went along.  For this production, Robin Ingram narrates for us with a slight Italian accent - his idea.  It was such a fantastic suggestion, I found it very effective.  It took my ears a while to adjust to writing for a different voice, I've spent a long while writing to a female narrator I felt I had to try some different ranges in order for my ears to accept and be happy. 

Screenshot from Saint Padre Pio
Listen below to the final example of the introduction music and the beginnings of underscore to narrative:


After about 30 minutes I decided I needed to do something new but I wasn't sure what.  I suggested we hire out 'Allied' - a film I was not interested in but which I thought would give me some tips, drama, history, emotion etc.  We forwarded most of it but I came away with choosing full cinematic strings and giving pride of place to a heavily reverberated piano. 

Using Dr. Strange Music Score for Inspiration and Ideas
We happened to also watch 'Dr. Strange' and funnily I got a lot more inspiration and ideas from this score.  I noticed a main theme in this was to use 6/8 timing with harpsichord.  Right away I went back to my score and switched from 4/4 to 6/8 and improvised a long and interesting sequence with the guitar.  I doubled up the guitar notes with harpsichord and was thrilled.  I usually use the harpsichord for our Medieval productions but if it was good enough for Dr. Strange in our modern era, I decided it would be very innovative for 19th Century Italy.  It was exactly what was needed, different, light, fun, interesting and a switch to a new time signature for a while.  The middle section was broken up from the atmospheric and ethereal for a while and the attention-keeping mood was achieved.  Who would have thought? 

Listen to the video below to hear part of the 6/8 tune that I improvised at this point.  I have taken off the narration for some of the example:

Because in my music I use a lot of unexpected fusions, I'm ready to try anything new so sticking in a random instrument from the past and using it in a different way is really fun.  

Screenshot of Padre Pio Film available now for Digital Download on Vimeo
There is a lot more I could say about this score but all in all, it's atmospheric and moving, haunting, gentle, listenable and innovative all at once.  I have my usual choirs, ethereal voices, pianos, guitars, ancient instrument fusions, soundscapes and Trilian pulses all blending together to tell a great and wonderful story of a life lived very well - Saint Padre Pio.  This new film is very inspiring, spiritual and informative.  It is available now worldwide on DVD or Instant Video Download.

Listen to the music as featured in the trailer NOW at our new Instant Video on Demand Page here
Purchase this film on DVD at our online shop or from Amazon UK and Amazon COM.

I shall make the soundtrack available on CD soon!

Saturday 2 December 2017

Ioanna Arcensis, Saint Joan of Arc, Film Soundtrack, Music CD, New Release and Cover Design

Continuing on re-working all of the music soundtracks I have available on CD so far, I re-visited 'Calm your Spirit With Music: Volume 4' this week - the complete soundtrack for Saint Joan of Arc film.  I love this soundtrack, it's so mysterious, moving, emotional, bold and uplifting.  It is difficult to express the full extent of the content of this album and there does not seem to be as much interest in this as in my other CDs, yet the music is one of my favourite scores.   I spent a while redesigning the artwork for this album.  The first step was the sub title, I wanted the title to reflect Saint Joan subtly and to continue the theme of all my other CDs.  I was going to subtitle the album 'Power & Mercy' reflecting the powerful people of her time who captured and betrayed her but in the end, I decided on 'Trust & Mercy' because really, Saint Joan's trust, even whilst being told that the Church had forsaken her and cast her out, still trusted.  The new artwork is as follows:

Calm Your Spirit With Music Volume 4: Trust & Mercy CD
It also took me a while to sit and listen to this album whilst trying to name the tracks to reflect the theme/mood behind each.  I had to find the relevant track in the film and decipher exactly what was going on and what I was writing about at the time.  I really enjoyed it actually as I had forgotten how inspiring Saint Joan of Arc is.

The Track Listing is:

Track 1: Joan (4:15)Track 2: The Lord is My Strength and My Shield (4:10)Track 3: You Are My Witness (4:40)Track 4: God in the Midst of Battle (7:36)Track 5: The Saviour of France (7:08)Track 6: Betrayed (3:31)Track 7: God Alone (4:47)Track 8: A Noble Heart, A Heart of Fire (5:38)Track 9: You Are the Light of the World (2:30)
The music is both meditative but has movement too.  The blurb took me a while as I find it difficult to describe my music as it seems to be in a category of its own, especially this album.  I was inspired overall at the end of the music how Saint Joan of Arc was an example of being victorious in battle both physical and spiritual.  She really is a light in the darkness.

For the cover image I went for this beautiful scene which was French but also reminded me of our trips to Parham House when we filmed for several English Martyrs.  To me it captured a real atmosphere of Mary's Dowry Productions and atmosphere is very important to us.  To have an atmosphere that is right and correct on the cover of this album will help aid in translating what is inside, a very beautiful and moving score which I think everybody will enjoy.

My Journey with Saint Joan of Arc:

I never really liked Saint Joan of Arc, I think she has been portrayed badly, especially with 'the voices' that she heard.  I am not interested in the idea of battle, France, her being wrongly accused, I just never really connected.  We produce our films mostly for ourselves, and also to give me an opportunity to write music for a project that is very worthwhile.  I find that the process is a unique encounter with each saint.

The Beginning:

It begins for me editing the audio narration of the script that has been recorded.  The overall story is always inspiring and gives me a clearer idea of the saint and where they are coming from, especially if I did not know much about them before this point.  A while passes after this whilst the film is being edited but then one day the Avi file is popped on my desk and it's up to me to write a music score for the film, to capture the atmosphere/essence of the saint and the spiritual message of the film.  I never have a plan, I like to sit back and just see what happens.  I was intrigued with this film as we had not planned to make it but my sister decided we must produce a film on this saint after reading about her and being inspired.

First Steps - The Right Atmosphere

My first step was to load in some medieval drums and some war horns.  I was also looking for some mystical soundscapes to capture saint Joan's visions and voices.  Once I got started, the atmosphere really became spiritual and I was inspired by the saints' faith.  As the film progressed I came to understand that saint Joan's voices were not odd but profound.  With the right atmosphere on a story, the right message is portrayed and I think we managed it with this one.  The music in a film, especially about a saint, is very important, it cannot be creepy, overpowering or tedious.  An great element of spirituality is needed.  The last thing that needs to happen is for the listener/watcher to be put off the saint.


The drums and horns combine well with moving strings and subtle soundscapes, voices, choirs to give a very peaceful and mystical atmosphere that's extremely moving in places.  It also keeps a little tension in the setting of war but not in a barbaric or intrusive way, but still in a spiritual way, like a subtle threat but with the atmosphere of the Lord's presence.  I shall look at a couple of the tracks from this album below.

TRACK 2: The Lord is my Strength & My Shield

In this album, I entitled track two 'The Lord is my Strength and My Shield'.  This is the part of the film where saint Joan is visited and is very moved.  I used a particular heavenly soundscape on this, I cannot remember which, but I brought it in every time throughout the film whenever the voices were mentioned.  I was pleased because it kept the voices/visions mystical and supernatural and not creepy or weird.  This was important to me because my personal experience before this film of saint Joan of Arc was of a slightly crazy person but having worked on this film and encountered her, I see her now as more of a strong woman, strong in Trust. 


Track 6 is called simply 'Betrayed'.  In this part of the film Saint Joan helps win the battle, she is owed everything, yet they decide to sell her to the British in utter betrayal.  I was horrified at the level of betrayal in this, having built up the score emotionally of all saint Joan's efforts and sacrifices for France, to be betrayed like this afterwards.  My sister portrayed Saint Joan in the film and I used a long full string sequence for this and I remember when I wrote it I was very moved, connecting with the saint as well as my sister in a way.  It hit home that saint Joan was a lovely person and being treated so badly.  The result (as it always is when I tap in to extreme emotion) was a very very moving sequence, atmospheric, mystical, poignant.  It might be my favourite track.

Overall, I love this soundtrack and I am pleased to be presenting more and more of the music from the films onto CD.

Calm Your Spirit With Music Volume 4: Trust & Mercy is available now from

Contemplative, absorbing and mystical yet fused with spiritual contest and powerful emotion this new album takes everything that is faith and history and unites it to music.   With the ethereal chants of spiritual choirs and distant church bells, the sprinkling of delicate harp, expressive cello and passionate drums and horns, this album is both fresh and contemporary, reflective and brooding.  Allowing the mind to meditate in peace but at the same time stirring the senses to hunger after righteousness with reflective use of strings, flutes, guitars, piano, soundscapes and more.   These tracks are taken from the full music score written for 'Saint Joan of Arc' film in 2016 and presented here as a musical chronicle of conviction, hope and supernatural ambience.  Very moving, uplifting and absorbing.  

Saint Joan of Arc DVD

Saint Joan of Arc DVD is available also from Mary's Dowry Productions and through and

Saturday 25 November 2017

Dewi Sant, new instrumental music CD album, choral, fusion, composing a soundtrack

The last couple of weeks has seen me seize the opportunity of a gap between film scores to produce another soundtrack CD album.  I have been asked many times to make the music from Mary's Dowry Productions films available on audio CD.  I have been producing instrumental music albums on CD for over two decades now but I take an awful lot of time out from this whenever we produce a new film and I write the music directly to picture.  We have so many projects simultaneously on the go that I find it difficult to get back into the mind set of a music CD album.  However, the music that I do write to the films is very similar to the music on my CD albums, albeit more directed by the films themselves, but the instruments are the same and my style and sound is the same too.  In fact, sometimes I am pushed into directions I would not usually go because as I am writing to picture, the storyline changes or something is specifically needed and I compose according to that and this adds a whole new dimension to my music style and produces something very interesting. 

Dewi Sant - The CD Soundtrack I have been working on this week
If you enjoy my CD albums like Dreams, Worlds, Kingdoms, then you will definitely also enjoy the albums I am gradually making available of music taken from the film soundtracks in the series 'Calm Your Spirit With Music'.  I am working on gradually releasing as many as I can and this week has seen me taking the music from Saint David of Wales production and creating the CD album Calm Your Spirit With Music Volume 5: 'Dewi Sant'.  I have actually really enjoyed it.  I chose this album because the score was still on my computer as it is quite recent.  I also love this score because I was free to work with frame drums, guitars, baroque guitars and piano for some nice interlude where we included prayers in both English and Welsh languages. 

Screenshot from 'Saint David of Wales' film
I wanted to do more with this music and now as my opportunity.  Unfortunately to create a music soundtrack CD album, it's not a simple matter of just stripping away the narration.  Because the music has been written directly to picture and kind of organically grows according to the narration and plot, the volumes change quite a lot so if the album is to be just instrumental, what was a simple underscore is suddenly brought to the forefront so has to be worked with quite a lot.  Also, it's difficult to decide where to put track changes in as the soundtrack is usually a constant growth, but there are usually natural markers. 

Saint David of Wales DVD Film
I spent the week dividing the score from Saint David of Wales film into seven tracks as well as extending some.  I then spent the last three evenings listening to the tracks whilst watching the film to come up with suitable track titles that would reflect what each instrumental track is trying to tell via music.  I really got a lot out of it and had forgotten just how enjoyable and fulfilling the film 'Saint David of Wales' is.

The track listing is as follows:

Track 1: Dewi Sant (2.00)
Track 2: The Hills of Solitude (3.07)
Track 3: Holy Earth (4.00)
Track 4: Song of Grace (4.24)
Track 5: A Hillside Rising (3.11)
Track 6: Do Ye the Little Things in Life (5.41)
Track 7: Trwy Iesu Grist Ein Harglwydd (Through Jesus Christ Our Lord) (3.38)

I chose 'The Hills of Solitude' for track 2 because watching the film at this point, the music was reflective and spoke of Saint David taking time out in prayer and there was some beautiful scenery. 

In Track 3 the monks were tilling the earth and contemplating so with a play on words to express the monks at work I named the track 'Holy Earth'.  In Track 5, the music builds as the film spoke about Saint David's miracle of the rising of a hill, hence, 'A Hillside Rising'.  I also named track 7 in the Welsh language taken from a prayer included in the film, translated as 'Through Jesus Christ Our Lord'.

Screenshot from Saint David of Wales film showing part of a prayer in Welsh language
All in all, I'm very pleased with this track, the music is interesting and pleasant, both calming and reflective, but exciting and bold in other places, very enjoyable to listen to.  I got a lot out of it each time I listened to it through.  It fits in nicely with all my other CD albums and totally has my usual style of music.  I used some of my favourite instruments in this score, particularly the frame drum with piano.  The CD is available through our online shop 

Calm Your Spirit With Music Volume 5: Dewi Sant
Baroque guitars, mystical Altus voices and emotional strings mingle subtly with the sounds of wooden flutes, tenor viola da gamba, viola de roda, piano and harp to create a union of original contemporary and ancient instruments in a new sound that will draw you in and bring calm, uplift the spirits and delight your ear. Dewi Sant is inspired by all the beauty that is Wales both visually and expressively. Each instrumental track tells the story of Faith, contemplation, joy and peace through music and imagination.

Dewi Sant is available from on CD album worldwide.

Sunday 12 November 2017

Writing New Medieval Music for Thomas Cromwell: The King's Architect New DVD

We have been getting slightly behind with our productions, I suppose getting older we are a little slower than we used to be.  This weekend however we decided that we must catch up with the backlog of productions we have outstanding and knuckle down to finish them.  The new music score on my 'to do' list has been 'Thomas Cromwell: The King's Architect'.  It's a shorter film to our 'Thomas Cromwell: The King's Collaborator' which was aimed for a more religious-minded audience. 

Thomas Cromwell: The King's Collaborator DVD
The DVD is available here
The DVD became so popular on Amazon to a general audience that we decided to produce a separate DVD that was a little more generalised and would be clearer to those not coming from a religious viewpoint.  The film has been a long time coming and will make a great addition to our catalogue.  It will be nice to have the two DVDs available, they are actually quite different to each other.  I love writing Medieval-themed music because I love the instruments. 

Medieval Instruments
As with all the music that I write, I write freely so aim for a 'themed' sound rather than a perfectly correct and realistic-to-the-period score.  I dedicated this weekend to getting it done and really enjoyed myself with added sound effects.  The thing I find most difficult when composing a 30 minute score is knowing how to keep the audience engaged in the plot.  I've written many scores for our mainly spiritual productions and it's easier for me after 10 years of doing it to create the right prayerful and spiritual sound.  I can allow myself to write large sections of contemplative, very thought-provoking themes which are quite atmospheric and I find this wonderful to have the opportunity to do. 

This is our first production which is aimed firstly at a more secular audience and I knew I did not wish to be too sentimental, meditative or slow in case this was misunderstood as 'boring'.  I found this weekend that adding a lot of sound effects like horses, cavalry, fire, crowds, machinery, really aided the picture and greatly enhanced the interest in places.

Medieval Cavalry - I used the sound of this in this new production score
I am still getting so much out of ERA II samples by Eduardo Tarilonte.  For this score I made sure I used the small plucked psaltry as I don't get to use it very often.  It sounds so of that era and I actually used it in a few places as a lead instrument.  I coupled this with Tenor Viola da Gamba and Lute and fused them Nylon Guitar and added upper harmonies with a Baroque Guitar.  It blended an ancient and contemporary feel which was just the thing that was needed. 

I used a Psaltry instrument in this production - more than usual
Whenever the Church was mentioned, or monks or monasteries I drew upon Altus and Mystica both the Voice and the Phrases.  I like to fuse a subtle soundscapes with an Ethereal voice, I find it makes the listener stop and think. 

Mystica - by Eduardo Tarilonte; Beautiful female choirs used in this score
I found that rather than the narrative being simply informative, it lifted the words and added a more serious significance to them and I believe at times it drew home the history of England and kind of reinforced what was being said.  I saved Mystica until at least two-thirds of the way through the production when Saint Etheldreda's tomb was mentioned.  Up until this point I had only been using male voices.  The sudden addition of female voices again grabs the attention and in an more subtle way underlines the significance of Saint Etheldreda's story in the whole history of the Reformation.

Saint Etheldreda: Abbess of Ely - we also have a DVD on this wonderful saint!
The DVD is available here
I have just finished the score and write this as it is mixing down and running through with added compression.  The room is filled with the sounds of Medieval England.  I am thrilled that 'Thomas Cromwell: The King's Architect' is finally complete!

Thomas Cromwell - the Focus of our next production.
For more information about our historical DVDs visit our website 

Sunday 22 October 2017

A Change in Series, Music Composition, Film Soundtracks, Personal Music Style

Early Music Composition Development

I have been writing music since I was fourteen years old.  It began with piano solos but quickly progressed to being able to experiment and write with all my favourite instruments.  It took me years to develop my own personal style but I can now safely say that in each piece of music I write, there is my own personal sound.  I love writing music compilation CD albums and I am still writing to this day although each album takes a lot longer nowadays as I am so busy.

Creativity & Art

If like me you enjoy art and creativity, I find it helpful to sometimes revisit designs and see where improvement can be made.  It can be helpful in re-sparking a period of creativity if things have become a bit stagnant.  This has been the case with me.  I was asked to make the music from Mary's Dowry Productions films available but I have found it difficult to present them on CD format correctly.  I recently looked at revamping all of the CD albums that I currently have available. My style is the same whatever I write and every CD album is suitable for anybody who enjoys my music and the music from Mary's Dowry Productions films or reflective, meditative music.

My first ever CD album was called 'Dreams' back in 2001 and I have been composing compilation CDs ever since, taking time out to write directly to picture for the Mary's Dowry Productions films, in much the same style.  To make more of the soundtracks from the films available I have created the series of albums 'Calm Your Spirit With Music'.  Each volume presents a CD album with tracks taken from a soundtrack from one of Mary's Dowry Productions films.  Because I have written so many scores over the past decade, I would like to share all the music, sounds, themes and very moving passages of music on CD.  Instrumental - minus the films narrative.
The Current Designs for Mary's Dowry Productions music Soundtracks
'Calm Your Spirit With Music Series'.
I have had this series going for a little while now and adding a film soundtrack to the series every so often.  I have decided to re-vamp the series a little bit by adding a subtitle to each volume which reflects a little more what the soundtrack involves.  The first volume that I released on CD was the soundtrack to Saint Etheldreda film.  This is one of my favourites.  I love Saint Etheldreda and her story really inspired me, her steadfastness and passion.  I have therefore added the subtitle 'Passion & Prayer' to this album, making the title "Calm Your Spirit With Music Volume 1: Passion & Prayer".  This shows that the album is both uplifting and full and also meditative and prayerful.  Although I used the painting of Petworth Park in the original cover design (see above) because we filmed most of St. Etheldreda there back in 2010, I have now revamped the design completely for a better look as follows:

New CD design 'Calm Your Spirit With Music Volume 1: Passion & Prayer'
So if you've seen any Mary's Dowry Productions films lately and enjoyed the music, head on over to our website 'CD' section and the 'Calm Your Spirit With Music' series of albums will present many soundtracks on CD for you to enjoy.  I hope to add more to this series in due course.


"I have been writing music since the age of fourteen. It began with piano solos but quickly developed into my own original style of blending all the instruments that I love such as ancient wind instruments, tin whistles, recorders, harps, guitars, baroque guitars, medieval lutes and strings, epic film strings, full choirs, Gregorian voices, beautiful choirs, the voices of the Elves and so many more! I am inspired by film scores such as ‘Lord of the Ring’s’ and ‘Braveheart’. I also love England, its’ landscapes, hills, ruined castles, history, lighthouses, sea towns, harbours, forests. When I write, I picture all that is ancient England and take this visual imagery and try to tell its’ story through music. Each original piece, tells its own story."  - Bernadette Bevans

Friday 29 September 2017

Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne, New DVD, Music Score Complete

After a few weeks of writing on and off, I am pleased to have completed the music score for our new film on Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne.  Linked to Celtic Christianity this film covers a lot of history as well as some solid aspects of the Faith such as the Precepts.  I enjoyed writing this music, I have been wanting to work on something on Saint Aiden for a while now as it's an area of Britain which is very nice. 
Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne
I recently read a book set on Holy Island and it was nice being immersed in that area of the country.  I originally intended to write some music themes which were very Celtic sounding, but in the end there are lots of themes in this score which give a lot of contrast. I used some Alto Recorders for various scenery musical interludes, with guitar and baroque guitar and harp. 

Shepherds Horn
What I did do that was unexpected was to use Shofar and Shepherd horns particularly when the narrative deals with the many kings and feuds of that time.  It was enjoyable and keeps the interest and tension.  In the middle of this film I wrote some contemplative music and touched upon Gregorian Chant as Pope St. Gregory sends the missions to England.  I fused this with "Alto" which has some beautiful phrases and lifted the score up mystically especially when accompanied by warm strings and pads.  The result is a very informative, enjoyable, uplifting and spiritual film which is available now from our websites as well as and 

Saturday 8 July 2017

Holy Spirit of Serenity New Artwork

I recently completely revamped the cover art for my latest CD album 'Holy Spirit of Serenity'.  The album is part of a series of albums of relaxing, peaceful and background music that has proved very popular in recent years. 

For previous albums in this series - Peace, Gentleness, Calm, Tranquility, Joy, I have used cover art such as horizons with distant ships, sunlight through trees, the Holy Spirit with light, dappled leaves, flowers.  For Serenity I have used a meadow, with the sun just a way off, representing the music tracks moving your spirit towards the serene light, the delicate calming imagery through music of flowers, fields and trees, giving some idea of the content of the CD.

 Holy Spirit of Serenity tries to capture the sound of serenity through use of soundscapes, strings, cello, flute, guitar, piano and other instruments.  I also used voices in it in a different way.  There are 10 tracks in total which are:

Track 1- You Are Called to Serenity (4:34)
Track 2 - He Will Take You into the Land of Serenity and Light (3:46)
Track 3 - And the Serenity of the Spirit Will Envelop Your Whole Being (4:34)
Track 4 - Seek Serenity and He Will Give It (3:56)
Track 5 - The Touch of His Hand Suffuses Your Soul With Serenity (5:37)
Track 6 - He Will Bear You Up Upon the Winds of Serenity (4:23)
Track 7 - Seek the Shelter of His Arms and Bask in His Serenity (4:56)
Track 8 - Only in His Heart is There Serenity (5:09)
Track 9 - Serenity Comes From the Soft Beating of His Wings (3:46)
Track 10 - He Will Take You on a Voyage of Serenity (4:26)
Holy Spirit of Serenity is available worldwide on audio CD now from as well as through Amazon.

Tuesday 13 June 2017

Beginning the Music Score for St. Faustina Film

Saint Faustina
This week, I started writing the music score for our latest film 'Saint Faustina and the Divine Mercy'.  I set up a new template from the previous score - Saint John Bosco - as I liked the sounds I had used.  I was looking for some Eastern European instruments but I did not want to specifically load up RA as I had already so many samples loaded, I did not want to push the computers capacity. 

So I bought the Cello once again to the forefront.  I thought about Russia and the war, Poland and their history and really got in the mood.  Before I was given the completed film, I decided that I would write an opening theme in advance, like I did with St. John Bosco.  I began with strings and soundscapes and added some phrases with Mystica - voices of female chants - as well as Cantus - male chants, subtly in the background whilst using the cello for the main theme and the piano as motion and movement, very eerie.  I have spent the whole day so far mostly in building up the main titles. 

I have the avi file of the film loaded in now so it gives me the correct time frame.  I've added double strings, symphonic choirs, French horns, 2 or 3 types of pads, voices, piano, harp and baroque guitar and am finally now pleased with it; it is rich enough for an introduction.  It's got the entire atmosphere of the Polish setting and is taking shape.  I am very pleased to finally be working on the music for this film as it's been in the making for a while.

Check out all our films on DVD at

Wednesday 7 June 2017

Writing the Music Soundtrack to Saint John Bosco Film, Dreams, Soundscapes, Inspiration and Ideas.

Last week, I was gearing up to write the music score for our new production on Saint John Bosco.  This was our biggest challenge in filmmaking in the past 10 years and I was looking forward to trying something new.  We covered several of St. John Bosco's dreams in the film and I was contemplating how I would go about getting the separate dream segments across with the music score.  As the film was in the final stages of editing, I set up the Cubase project and loaded up some samples that I thought I would need.  I turned to Omnisphere because it has some fantastic soundscapes, so many I have not had a chance to really scratch the surface of them.  I loaded up samples such as 'Bowels of Hell', 'Requiem' and some spooky boy choirs.  I knew we had portrayed St. John Bosco's dream on the journey to hell and back so I wanted to be prepared!  I thought the boys choirs would be a good touch if used subtly as it would hint at his working with educating boys and caring for their souls. 


In addition to Omnisphere samples, I used Desert Winds and Forest Kingdoms and Era II by Eduardo Tarilonte.  Whatever samples you get from Eduardo Tarilonte there are always some fantastic soundscapes included.  I loaded up Ancient Spirits and I think Desert Longing.  I decided to make use of the samples that I have so brought the flute, harp, cello, baroque guitar, nylon guitar, strings and symphonic choirs 'mm' samples to the forefront, rather than looking for a new lead instrument.  I also loaded in Altus and Cantus for voices as well as some of the new Vocal Codex samples I have not had for that long.

Screenshot of Opening Titles in Cubase
Over the past couple of months we have been watching The Man in the High Castle and I have been listening to the atmospheric music.  In particular I listened to the more exciting faster-paced scenes, analysing how Dominic Lewis managed to keep the tension building.  I listened to how he had hits on every beat and every other beat and how this made the tension grow.  I also liked how the opening titles had a simple song but gradually in the background a sinister soundscape grew, even though at times it caused a bit of dissonance, it portrayed through the music the tension and background threat.  I noted all these points because of the upcoming St. John Bosco score which I knew was to be a longer production and what is most difficult about these is keeping the interest of the audience.  I have a tendency to lapse into morbid reflection which I find really easy, but sometimes it just needs a bit of gripping tension.  I loaded up some pizz strings with the idea of using them on every other beat taking The Man in the High Castle tension scenes as an example. 

The film was not yet complete but I decided to do something I had never done before and start the music score in advance.  I experimented with harp with pizz strings on every other beat to begin with.  With this sequence started I overlaid some strings and then recorded in a lead tune with cello.  I added guitar and layered this up with Altus phrases and flute.  The result was an atmospheric yet tension-building sequence.  When the film was complete and I dropped it into the project, I was able to continue the tune for the opening titles easily as most of the hard work was done.

Everything was pretty straightforward from then on.  A score gets much easier once the narration starts and it is mostly musical underscore.  When the dreams started, I had all my samples ready and I found that dropping most instruments out and bringing in the Ancient Spirits and soundscapes created an immediate dreamlike atmosphere.  I kept this up and added some ambient drums from StormDrums for depth.  I also added some sound effects of wind and thunder which was great.

The fun part began with the long Hell sequence.  I built up the tension with Bowels of Hell from Omnisphere and it was really quite scary; scary and interesting.  After a while I realised the Hell sequence was longer than I expected.  I felt it needed something else. 

From the Hell Sequence

It was at this point that I remembered Trilian.  I use Trillian simply for bass but it can do so much more.  I loaded up 'Burning Victims' and 'Apocalyptic Message' which sounded apt.  One was a pulse/beat and added just the right touch.  At this point in the film 'words' were popping up on the screen and it just felt right to go in a more modern and experimental musical direction.  I used the beat on and off and when it came into the score it added the perfect attention-keeping element.

I have been reading a lot of Pope Francis' writings recently and they are so inspiring.  I was pleased to be working on such a powerful presentation of the dreams and instructions of St. John Bosco and I wanted the score to be both shocking and moving.  The seriousness of Hell was interspersed with the kind face and caring persona of Don Bosco.  Sacred Art of the Heart of Jesus really inspired me to portray with cello, string and soundscapes how much Our Lord loves us and aches for us to turn to him, turn away from sin.  The whole sequence was extremely gripping and challenging.  The final touch was Ambient Largeness drums with Thunder Clap and Metallic Doors clanging for the Portals of Hell, with the sounds of fire crackling for the wall of Hell when Don Bosco has to touch the walls and awakens from his dream with a burning hand. 
After this the film showed how easy it is to be a saint and touches upon Saint Dominic Savio which was very uplifting and inspirational.

The film left me moved and inspired.  Writing the score was a rare event, having the opportunity to use so many interesting soundscapes and have a lot of freedom with this.  I also found it really easy which is rare too.  The previous score for Jacinta Marto was really difficult for me. 

For the entire score I had been looking for an opportunity to use my new sample from Vocal Codex 'Salve Regina' but I had not been in the right key to make it work.  I put in a phrase of it here and there.  At the end credits I decided to play in the entire thing and lo and behold it fitted perfectly.   This film is now available on DVD worldwide through Amazon and

Saint John Bosco DVD


Saturday 3 June 2017

Holy Spirit of Serenity, New Instrumental CD Album Release.

After 6 months of on and off writing, ideas, struggles, writers block and inspiration for the final push, Holy Spirit of Serenity is now complete and available!

I started this series in 2010 when I was inspired to present some instrumental peaceful tracks on CD compilation.  I improvised 10 tracks for each CD album with a range of instruments centred around nylon guitar, strings, piano, cello, pads and soundscapes, with flutes and harps and other instruments coming and going.  Holy Spirit of Peace was first.  For two of the tracks I took some themes from 'The Shining Pearl of York' film and the album turned out to be atmospheric and very listenable.

It all flowed very easily and Holy Spirit of Gentleness and Holy Spirit of Joy followed swiftly upon the heels of Holy Spirit of Peace.

A while later in 2012 I was inspired to add to the collection Holy Spirit of Calm.  I wrote all the pieces and then named them afterwards with relevant quotes and passages from scripture.

I did not add any more to this series until 2014 when after a long illness I came out of hospital with renewed vigour and wrote Holy Spirit of Tranquility. 

In December 2016 I decided to start Holy Spirit of Serenity, thinking it would be as easy as the others to do.  However, being so busy, with so many productions on the go, a busy schedule, tired and also quite burned out from so many music scores, it was slow going.  I also had a new studio setup and just could not get my ear in gear!
You can imagine how pleased I am to have struggled through with long breaks and finally complete the album.  Towards the end, I decided that I needed to go back to the roots of my writing which always stemmed from inspirational images and titles.  Whereas in this particular Holy Spirit series I had just written and improvised easily, I felt for Holy Spirit of Serenity I needed some visual inspiration, I asked my sister to write the track titles for me first so for the last 3 tracks I took the titles and this helped me to write.  The last 3 came much more easily and the album was complete!

The CD turned out really great, very interesting, a little bit different.  It gave me an opportunity to use some new soundscapes and different instruments.  Holy Spirit of Serenity is available from our Online Shop and also through Amazon.
Pick up your copy today!