Monday 8 October 2018

The 40 Martyrs of England and Wales Films - Music Scores - Catholic Faith & Media

Since October 2007 it has been my privilege to work on several DVD films about the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales as well as creating full original music scores for each production.  It all began 11 years ago this month when Mary's Dowry Productions had its first filming day over in Arundel, West Sussex.

We wanted to incorporate the beautiful scenery of West Sussex as well as the magnificent Arundel Castle and Cathedral into this production.

Filming before Arundel Castle
What made this production great, being our first DVD, was discovering the life of Saint Philip Howard, the Earl of Arundel.  We had lived near Arundel our whole lives and attended the Cathedral for many events but did not know much about Saint Philip Howard.

These first days of filming were interesting, we spent many weeks travelling back and forth to Arundel for different shots and different locations.

Getting to grips with the new equipment
Mary's Dowry Productions had only been established for a few weeks and getting to grips with the new equipment was a learning curve but we went from strength to strength and our production on St. Philip Howard was completed and launched on the 'small screen' (we had not yet gotten our large screen and launch equipment) and we were touched by this English Martyrs' life and witness.

Saint Philip of Arundel DVD
This production was revisited in 2010 with a whole new music score and upgraded footage but both the early version and the new one were met with very positive feedback.

Having always been drawn to ancient sounds like the recorder and frame drum, viola da gamba, fidule and lute, I found that writing a music score for a film set in the Elizabethan era enabled me to use these lovely instrument and create an authentic Elizabethan sound.  I'd not long left college and one valuable lesson I had learned was the creation of my own original unique sound so I applied this concept to the St. Philip Howard film score and made it my own.

After Saint Philip of Arundel was released and making it's way around the world and diocese, 2008 saw us begin a year long project on Saint Edmund Campion, another English Martyr.  

Saint Edmund Campion
Philip Howard was the first English Martyr we had encountered and it led us to discover that there are in fact 40 of them!  For 11 years we have wanted to produce a DVD for each of these great saints.  We are not there yet but many years of work and effort have seen several produced.  We paid particular interest to the martyrs who were completely unknown like Saint Polydore Plasden.  This month I hope to write several blogs on the processes of producing films and writing music scores on several of these martyrs.  My next blog will focus on Saint Edmund Campion and our year long work to produce Saint Edmund Campion: A Hero Returns DVD.

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