Home > Regular Columns > Talking Heads: SCGNZ, 2 May 2016

Talking Heads: SCGNZ, 2 May 2016

British Council/BFI Film, Archive and Music Lab

Screen Composers Guild member/composer Jeremy Mayall recently won a trip to London with the help of the British Council.

At the end of February this year I had the opportunity to take part in the Film, Archive and Music Lab – a series of workshops run by the British Council with the BFI in London looking at the collaborative process of creating film + live music performance works. I was lucky enough to have been one of 16 artists selected to explore the creative potential of collaboration between the worlds of cinema, film archive and music.

The 16 participants included music makers, producers, film makers, conductors and composers – and we took part in a series of workshops, masterclasses, screenings and networking events all with the aim of increasing opportunities for cross-sector work, while providing a fertile breeding ground for future collaborations.

One of the highlights for me was the live performance of the archive film “Shooting Stars” – A new restoration of Anthony Asquith’s 1928 silent movie with a new score composed by John Altman. We had a masterclass session with John talking about the process of working on this film, his techniques for writing the score (wall-to-wall music for 80mins!), and the process for his hand-picked 12-piece band – composing the music with very specific performers in mind, and then having the opportunity to both present the work live on multiple occasions, and record a version of it for the new DVD package.


It was a great opportunity to meet some extremely talented, interesting and engaging creative people from around the world, and share in conversations about the creative process, engagement with various forms of art, and sharing stories about our work and future possibilities for new ideas. I look forward to continuing to explore the fertile ground that is the multimedia presentation of film and live music in my own work moving forward. 

Jeremy Mayall

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