One of our aims at BIMM is to demonstrate to students, through regular Masterclasses and other events, the breadth of possible careers that are available to them. As a successful working composer for television and advertising, David Lowe encapsulates this for us, with his music being regularly heard by millions of people.
David was kind enough to visit BIMM Manchester to give a Masterclass session which looked over his career and provided inside knowledge, goals and advice to the students. He began his session with a show reel of his professional output, featuring an impressive back catalogue of his television theme tune compositions, such as Grand Designs, BBC News, Countryfile, Cash in the Attic, Panorama, The Jump, Newsround and The Champions League.
David began working at BBC Birmingham as a teenager where he had the opportunity to experiment with in-house equipment and was soon expressing an interest in composition work. David impressed on the class the importance of being seen and heard, and of making the most of wherever you find yourself, even if that means being an occasional nuisance …!:
“I put myself out there. I went running around asking anyone and everyone at the BBC if they needed a jingle. That’s the best piece of advice I can give you, the importance of networking.”
David’s first paid theme tune work was for British Airways and his career developed from there. In the Masterclass he discussed the parallels between composing theme music and more traditional song writing techniques, including useful tactics for composition such as a compressed chorus and memorable hooks.
He demonstrated his understanding by dissecting the composition of the new BBC theme tune for the class. This hands-on approach proved extremely helpful, as Joseph Glencross, a BA2 SW student, said:
“It was great to go through it step by step, to see how the tune was built up. It was really interesting and gave me some great ideas.”
Joey Layland, BA1 Production student, was also inspired:
“It was great to hear that David started off as I have and it made me feel like I am on the right path.”
Mission accomplished, thank you David!