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19 September 2014
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Creating compositions

Nitin SawhneyNitin Sawhney
It's been said that it would be easier to write what Nitin Sawhney can't do than what he can. As well as singing, songwriting, DJ'ing and producing, Nitin has also composed some of the most dramatic scores for television and film.

Here Nitin shares some of his experiences of composing a piece of music for the BBC Natural History programme 'Natural World' and conductor Stephen Hussey explains how it all comes together.


Q1. Describe your experience composing for Natural World.

It's a composers dream to do something like this. To work, unhindered, with music and images... and really create something fresh sounding and exciting.


Q2. How did you find working at Abbey Road Studios?

It's got something so special about it... To get out to another really huge studio and work with other engineers and great musicians is a real beautiful experience.


Q3. How do you find working with the orchestra?

Working out how you are going to put an idea or a simple melody into an orchestral context is such a challenge. Watching it come back with the size of sound it does have is so stimulating.


Q4. How did you go about creating the music for that particular natural history programme alongside TV director/producer Sean Christian?

It's very important to let the music and the film just breathe. I'd be given an assembled idea of all this footage from the archive... then I would mock something up using programming techniques for scoring.


Q5. Stephen Hussey explains how the composition transforms into a compelling performance.

The composer is the one who translates what he sees into musical ideas. My job is to take musical ideas that he gives me and translate them and bring them to the orchestra.

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