Alongside my work as a composer I offer a full range of Music Services to clients across the musical world, both professional and amateur, working in all sectors of the music, broadcast and entertainment industries as well as in education, youth and community arts.
No job is too small or too large, whether working face-to-face or remotely. I work on projects ranging in scale from brief and simple arrangements or score-tidying jobs, up to large-scale full orchestrations for theatrical productions which combine complex live and recorded sound and music elements. Uniquely, I am also able to support and implement multimedia and cross-platform projects which combine traditional live music with music technology.
My rates are highly competitive and tailored to the requirements of each job.
- Arranging (adapting existing music for unique performers or performances)
- Orchestration (adapting existing music for different combinations of instruments)
- Preparation (creating, printing and binding musical scores)
- Adaptation (editing music to suit particular needs i.e. change of key, change of instruments)
- Transcription (taking down music from recordings or performance)
- Recording and Production (recording live performances, preparing demos or backing tracks)
- Librarian Duties (collecting, hiring, collating music for concerts)
- Assisting (working with composers, songwriters or other creatives to achieve musical visions)
- Consulting (advising on musical strategies and project planning)
- Project Managing (planning, budgeting and running large scale music projects)
- Technology Integration (combining live and recorded music and sound for stage and studio projects)
- Education (training and teaching on any or all of the roles listed above)
See below for more details on the services offered.
"I have known Martin for many years, first when we worked together at the BBC Concert Orchestra, and then during my time at The Royal Ballet, especially when I was Music Director, I became increasingly aware of his work as a composer, both in his original compositions and also in the help he gave me re-writing the ballet score for Sir Kenneth Macmillan's ballet on the life of Isadora Duncan. His great success is not only because of his imaginative, sensitive, and inspiring musical personality, but his ability to work with choreographers, to understand their language and to discover precisely what they are searching for in the music they ask him to write for them. This, coupled with a mastery of composition technique, orchestration, and musical imagery make his work succeed for the choreographers and dancers he works with and the audiences who hear his compositions." Barry Wordsworth, Music Director of The Royal Ballet, Principal Conductor of the BBC Concert Orchestra.
"Martin is a hugely experienced and talented arranger, with a deep understanding of the practicalities of converting musical ideas into the real world of orchestras and choirs. I found him a very valuable part of the process of fully realising my first commissions for the BBC and their conversion to the cues in There Will Be Blood. His guidance during these first compositions was patient and knowledgeable, and I still value the advice he gave me." Jonny Greenwood, composer and Radiohead guitarist.
“Martin was the BBC Concert Orchestra’s music librarian when I joined as General Manager in 2001. The amount of music sorted, prepared, arranged, bowed and transported in that role is legendary. Martin combines first-hand experience of complex orchestral projects alongside a refreshing no-fuss expertise in the Music Services he delivers.” Andrew Connolly : General Manager, BBC Concert Orchestra.
- Royal Opera and Royal Ballet : as an employee (music librarian, preparation and assisting on all productions over a 5 year period, also arranging and orchestrating for specific Royal Ballet productions and galas.
- BBC : as an employee (music librarian and supervisor, arranging, orchestration, preparation and artist assisting for the BBC Concert Orchestra over a 6 year period)
- Royal Opera House : as a freelancer (arranger and orchestrator for numerous ROH Learning "Take Five" projects, creating orchestral and choral arrangements of opera classics)
- Royal Ballet : as a freelancer (Many piano reduction arrangements including "Fearful Symmetries", "Ebony Concerto", "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland"; full new orchestral score arranging, orchestration and preparation of Kenneth MacMillan's "Isadora" 2009; Chance To Dance Learning Projects including Stravinsky's "Firebird" arranged for 15 instruments, Jeffes' "Still Life At The Penguin Cafe" for 15 instruments and a new reduced and shortened version of "Swan Lake")
- BBC : as a freelancer (arranging, orchestrating and preparation for Royal Variety Performances, Electric Proms, Children in Need and others)
- English National Opera ("Sing Hallelujah" mass choral singing project)
- Jonny Greenwood (Assisting and preparation of the scores and parts for "Popcorn Superhet Receiver" and the soundtrack sessions for "There Will Be Blood")
- Paco Pena (transcribing from recordings and arranging for this flamenco guitar supremo)
- Vasko Vassilev (transcribing, arranging, orchestrating and preparation for albums and tours)
Descriptions of Services
Arranging and Orchestration
I can arrange and/or orchestrate music of any style or genre for any occasion or ensemble of musicians, whether that be a reduction (i.e. orchestral score reduced to solo piano) or an expansion (i.e. song into choir or piano into orchestra) of the original work. These services will also include the creation of the full score and, where required, the preparation of instrumental or vocal parts.
Using Sibelius software I input and prepare musical scores and parts to the very highest standards. Starting from handwritten manuscripts or emailed pdfs, jpegs or midi files I produce performance-ready printed and bound copies on high quality paper with all necessary markings, annotations and page-turns. I also create song and lyric sheets with chord symbols and tabs where required.
If you have a recording for which you need music I can transcribe the recording and prepare for you sheet music for whichever instruments you require. I am also happy to offer this service in person, assisting in the studio by notating music as it is written. This can be particularly useful for songwriters and artists who require sheet music which can then be arranged for band, strings, brass, etc.
Recording and Production
I offer a recording and production service which clients can use to create high quality demos and backing tracks. These can be particularly useful for film, theatre and dance work where directors and choreographers require adaptable backing tracks with which to work before a live band is available or final recordings are made. I can sync changes in these recordings with scores and parts that are in preparation.
I have ten years of professional experience as a Music Librarian and Supervisor, working in the music departments of the Royal Opera House and BBC. I can therefore offer a freelance service that obtains, collates and manages musical materials for orchestral or ensemble concerts and recordings and for film music sessions. I can also mark up orchestral parts and scores with string bowings, cuts, etc.
Assisting, Consulting and Project Management
My experience as a composer gives me a rare insight into the requirements of creative professionals. I also have a great deal of experience in liaising with and assisting conductors, singers and performers. I offer a consultation and project managing service to aid in the planning, budgeting, production and implementation of music projects.
My music technology journey began with pencil and paper, before graduating, in 1989, to C-Lab Notator on an Atari 1040 STe. I started using the first version of Sibelius software on an Acorn computer at the Royal Opera House in 1996. Since then, through Logic, Cubase, Ableton, QLab and recently Pro Tools and Max/MSP I've strived to keep on the front foot of developments in music and sound tech. I have creative experience in both live music and recorded music, and can offer knowledge and good practice in the combining of those two mediums in performance and recording.
I am also able to offer training or teaching in certain aspects of Music Services : Arranging, Orchestration and Music Preparation (the general theory of score and part tradition, method and technique, as well as more specifically the use of Sibelius software) along with the specifics of music technology and production techniques that can be crucial in developing a) sheet music into high quality computerised-sample recordings and b) the reverse process of making music composed using DAW/VSTs into scores and parts. This tuition can be in person or via Skype/Google Hangouts.