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Hinterland’s John Hardy In Conversation

What tempted John Hardy to work on the award-winning Hinterland? And what advice does he have for emerging composers? Highlights from John Hardy In Conversation at the Cult Cymru Fair 2015.

What tempted John Hardy to work on the award-winning Hinterland? And what advice does he have for emerging composers? We’ve picked out our highlights from John Hardy In Conversation at the Cult Cymru Fair 2015.

It lifts me to a new place I’ve not been before.” Sometimes the value is in the people you collaborate with, says John. One thing that tempted him to work on Hinterland was the opportunity to collaborate with younger people.

“Everything changes all the time” – especially during the creative / production period. You have to be flexible, working to tight budgets and even tighter deadlines.  

“Does the music work around the dialogue?” Is dialogue audible over music? Is the music too crowded? Constantly be asking key questions of yourself and your work.

“There’s no such thing as the right approach.” You need to serve both the individual picture and director, says John. Producers and others may have different views, and lots of discussion will help you manage that.

“I never know what’s going to happen.” John came up with Hinterland’s theme before the first titles were even ready. It was re-arranged a lot. Then one of the drafts ended up as the title theme.

“Keep an element of flexibility in agreement and ownership of ideas.” As a composer, you may not always own the work you do. Or how else it may be used, in merchandise or on official soundtracks. So it’s important you understand your legal rights.

“Look for ways of making the music go further” – can it be used in schools, on apps or in new and interesting ways?  

The MU can help. We can advise on your legal rights, look over contracts before you sign them, and offer advice on making your music go further. Get in touch with your Regional Office for a 1-to-1 with a specialist


Published: 05/03/2015

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