Jonty tells us how the film taster course went for him…

Think of your favourite moment from your favourite movie. I am almost certain that this will be accompanied by a fantastic score which enhances it. The shower scene in Psycho, the famous 2-note riff in Jaws, Darth Vader’s dramatic entrance; they would all fall to pieces without their music. I always felt like these scores were carefully crafted over weeks with love and passion. You can imagine my despair upon being asked to score 30 seconds of ‘The Life of Pi’ in 23 and a half minutes for solo cello.

After my initial shock I sprang into action (I say sprang, but I struggled with Sibelius so it was more of a stroll) Once I’d made Sibelius work the lengthy process of matching notes in Sibelius to points in the film began. This particular scene required drama and sensitivity. I began with a clear vision of what I wanted – only to be flawed by the piano sounds on Sibelius when I expected cello sounds. I soldiered on as the pressure mounted and by the end of the allotted time I was finished!

Because I had been listening to piano sounds on Sibelius the final recording was a real surprise!

I learnt from this challenge that time pressures are a very real problem for composers. Although I feel that I didn’t cope very well with it this time I am glad for the opportunity and feel like I will be much more able to approach the challenge if I am so required.