Blackpool Coast Line – full journey

Over the next few months I intend to film the various sections of the Blackpool Tram route.Will post the sections as they are completed

May also edit a single version which is the entire tun in one video.

Here is the first section I filmed.

Will arrange them in journey order as I progress through the shoots and editing.

All videos are shot on an iPhone 6, edited using iMovIe.

First one up:

Little Bispham to Bispham and Bispham towards Uncle Tom’s Cabin

The Researcher

The way she approached her research
never gave up
It was always a pleasure
to work with her.
Sense of humour
confident in her abilities

The way she ate a melon
had always made him
she knew the effect on him.
He needed to have her
at his table
on a picnic
by a pool
on a train
in his car
in his bed.



Eating Fruit

 LIPS3 Eating Fruit

Tight, pink and wild, they sway to a gentle movement
stretched over a bed large enough to satisfy anyone.
Only the gentle sound of sighs broke through the silence of the morning,
as an accompaniment to the soft sound of the amber flesh
used to arouse and awaken.

Oh, to taste from tip to toe.
Of knowing when to start,
to sharing what you know.

Fruit always tastes sweeter in the glimmer of first light.
When hands, fingers, mouths are slow and bodies are tight.
To taste the flesh with the tip of a tongue,
To open and reveal,
To caress, to excite, a simple touch of delight.












You Say you want to Break Up

‘Break up’, you say you want to ‘break up’.                                                                                           I would fall apart, fall to pieces, become a                                                                               fragment in your story.                                                                                                                            Do not fracture my heart,                                                                                                             shatter my illusions or splinter my soul.

You say you want to break up.

Perhaps we could explode,                                                                                                                    blow up or blow ourselves apart;                                                                                                     better than letting it crumble,                                                                                                   deteriorate, decay, decompose at a slow, slow pace.

I don’t want to rot in your memory,                                                                                                 perish the thought, or collapse into                                                                                                                an emotional wreck.

You were such a wonderful degenerate in bed;                                                                                        I think we should teeter toward an                                                                                                                        informal bust up, rather then be smashed to smithereens.

I say I want to break up.









The Conversation

It started with a strawberry, cream and grapes.

It swayed to the beat of possibilities, subtle possibilities.

A short line here, an extended line there, a pause.

Suddenly it received a second rush of energy

with the arrival of a mango.

It developed and drifted onto a higher plane

but later the rain pushed in, the energy drained away.

Later it came, with the wave of a steady hand, to a satisfied conclusion.








The Conversation – two

It started with a stroll through the park,
then quickly developed into a situation which created a spark.
A thought passed through a mind to excite, to receive an invite.

Someone not too far away imagined cries, deep sighs, a movement over thighs
as the situation meandered through non verbal communication.

Remember the lost lover’s lament
Be kind, turn on a mind, let a seeker find.


Russian Lady


Russian Lady

She wanders around the
streets built by Caesar.
Alone, driven by a desire
to find an emotional home.

Quiet, inquisitive, a seeker
of something she cannot explain.

She feels, she writes,
seeks a fulfilment
that is always beyond her grasp.

I wonder about her,
wish her peace;
hope she finds what she is looking for.

A love deep and sincere.
A home warm and clear
of strife and fear.


Three Days in the Dark

THREE DAYS IN THE DARK – a Sepsis survivor

I am writing this piece as it maybe of use of to anyone who has a relative who may go through a similar experience.


I’m lucky, very lucky.

Though I have seldom been lucky in my life. I have always worked hard to achieve my goals in life. Though when the time came for Lady Luck to call on me she arrived at exactly the right moment.

The year was 2003.

I lived in a leafy area of London, Wimbledon.

I had been ill for several weeks. I kept getting antibiotics for what was considered to be a persistent chest infection.

I had an idea for a screenplay set in Hull, so I traveled north to stay with my mother in the North West with plans to go to Hull for research.

During my stay at my mother’s house the chest infection persisted. One night I woke up coughing blood (if that ever happened again, I’d go straight to A and E).

The next day I went to the doctor. She gave antibiotics, sent me for an X-ray.  I was then diagnosed with emphysema. I never really believed in that diagnosis as I had never worked in a mine, smoked or worked in an environment which had put me at risk of that disease.

I struggled on but I was getting worse. I could get about but there was a lack of energy. One symptom that emerged was at a family lunch to celebrate my sister’s birthday. I found it hard to swallow my food. I persisted. Said nothing.

Soon after that I went to bed.

Hospital – Blackpool Victoria

I woke up staring at the lights on the ceiling. I was in a hospital. 

It was the middle of the night. I clearly remember that I was happy to find myself in that place, I thought, “thank God, someone will sort me out now.’                                              

The following morning the nurses on the ward were really happy to see that I was conscious.

”Mr. Taylor, you’re back with us!” 

I assumed I had only been there for one night, I thought why all the fuss?  I had been there for three days.

One thing I do clearly remember to this day is the sound of my sister, Margaret speaking to me, she was whispering in my ear. I could not answer clearly, only mumble.

On the third day in hospital I had started to open my eyes but I was not communicating. (I know this from an entry in my mother’s diary (which I only read in 2017).

During my two week stay in hospital, I don’t remember anyone telling me that I had Sepsis. It wasn’t something I would have even thought about then as I was unaware of Sepsis or the symptoms.

The Recovery

I remember clearly that for a few days after I came round I was a bit distant, my memory had been affected. I could not remember the names of people who visited me. I knew family members but extended family members were just figures.

One of the ‘figures’ remarked, “he doesn’t know who we are.”                                                    He was right but I didn’t admit it.

I asked for an A4 writing pad

I instigated my own cure to kick start my memory/brain back into gear.

I started to create lists. I wrote down titles of films I liked, BBC shows, Radio 4, Radio DJs, TV presenters, TV programmes, titles of books, plays I had seen or read, authors I had read: DH Lawrence, Sylvia Plath, Charlotte Bronte, titles of Beatle songs etc etc

I made a list of people in the media, some i had worked with, some I had not: Melvyn Bragg, David Dimbleby etc

The lists were not organised, I just wrote things down as quickly as I could remember. Over a few days I felt my memory did start to improve. Whether the list making was a help or not in my recovery I don’t know; I do recall it certainly made me feel better and it was was a good way of spending my days sitting on a hospital ward.

I do remember a consultant who visited me. I had never seen him on the ward before but he knew something about me.

“Mr. Taylor, tell me, what do you know about embryonic stem cells?                                      I warmed to him straight away; he had clearly talked to the staff  who had told him about a TV documentary I edited for Channel Four.

The documentary had featured a lady in the US who had walked again after being in a wheelchair for five years. (She had stem cells injected into her brain.)

The Physio

Weeks after I was discharged I received a letter which referred me to a physiotherapist. I didn’t think I needed one, but… I was about to meet a lady who would transform my life.

At the first appointment she apologised, “I don’t know why you have been sent to me. I’ve only just received your file.”

She sat in front of me, read the file.

After a while she looked up, said, “I don’t think you realise how ill you have been. The doctor who saw you in A and E didn’t think you would survive.”

What had caused the persistent cough? After a CT scan I was finally diagnosed with COPD.  I have been lucky in that area too as it only affects a small percentage of my lungs.

Check Up

Five weeks later I returned for a check up at the hospital, I took a letter with me, handed it to the consultant who had treated me.

“Are you making a complaint?’ he asked. I was surprised by his question.

“No,” I replied, “it is a letter to say thank you for saving my life.”

“Oh, we don’t get many of those,” he replied.


Present Life

Yes, I was lucky. I never had any long term side effects from Sepsis or being in the coma.

I still play golf, walk, swim.

My memory did return to its ‘normal’ life.

Would my memory have been permanently affected if I had not started my lists? I don’t know the answer to that but the sheer fact that I was writing lists made me feel better. It gave me the confidence that I could clear my brain of the sluggishness that had appeared after I woke up.

Good luck to anyone who should find themselves in the same situation.

Do I have Sepsis?


Sepsis Survivors


Sepsis symptoms – children under 5



Ron Taylor (ex BBC film editor, sometimes director)

Now: Writer/Game Developer

‘Three Days in the Dark – a Sepsis survivor’

Written in April, 2017


Tom Liston – opening chapters




ISBN – tba



Tom Liston


Novel is dedicated to:

Ignaz Semmelweis (1818 – 1865)

and the NHS


England, 1855


The Arrival of Steam

         A steam engine pulls two carriages packed with passengers and the railway’s shareholders as it thunders through the Cotswold Hills. All are there to celebrate the ‘first run’ of the railway built and paid for by an enterprising public and shareholders.

         Inside a carriage a tall man stands to pass a drink to one of his fellow passengers. Suddenly outside of the carriage there is the sound of a large crowd screaming in horror.

        The steam engine flashes by; well wishers on a nearby hill watch in horror as the steam engine’s brakes screech, railway lines bend, a wheel rolls off the engine, one of the carriages sways off the rails, glass windows shatter, metal snaps.

Men, women and children who had gathered to see the first run of the train turn and flee for their lives.

         The train slides to a halt, steam floods through the carriage windows, passengers look terrified. Screams, sound of twisting metal and cries for help can be heard off and on the train.


        The steam engine now rests in its side. The man who had risen to pass a drink to a friend lies dead on the grass.

        The crowd who had gathered to celebrate the arrival of the steam train now scramble to help the injured and recover the dead.


South China Sea


HMS Hyacinth

        HMS Hyacinth cuts through a rolling sea. She is armed with sixteen 32-pounder carronades, the sails from the twin masted brig sloop billow as she catches a fresh wind.

In the distance flames and smoke rises from several Chinese villages as Hyacinth continues her service in the Second Opium War. She had a proud, efficient crew and an excellent surgeon the Captain liked to boast about.

Ten soldiers lie on the deck, some cry out in pain, a few are bleeding to death. Blood runs over Hyacinth’s main deck and seeps into the wood of the ship.

Mr. Christian, mid teens, blood stains cover his hands and arms as he gives first aid to the casualties on the deck. With some difficulty he carries a bucket of water as he scurries along the length of the ship’s deck; occasionally he stops to give water to weary, tired, dying men.

A soldier’s body wrapped in a white sail is lifted by four battle scarred sailors. They rest it on the top of the ships rail.

A Sailor steps forward to push a needle through the dead soldier’s nose which finishes the stitching of the sail. A short silence, a few words of a prayer, then the soldier’s body is slipped over the side of the ship. It hits the sea hard with large splash, then a silence. For a moment the body floats, the white sheet slips away from the dead soldier’s head revealing his face; hIs eyes are fixed on the cloudy sky. Then he slips quietly into the sea to join his comrades who had died earlier in the day.

Tom Liston

        A small cabin below Hyacinth’s deck. Neat, tidy, clothes near to the bed. A shirt hangs over a chair with trousers and shoes close by. Nothing is out of place.

Tom Liston sleeps but he is not at peace, he is restless, agitated, the dream of a railway accident sears through his mind.

‘No! No!…..’

Tom, full of sweat, wakes violently from his dream. He pushes himself onto his elbows, then sits up. Tom is mid thirties, a handsome man, clean shaven, he swivels around to sit on the edge of the bed. He looks like he needs another twelve hours of sleep; he contemplates the day ahead.

Someone starts to hammer on Tom’s cabin door, which then slowly opens.

A thick set black African man slowly enters, medium height, mid thirties, he looks like he would be useful in a fight. He steps into the room. Sees Tom on the edge of the bed, he quickly moves towards Tom.

Tom moans at him, ‘Francois.’

Francois is alert, bright, he looks like he has been awake for hours, he speaks with a French accent.

‘Get up! Get up!’ Francois puts on a bad English accent, ‘your services are required.’

‘How many?’ Tom asks.

‘Who knows?’ Francois shrugs his shoulders, ’there’s a rumour we’re going home!’

Cool Under Pressure

Tom is a tall man, cool under pressure, never flinches when they are under attack. His staff trust him, nothing is to too difficult when Tom gives an order.

They often joke that Tom would carry on working even if a cannonball dropped into the corner of the room.

      Tom hovers above an injured British Soldier who lies on an improvised operating table. Tom’s apron is splattered with blood. He sweats profusely as he fights to save the life of the soldier.

The ship suddenly lurches to one side. Tom and his assistants manage to stay on their feet, continue to work. Suddenly blood squirts from the soldier’s body toward Tom’s face, he sways to avoid being hit. The sailor’s body writhes in pain, then stops.

Tom grabs a wooden stethoscope, he listens to the sailor’s chest.

‘He’s gone! Over the side with him. Next!’ Tom strides across the blood-stained floor.

The soldier’s body is dragged off the operating table. Immediately the body is replaced by another injured soldier.

Tom slips his hands into a bucket of water, Mr. Christian watches Tom as he washes his hands thoroughly. Francois throws Tom a towel, he catches it.

‘I’ve never seen that before, Mr. Liston,’ says Christian.

‘Seen what?’

‘A doctor wash his hands.’

Tom smiles.
‘Tradition,’ Francois from across the room, a smile on his face, ‘Mr. Christian, it’s a French tradition.’

‘Hungarian’ smiles Tom as he examines the injured soldier who is half conscious, ‘not French.’

Francois mops blood from the floor, he comes to stand by Tom.

‘You still haven’t told me why, in the name of God, you wear odd socks?’

Christian laughs.

‘My mother’s tradition,’ he replies with a smile on his face. He turns to Christian.

‘Mr. Christian! Water, we’ll need more water!’

Christian grabs a bucket and runs from the room.

  A  blood covered soldier strapped down to the operating table. He sweats, moans. Tom examines the patient’s mangled leg, he leans over him to whisper in his ear.                   

‘Be brave, boy, be brave,’ Tom hesitates then slowly leans over the soldier, ‘I can’t save your leg.’

Tom nods to Francois who turns to a cupboard and pulls out a metal saw and a long sharp knife.

Tom takes the knife into his hand then moves towards the patient on the table.

‘Time me gentleman, time me!’

Tom quickly makes the first incision, he works at speed, confident, assured. God knows how many amputations he has performed on this tour of duty. All the days roll into one, has he been away from home for three months or one year….

  The previous patient from Tom’s operating table is now wrapped in a sail. Four crew members lift the body and drop it over the side of the ship. It drops with a deep and heavy splash into the sea.

The gulls circle above.


        HMS Hyacinth rises and falls through a rolling South China sea. Her route lit by a full moon.

Through the darkness a scream rings out from the ship.





        A stone memorial within a wide circle of stones. Three statures adorn the plinth: a man, woman and child. On the side of the plinth ten names, ten deaths remembered for a Railway accident.        

Mary Liston, smartly dressed, wears a hat, carries her gloves and a small bouquet of flowers. She is a  young woman, mid thirties.

She bows her head, closes her eyes. For a moment she drowns in a sea of emotions. A soft wind blows through the surrounding Laburnum trees.

Mary lifts her head, steps forward to lay her flowers against the plinth. She whispers a prayer, gently runs her fingers over two names on the plinth:

Robert Liston           Margaret Liston

        Mary turns, pauses for a second then walks away.


        A dilapidated warehouse masquerading as a school. A horse and cart are parked outside, a battered sign hangs by a thread on the side of the cart: “Piano Hire, Buy or Sell.”

A mother with her child run towards the school, she drags the boy through the front door.
A classroom door slowly opens and the boy creeps into the room and sits at his desk. He is the last to take his chair. The children are aged eight or nine. They sit at desks which are arranged in a semi circle.

In front of the children stands Mary, confident, independent, warm. She is a schoolteacher who has built her own school from local donations. She starts to move amongst the children who have slates to write on, a few have books. All the children could do with a decent set of clothes.

Mary sees her assistant Anne walk past the schoolroom door.

‘Anne, I disagree,’ shouts Mary, ‘our first principals are …’

Anne shouts back, ‘I disagree…’ She then enters the classroom with pencils, writing pads. As she comes through the door she trips up, drops the pencils, books onto the floor.

The children laugh. Mary helps Anne pick up the books.

‘Learning should begin with the child’s own experience, Anne. We should teach dance, singing…our first principle…’

Their discourse is interrupted by the sound of a large crash down the corridor, something heavy is being moved.

Anne steps back to the hallway to see:

two men pushing an upright piano on a trolley. She turns back to Mary.

‘Excuse me, Mary. I think our first principal is to save the piano.’
        Mary moves quickly to the door to see the school’s upright piano being removed from the school. She walks quickly down the corridor to rescue the instrument.

An ageing Mr. Duckett, the local piano tuner, and his young assistant push a trolley with an upright piano perched on the top. They are walk  towards the exit.

Mary walks quickly down the corridor to catch up with the men.

‘Mr. Duckett, wait! I thought we had it for another week?’

Mr. Duckett and his assistant stop. He looks at Mary.

‘Sorry Miss Mary, afraid we’ve have an offer.’

‘My brother can pay for it when he returns. How much?’

‘Seven and six a month,’ whispers Mr. Duckett.

‘How much to buy it?’

‘Twenty-three shillings.’

Mary hesitates.

Mr. Duckett nods to his assistant and they begin to push the piano out of the building.

Mary sighs, returns to the classroom.

Good News

A small teenage boy, Oliver, runs out of a shop, jumps on to a small buggy with a horse in harness. He speeds off.
        A man in his sixties rushes out of his shop, waves his fist at the departing buggy. He shouts!

‘Oi!’ he then smiles, ‘I want it back in an hour.’

Oliver drives the horse and buggy with skill, he speeds down the street.

After half a mile he is out of the town, he speeds past a disused railway station, half a mile further on he speeds towards Mary’s school.

Oliver approaches the school, he pulls up outside the front door, jumps off the buggy. He rushes past Mr. Duckett and his assistant as they struggle to get the piano onto their cart.

Oliver runs down the school corridor, finds Mary’s classroom and enters.

‘Mary,’ he catches his breath, ‘Miss Mary!’

Mary, a book in hand, quickly turns to face him.

‘What is it, Oliver?’

Oliver coughs, he can’t get his words out.

Mary moves closer to him to see if he needs help. He clears his throat.

‘Hyacinth, she’s back!’

Mary drops her book. Turns to Anne.

‘Go,’ shouts Anne, ‘go!’

‘ Oliver, this is not one of your tales?’

Oliver crosses his heart.

‘Hyacinth is home!’

Mary turns to Anne, ’the children?’

Anne grabs Mary by the arm, drags her towards the door, ‘just go, go!’

The children cheer.

Mary screams for joy; she runs out of the classroom with Oliver.


        Oliver drives the horse and buggy at speed away from the school. Mary hangs on for her life as he turns into the main road and narrowly misses running into a beer wagon.

‘Hey…’ shouts the drayman, as he swerves to get out of the way of Oliver.

Oliver and Mary speed on past open farm land, stables, isolated cottages,  a small church.

Oliver takes a short cut which takes them past a disused railway station. Mary glances at the station as they thunder down the road on the way to the docks.


        Several ships are tied up at the East India Docks; all available space is crowded with tea traders, porters and labourers who push sugar from the West Indies, timber from the North, tea and spices from the Far East.

Mothers, wives, lovers, brothers and children struggle through the traders as they make their way towards the dockside to meet their men who have returned from the Far East.

Oliver is unable to get close to the dockside. Mary can’t wait, she jumps off the buggy, runs toward the ships. Mary runs as if her life depends on it. Dogs bark, young boys with dirty faces call out to her as she runs past.

Oliver stops the buggy and scrambles after her. He runs through the crowd, he dodges past a drunk with a dog, crashes into a trader and his fish cart.

HMS Hyacinth tied up to the quayside. Men have already started to disembark. A noisy crowd cheers, waves, smiles and cries tears of Joy as soldier’s leave the ship. Lovers kiss, families hug, happy to see their men home.

On the deck of Hyacinth Tom and Francois pick up their bags, walk down the gang plank.

‘Thanks for taking care of me,’ murmurs Francois.

Tom smiles, ‘where should I send the bill?’

‘Any tavern in town…’

Tom laughs.

       Francois rummages in his pockets, pulls out a note, he hands it to Tom. It contains the address of a pub:

Lamb and Flag, Covent Garden

‘Come into town, anytime, we’ll talk about the good times….’

‘That will be a short conversation,‘ remarks Tom.

They both smile, shake hands.

Francois throws his bag over his shoulder, walks away. Tom looks around, he had expected to be met. He walks off.

In the distance Mary sees Tom, she shouts out: ‘Tom! Tom!’

      Tom looks up to see her, he smiles. Mary runs towards him. He catches her in his arms. They hug and kiss on the cheeks.

‘Thank God you are safe,’ she whispers.

A crew member from Hyacinth who Tom had treated for a minor wound runs up to him and grabs him by the arm.

‘Mr. Liston, thanks for your help, thank you, thank you’

Tom shakes his hand.

The crew member walks away, then turns, ‘if you ever need a favour, look me up…’

Oliver finally makes his way through the crowd. Tom sees him approach, he holds out a hand which Oliver firmly grasps.

‘Oliver, thank you for coming.’

The three of them walk away from the ship.

Mary puts her arm around Tom, ‘how long will you be home?’

‘A few months,’ he replies, ‘how is the school?’


‘I’m back at the hospital.’

‘Good, a safe, quiet life.’

‘Yes, safer than your school.’

Mary gently punches his shoulder. They walk arm in arm.

‘Have you managed to press gang more children?’

‘About a dozen, on a good day twenty.’                           

Mary looks at Oliver, ‘this one here is still thinking about it.’

Oliver smiles.

‘How was it?’ asks Mary

Tom hesitates, he lies, ’easy, not too many problems.’ 

‘No, really, how was it?’

‘Same as usual.’

Mary gives up on trying to get an honest answer. They walk away from the ship. Oliver runs ahead towards the buggy.

Mary looks at Tom with her best angry teacher’s face, ’Dr. Liston, you have my permission to take tomorrow off!’

‘And do what?’ he replies.

A woman and her small child run towards the ship to find their man.


A man hides in a narrow alleyway close to Christ Church, Spitalfields. He is mid fifties, a short man, large spectacles. He wears a hat and a well used overcoat which is one size too large for him.

Bingham wears the overcoat more by habit than it being a necessity. Down the street he sees Francois walking at pace towards the church. He steps out of the alleyway, shuffles towards Francois. They meet, shake hands.

        Francois and Bingham steadily turn and walk slowly back into the alleyway.


End of extract


Ron Taylor

‘Drive’ – game in development

I’ve moved into game development. Taken six months (not full time) to get my head around using Unity 5 but all is well now.

First game will be a driving game, four scenes, music and effects. The driver will encounter various obstacles which drop into his /her route. Will publish ‘Drive’ by end of January 2017.

Second game will be ‘Pizza Boy’ – a  journey full of hazards which he has to overcome as he tries to make that delivery of the Margherita with giant french fries.

More to follow.

Drive – Scene One:


Drive – Scene Three:


Pizza Grab



Made with Unity 5

A Day in the Life – Tristan Noon

Tristan Noon                                                                                          Twitter @NoonWithATune
Photo by Susan Legg

What is the role of an arranger?

I always think of arrangement as a bit of a loose term as it’s almost like orchestrating, except you’re taking a pre-existing work and using that material to dictate how to arrange it further. For example, you could take a pop song, and instead of having the guitars playing chugging chords, you could split that out and have the strings from Violin I to the Double Basses playing the chord.

Also, instead of having a synth part playing a counter melody, you could then decide that you now want a vocalist to sing that line. Sometimes it’s a case of using what material is already within the song, and sometimes you’re free to add the music parts you wish, to make the arrangement different (I would say better, but often it’s very difficult to make an original classic song better!)

How do you split your time between: performing, arranging, writing?

My time split between those three can be very varied from one week to the next so it’s tough to give a definitive answer. When I was at sixth form, I used to play in a few bands but never anything serious. Although we were fortunate enough to play at the Isle of Wight Festival in 2013 and the following year (strangely, with another band). I very much enjoyed the days of gigging, but it was never something I was fully focussed on, which often means that you’re not dedicating your life to it and I think that’s what’s required to be successful.

I have always felt, especially in the music industry that you can’t half do something. You have to go at it like a bulldozer and really put your heart and soul into it. With gigging, it requires an enormous amount of spending money to rehearse, get to venues and get merchandise out there, which will probably make very little revenue unless you hit it semi-big. I was never interested in doing any of that, nor playing to two people in a darkened pub on a rainy Tuesday. Eventually,

I fell into the writing and arranging, which is how I now spend most of my time. I also do Music Preparation and Copyist work, which means getting all of the parts tidied in Sibelius (a notation software that most of us use to get music ready before tight deadlines) and then printed, sorted into pads (Trumpets, Horns, Tuba etc). Scores are then bound before being sent to the studio to be recorded. Often, copyists sit in on the session just in case anything needs to be reprinted or if a music cue comes in late and needs to be reprinted at the session.

Where did you study music?

I studied very briefly at the University of Surrey in 2013 as an undergraduate, but only stayed for about three months after realising that it wasn’t what I wanted to be doing. It was mostly essay based and I just wanted to be learning on the job. Fortunately, I’d been meeting quite a few industry people when I was at sixth form, so I had begun to make a small amount of money which meant dropping out wasn’t as risky as it could’ve been. Around that time, I was at a Downton Abbey recording session and met composer Simon Whiteside.

A few months later, Simon was looking for an assistant and I was fortunate that he asked me. After that, I’ve been very lucky to do the things I that I have done, and have met many more people in the process. The whole business is about meeting people and forming relationships, which sounds like one horrendous cliche, but it is true. Since then, I got another job to assist Stephen Baysted, as well as the work for Simon, which keeps my job varied!

I also work on my projects with my own clients. I’m a firm believer in that you can write as many essays as you want, read about it as much as you want, but you can only ever learn and gain experience by being thrown in at the deep end. It’s really the only way I’ve ever known, and I’ve enjoyed every second, despite being in some very high pressured scenarios in studios and at my home studio.


Photo by Maree Lock.

At what age did you get an interest in music?

I was a bit of a later bloomer in the way that I found music. I’d always loved the sound of the piano in particular from when I was in junior school, but never had the courage to get lessons. When I started secondary school I finally began to learn the piano and at one point had the intention of being a session player or a performer. However, once I realised my sight reading skills weren’t ‘up to scratch’, I realised that was a no-go. I began to push myself into writing songs and using music recording software at home.

I was into the Beatles massively around this time (year 8) and I was obsessed by their incredible melodies and harmonies. My parents aren’t musical at all, but my dad has a great CD and vinyl collection, so I got into music that way really. He used to play me lots of songs by The Beach Boys, The Beatles, Billy Joel, Simon and Garfunkel, so I was very much into that and not the music that all the cool people were listening to, so I was always a bit different to the rest of the kids in that respect.

I new a bit about modern music, but at the time I wasn’t interested. I just wanted to play The Beatles’ music all day, every day, trying to work out their chord progressions. It was only really around year 10 when I went to one of the BBC proms that I realised I wanted to be a film/television composer. Despite not being a Doctor Who fan, I liked the score by Murray Gold, so my dad and I went along to the Proms to see it. I can’t tell you the feeling that came over me that day. It sounds so cheesy, but I had this enormous desire to write to picture.

The BBC had a live orchestra which was playing along to a screen which was hanging down in front of the audience, playing the footage. I loved the feeling that the music gave you when it was juxtaposed with the footage. How one note or even a chord can hit you emotionally; make you laugh, feel sad or angry. I just loved the feeling that it gives you, and I still do. When writing to picture, I get a huge exhilarating feeling when I know that I’ve finally nailed the mood of the scene, having slaved over it for hours. Although sometimes it comes straight away; the picture is the inspiration.

Do you use traditional scores for your work or a computer?

90% of the time, I’m working digitally on my computer, so there’s no need for scores unless you’re lucky enough to get your music recorded by live players. If I’m at a session, there will always be a score to ensure that everyone can see what’s on the page. Usually one A3 copy of the score is needed for the conductor, and one for the composer. Then 2/3 A4 scores are needed for the engineer, assistant engineer and potentially anyone else sat in the studio. The copyist will read the scores from their laptop so that another one doesn’t need to be printed out. It’s a waste of money and paper otherwise.

Directors/all clients like to hear what we refer to as ‘midi mockups’ which is basically a digital demo of what the score will sound like (with samples) before it is recorded by a live orchestra. It’s too much of a risk for a production company to trust everything that you are creating is what they want before they get to the recording session. To stop this potential major drama occurring, the composer will mock up each cue using their sample libraries (digital sounds). Once that is agreed, it is then sent to the orchestrator to create the scores and parts for the players, then onto the copyist for tidying, and to be printed and bound. If there are no live players, the mockups are kept and used. This is most common on something that a BBC1 or ITV1 drama where budgets are tight, so fake instruments are used instead of hiring a real orchestra!

Which software would you recommend to someone just starting over?

You’ll need a powerful computer with at least 16GB’s of RAM, but I’d recommend 32 to be safer. You’ll also need a sound interface and lots of hard drives to store sample libraries on. In terms of orchestral sample libraries, your best bet is to head over to Spitfire Audio and Orchestral Tools. They are the best for orchestral samples, and most of the people I know use most of the libraries they produce! Things like a keyboard are useful, but you can get away with inputting notes into a sequencer manually. I use Cubase 8.5 as a Digital Audio Workstation, so I write all of music music in that program. It’s very intuitive to me and simple to use.

Photo by Simon Whiteside

You’ve worked at Abbey Road studios. How did it compare with working in other studios?

It’s a pretty amazing place, but just becomes any normal building after having been there so many times. Though I still get a buzz when I walk through the gates, up the stairs and through the doors into the hallowed walls! The sound of Studio One in particular is a favourite. The room has been treated so well acoustically, it’s hard to make something sound bad in there. The first time that you go it’s important to tell yourself that it’s just a job, you can’t be star struck or in awe of the place too openly.

Everybody is simply doing their job and nobody kicks up a huge fuss about it when you’re in there. The history of the place is impressive, and sometimes you pinch yourself when going up and down the staircases where you see all the framed photographs of the incredible musicians that have recorded there. I think the fact that The Beatles had so much history there is one reason it remains very special to me.

Any advice for parents?

Be supportive. Your kid probably isn’t going to be earning much for the first few years, but once they gain trust and experience, they’ll find their feet. Often parents don’t want their children to do creative subjects because there’s a stigma that there’s not much money in it. That can be true, but I know a lot of people that make a good living from music. At the end of the day, I’d rather do a job that I loved doing, rather than spend my whole life doing something I hated, just to earn lots of money…

The art of composition – it’s not over until the final mix

Below is an example of the art of composition and how music is arranged to create maximum impact. In the 1960s The Beatles worked on eight tracks, now a composer can create a piece using 20 or 100 tracks.

In a piece for the BBC, Tristan explains how the music was broken down into small individual parts.

“The high strings are providing the melody (1st violins and the violas in octaves for added depth) and the 2nd violins, and violas drive the music forward with the repetitive ostinato-like figure. The celli and bass play accented crotchets to further drive the piece.

The Horns are providing a counter melody and then a similar rhythm to the strings are at bar 16 with the trumpets and trombones playing the melody in 8va.
Synths are adding power and depth and more rhythm to the piece.
Percussion (and choir) drive the piece with their rhythms.

     ‘Over the Mountains’ – full piece

   Synths part only

   Strings part only

   Percussion part only

Example of score


Tristan Noon – CV



Tristan Noon
Media Music Composer | Orchestrator | Copyist
0794 8494 246


He Thought of Her


He thought of her
walking through a dense wood
or on a desserted shore.

Lost in her thoughts.
Happy to be away from him.

She should escape more with her thoughts.
Explore the tranquility of space.
Massage her inner soul.

Yet when she returns
He knows she will want him.
Need his assured touch
His mouth, his love.

He thought of her
walking through the garden
skipping through the door
no need of anymore solitude.

His room.
His bed.
He waits.
Silence before a storm of desire.