Friday, January 3, 2014

EXCLUSIVE: Artwork & notes from 11 Disc Collector's Soundtrack set

As announced last year, Silva Screen are releasing an incredible limited edition Doctor Who soundtrack boxset featuring eleven discs of music spanning every era of The Doctor. This magnificent collection, due for release very soon, comes presented in its very own TARDIS boxset and is a must for any fan of Doctor Who music through the years. Also included in the set are notes from classic Who composer Mark Ayres and notes from various composers through the years.

In this EXCLUSIVE series for Blogtor Who, Silva Screen are releasing these fascinating notes ahead of the boxset's release. Today sees Part Seven which includes notes from composer Elizabeth Parker and Mark Ayres (which are abridged and will continue through this series). Also included are the front and back covers for The Seventh Doctor disc included in the boxset (click on them for bigger versions. Many thanks to Silva Screen, visit their site HERE.

My first experience of working on Doctor Who was creating sound effects for The Stones of Blood. It was the hottest August in the mid-1970s and I was holed up in the studio with the chance of a lifetime to do Doctor Who sound effects while Dick Mills was on holiday. I was still on attachment at the Workshop so it was an amazing opportunity to prove myself, if somewhat scary... to put it mildly. I used a lot of guttural vocal sounds from myself, slowed right down and looped around the studio - as was the custom in those days! - then multilayered so that, as the stones lumbered along splurging blood, this hissy, deep, groaning, sucking sound emerged from them.

Timelash, for which I did my only set of Doctor Who music cues, had a deliberately funky metallic feel to it, if I remember rightly. It made a change from doing sound effects for Doctor Who’s great rival, Blake's Seven! It was, I think, one of the first series I ever wrote incidental music for and I really enjoyed getting tangled up in the story... I wish I could have done more, actually.

Abridged album notes from Mark Ayres [Part 7]
The following year [1987] prolific producer and touring musician Keff McCulloch joined the team, bringing with him another theme tune arrangement and a new, “pop” sensibility inspired by the likes of Art of Noise. For the final two years of "Classic Who", the team was Dominic, Keff, and some chap by the name of Mark Ayres. By this time, Sylvester McCoy was the Seventh Doctor, following in the proud footsteps of William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker, Peter Davison and Colin Baker. In 1989 Ghost Light was the last story to be made. At the wrap party, we all wished one another well and "see you next year"... but it was not to be. Doctor Who was put on permanent hiatus (though nobody was brave enough to say that it was actually cancelled).

Four years later, Kevin Davies made an hour-long documentary for BBC1 - Thirty Years in the TARDIS - and was kind enough to ask me to write the music. The rather doom-laden final cue reflects the feeling of fans at the time, as it seemed the good Doctor would not be returning to our screens. But the following year when we created an extended More Than... version of the documentary for home video release, rumours had begun to circulate that an American co-production was on the cards: hence the far more optimistic re-score!

Thanks to Silva Screen

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