Solomon Grey

by the partae

What is your name and role within Solomon Grey?

Joseph Wilson and Tom kingston. We are Solomon Grey.

Where are you currently based?

We have a studio in South Bermondsey, London at the Old Biscuit Factory. We’ve been there for nearly two years. We have a window, which in studio world can be a very rare thing!

You have a soundtrack coming out at the end of September 2017 for a 6 part BBC1/Amazon drama series called “The Last Post” –  Deadline posted about the series:

How did this collaboration come about?

We had worked with both two directors for the series before. Jonny Campbell on a tv show called The Casual Vacancy and Miranda Bowen on her debut feature film titled Gozo. Mark Pybus, one of the exec’s had also been onboard with Miranda’s debut so he got us in for a meeting and we went through our ideas/plans for the soundtrack. Luckily they liked our plan and we got the job.

Have you ever worked on a soundtrack before?

Yes, slowly getting a few under our belts. We have done both tv and film. Still relatively new to the game but it’s been going well.

Were you given any guidelines before working on the soundtrack?

Not really. We were lucky enough to have a lot of free reign. The way we work normally is that while the show is still in pre-production we will write a considerable number of cues. Different styles and moods that have been influenced by the script, locations, directors vision etc. See what seems to be working and then develop more from there. This process takes a lot more time but seems to work.

How did you approach writing the soundtrack?

We had some basic ideas. As said before we wrote music before filming started. We wanted to do a load of recording with Arabic musicians, which we did. We recorded vocals, oud, kunun, table and integrated them into our sound. We played some of the early cues to the actors on set. They liked the idea of hearing what might be playing during a scene. That was fun.

We also used audio from set/location within the cues. Derek Mansvelt the sound recordist helped us out a lot. By the time they started putting first assemblies together the editors had 30-40 cues to work with.

Where did you record?

At our studio in London and at the wonderful Soup Studios in Limehouse. They had everything we needed including a beautiful tape machine, we couldn’t of done it without them. Strings were recorded in Hungary and the synths were recorded at a friend’s studio near Chichester.

Who produced?

We did.

What instruments were used?

22 piece orchestra, 18 string 2 trombone, 2 French horns, Cs80, kunun, oud, tabla, mellotrons, organ and a beautiful piano at soup studios.

You must be very familiar with the series by now, what are your thoughts on it?

Very very proud of it. Hope the people like it. You never can tell but it was an honour to work on such incredible material. Peter Moffatt’s script is amazing and both directors seem to be pushing the boundaries of British drama. Visually stunning and intricate character studies. Should be a perfect Sunday night in!

Doors are certainly  going to open once the series goes live, do you have any expectations as to which doors will potentially open?

Just one of the many that are shut now.  That’ll be enough. Maybe the one to a very cool British independent film, or an American series?

What are you listening to at the moment?

Ryuichi Sakamoto – async, Stina Nordenstam – People are Strange. Aaron Copeland and lots more

Picture Shows: Alison Laithwaite (JESSICA RAINE)

How did you get into music?

Parents record collections. Lots and lots of gigs as children. We met doing a covers band. 10 piece soul and funk for weddings and balls. It’s been the main thing in both our lives since day one. Can’t believe we get to do it as a job!

What equipment do you use?

We work in logic. Not so much out board. Next door the lovely people let us use the cs60 and Juno. We have an upright piano and a lot of instruments that we are just about proficient enough to play.

Top 3 icons?

As in symbols? The exclamation mark in the triangle, the one with the letter that means you have mail and the bird on twitter.

If you mean people, Mandela, Partridge and Wonder Woman.

Favourite food and place to hang out?

We are both vegan. So miss cupcake in Brixton Village. That’s where the crazy things happen.

When and where are you playing next?

We are just finishing our album this week and then planning a tour in Feb next year. More info soon. Promise.


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