"These tapes I had from the early eighties mainly consisted of film and
themes but they were brilliantly orchestrated and I think many of them
really well on their own. Subconsciously these pieces have probably influenced
more than the more popular artists."
In 1990 Chris gained a place at the Guildhall School of Music and Dram in London
to study Timpani and Percussion under David Corkhill (Philharmonia/ECO) Mike Skinner
(ROH and everything) and Terry Emery (BBC Symphony). It was while here that Chris
also learned to use a computer to create music.
"We had some Atari computers at school but I had never learned how to
but we were given a choice of additional subjects in our second year and
electronic music. I learned practically everything to know about "Notator"
Atari - and had a little experience with a MAC - these were early days
we still relied on tape to record audio -though there was an Akai sampler
didn't really interest me."
Chris began to build up his home recording equipment, with a Christmas gift of a
4-track Tascam Portastudio and bought himself other synths and microphones and a
second hand Atari computer.
"I actually got the computer off a past Guildhall student by chance, it
very well - I even got a hard drive for it (all 540MB) and still have it
not in regular use. Though not as flexible as today's computer it was 99%
In 1993, Chris's last year at The Guildhall, he put together an album of all his
compositions up to this time, recording a new version of "A23" at the Guildhall recording
studio. Also on the album were two pieces dedicated to his family dog Rosie composed
immediately after her death in 1992.
"It was all very sad of course, I had come home one night to find her dead
basket, great for her but a real shock for us. She had been part of family
all my teenage years so I just went upstairs to my "studio" and played music.
you hear was just improvised as I went along with any ideas I had perhaps
toying with. It was also the first - and probably the last - time I had used
to compose. I laid down the backing tracks for Part 1 at this point and all
for Part 2, overdubbing the drums and percussion parts at a later date. Despite
obvious errors here and there, it has a certain passion about it you don't
with today's recording techniques - there were no clicks or computers involved"
The resulting album titled "A23" was released on cassette and sold to family and
friends, with the front cover artwork drawn also by Chris. The track list ran as
2. The Apothecary's Dream
3. Variations on "Freefall"
5. The Bony king of Nowhere
1. The Larch
2. Simple Harmonic Motion
3. ROSIE I
4. ROSIE II
On graduating from the Guildhall in 1993, Chris began a career as a musician with
performing and teaching being his main source of income. He was also steadily building
up his studio equipment and experience.