As a child I listened to music when the lights went off as it helped me to sleep.
I have been performing music since the age of 6, and started composing a couple of years later. This early exposure to music was largely choral liturgical so it’s not surprising that I began writing in this genre first. My older sisters listened to lots of different music and were a big influence on my young tastes. In the school holidays I made mix tapes of pop tunes they had passed on to me.
Throughout secondary school, college and university I became friends with a number of brilliantly inspiring musicians, many of whom are now at the top of their fields, across the music industry.
My first experience of music was as a choirboy at Bath Abbey, and then at St Paul’s Cathedral. We sang daily as part of the age-old great Anglican choral music tradition. Surrounded by the music of Howells, Britten, Stanford, Parry, Mozart, Bach, Bruckner and Byrd, my ear grew accustomed to lush harmony (especially Howells) and serene melodies, which I tried to imitate on a practice room piano at weekends. Over the years, the St Paul’s Cathedral Choir commissioned many new works by British contemporary classical composers for the English Anthems CD series, including works by William Mathias, John Taverner and Francis Jackson and Francis Grier. Often, the composers would come in to talk to the choir about the pieces before they were recorded on to disc, which was particularly inspiring for a young composer.
My love of film music sprung from watching endless Spielberg/Williams/Lucas work in the 80’s, with a sprinkle of Silvestri, Horner and Elfman. Later, the music of Morricone, Schifrin, Hermann, Nyman and Glass opened up a world of different possibilities and a wider understanding of the ways music can complement, lead and follow picture on screen.
Meeting librettist Sue Curtis in 2007 resulted in a heavy shift towards Opera and Musical Theatre. Collaborating with her on Vice was my first experience of composing for the stage. This lead on to performances and workshops at the Arcola Theatre and Soho Theatre, as well as a workshop at Birkbeck College. Our second stage show, a short opera called Demon Lover, went into production at the Arcola Theatre. We have lectured on the process of turning a short story into an opera at the University of North Carolina and Arcadia University for the last 7 years.
Writing music for video games is a unique and time-intensive task. The process uses a lot of the same skills as writing music for film, especially for the mini-movie cut scene passages. Understanding of game structure and the software used to integrate the music into the game is also vital. I’ve worked on two video game scores since starting out as a professional composer.. most recently an the inspiring, and intreguing debut from independent software house Salix Games.
The Wrong Piano is a new creative outlet for Jools Scott; a vehicle to explore solo piano in a meditative and cathartic way. The core idea is familiar piano songs but with particular care and attention paid to creativity and musicality. Finding new colours and journeying with the listener to new places.