Me On Sound by Simon Power...
I've always loved sound. How you can paint pictures with it. Create your own worlds. A simple touch of reverb gives you a huge palace or a spooky dungeon. It's all about creating excitement and giving the listener more of it than they ever thought was possible.
I'm really very lucky. To have spent my entire career doing the job I love. Spending time with wonderful talented people in recording studios & post production houses. Learning whatever I can about the art of music production and film making. Creating new sounds and images. And hopefully making things that people can enjoy.
...A brief history
I sent a demo in to London's Capital Radio and got a job on the new Gary Crowley show.
I made jingles packages, on-air presentations and cut together interviews for what was to be a trail blazing new format show. They gave me a portable Nagra which meant I could travel round London’s studios interviewing artists & musicians.
I got to chat with the likes of Heaven 17, Marc Almond, George Michael, The Stranglers, ABC, Prefab Sprout, Morrisey, Annie Lennox. All kinds of wonderful people. Then cut the interviews together on a couple of huge Studer reel to reels for that evening's programme.
At the same time I teamed up with James Asher. A library music composer who did a lot of television themes and film music. He introduced me to the idea of stock music, production cues and the basic ins & outs of running a home studio set up.
When I left Capital Radio all I wanted to do was set up a studio like James Asher's.
I was given a helping hand by Julian Marshall (Marshall Hain), a song writer & friend of the family who let me use his equipment until I could afford my own.
Using Julian’s DX7 and an SK1 digital sampler, I recorded a track called ‘Get on The Floor’ which was released on the Champion record label.
Other releases followed and by the late 80’s I was recording music that was getting airplay on Radio 1’sJohn Peel Show.
Following this success I met a production team called Absolute. Together we produced a number of remixes and dance hits including ‘Don’t Make Me Wait’ and ‘I Want Your Love’. During this time, I clocked up enough vinyl releases to fill an entire record box!
Absolute went on to produce the Spice Girls, Gary Barlow, Girls Aloud & are now an Ivor Novello award winning production duo with 7 UK number one's under their belt.
Publishing advances meant I could now afford my own studio and I moved on to remixing for Rotherham based outfit, Music Factory. I worked on tracks with a number of people including Will Gregory who soon after became the mastermind behind Goldfrapp.
With a growing reputation I produced remixes & cover versions as a full time job. Music Factory eventually became Tidy Trax and as dance act Angel Deluxe I had one of the first releases, ‘I Wanna Be With You’.
My passion was still for film & TV music and when Music Factory set up a Library Music division for Sony Music UK, I was lucky enough to be contracted as one of the composers.
Then disaster struck and Sonyhit hard times with the Library Music idea being one of the first things they dropped. I was paid an advance, but the tracks I produced were never released.
Meantime I had been editing some audiobooks for a local firm. It was just a part time thing to help out, but as they got more and more successful they asked me to work there full time. Editing voice on quarter inch tape, engineering sessions and being on call for the actors & readers.
I was responsible for migrating the studios from analogue to digital production. Introducing a PC based system using platforms such as Soundscape and Wavlab.
After a couple of years this small provincial firm was bought out by the BBC Audio Division who decided to take over the studios as their headquarters. they gave me the post of Senior Audio Editor managing a huge output of BBC Audio releases.
Teaming up with BBC’s commissioning editors for Comedyand Sci-Fi I got to work on dream projects like the audio releases of Little Britain, Father Ted, Mitchell & Webb and The Mighty Boosh.
I produced interviews, replaced published music, composed theme tunes, made documentaries, compiled DVDs of archive footage for added value and came up with ideas for future releases.
After chatting to Sci-Fi editor Michael Stevens, it was decided that I could compose some music for the audio release of I, Robot. This worked well and I was asked to composed music and spot FX for a series of upcoming Doctor Who Classic audio releases read by, among others Tom Baker & Sir Derek Jacobi.
At this point, I had been selling music online for a number of years under the pseudonym Elliot Simons. This was beginning to become popular and finally I began to see my compositions being used on a number of radio and TV ads, short films & PlayStation games.
I also began in-roads into filmmaking with an intensive two year period spent with an experienced cameraman, learning alot of the techniques needed to work in that hugely competitive field.
So in 2004, after a few Doctor Who releases, I decided to go freelance and produce them from my home studio, at the same time setting up an online business for production music and web media.
This was meonsound.
A few years later meonsound was a thriving small business producing music & sound design for the BBC, buyout production music for a number of online outlets, Podcasts for websites, magazines & events and moving full time into the area of filmmaking producing over 60 documentary films for music technology website, Sonic State.
In the first few years, a number of high profile clients used meonsound. Pilkita (China), ITV1, BBC2, BBC7, Broadcast Video Expo, Freeverse Games, Yamaha, Love Honey, StormBasics and Mamas & Papas. Many of these brand leaders in their chosen field. All benefitting from a reasonably priced, efficient service and a touch of meon magic.
Now things couldn’t be better. My studio is now based in the loft of my Somerset cottage, surrounded by trees and hills and lovely folks and animals. I work all day and all night, but I try to keep weekends free, not get too obsessed and have a balanced life. But when you’ve got a perfect job like mine it’s hard not to get completely absorbed in it. I enjoy every minute, that’s for sure.
"I work with a great team on a friendly job-to-job basis...
Freelance producers, voiceover artists, actors, filmmakers and designers. It’s all very amicable. When the work comes in, I brainstorm it and work out who’s best to do what. When I can I’ll produce it myself, because that’s how I started out. As purely a one-man operation. But now it feels more of a little community. Which is great"
"Life can be really tough for small businesses...
They often end up with tiny budgets and impossible deadlines. In the current economic climate many industries are being squeezed dry and I work on a lot of projects where money’s really tight. But it’s benefited me over the years. I’ve learnt to work absolute wonders at affordable rates and people really appreciate it. I think that’s why meonsound is having such a golden period. The big corporate agencies find it hard to operate in this climate. As an independent, people are coming to me for cheap alternative solutions."
"Lots of little jobs..
I've produced work for lots of different genres over the years. Fashion, sport, classic cars, music and broadcast technology, sci fi and gaming. And meonsound has got so many new and unique ideas. I approach things from all kinds of new perspectives to find the right solutions."
"Success happens when you least expect it...
I made a short film about a vintage car and it won a digital arts award. The project only took one day to produce, and it was made with a really cheap camera. But it’s been very successful all round, which is really great. I think more than anything, it highlighted the meon media ethic. Working with great people, to produce affordable projects on a tight budget with limited resources. I’m happy doing anything that’s in some way connected to the arts and in particular web media. I find it very exciting and enjoyable work."
Simon Power is sole proprietor of meonsound.
"Roads? Where we're going we don't need roads." Doctor Emmett Brown