Tutor Profile - Adam Taylor

Adam Taylor is a long-time composer and music technology lecturer who works in our Bristol HE St. Thomas Street campus, where he teaches on Sound for Games & Apps and the FdA Music and Audio Technology course.

It's always interesting to ask people what they wanted to be when they were growing up. For Adam, there weren't any interesting dreams, though his aptitude for maths at a young age did result in several, "you'd make a good accountant" suggestions from teachers. That however, would not be the path for him. 

Where it all began

Despite it being his primary focus today, the life of a composer was not what initially drew Adam to music. Instead, music took hold of him during the heady days of being a teenager and heading out to club nights. It was there that his love for electronic music first started, leading him to save up for his first set of turntables, which led to several years of DJing house music. 

The first seeds of his love for composing for picture would come five years later during a sound for film module at college, a strange occurrence for Adam as it's now a module he teaches at dBs Music!

Moving on from college and Adam would go on to specialise in Audio and Music for the Moving Image, Game Audio and Orchestration, developing an eclectic array of skills that recently contributed towards him achieving a distinction in a Music for the Moving Image Master of Arts degree.

Now five years into his time at dBs Music, Adam remains an invaluable member of the team at our Bristol centre; always passionate and ready to share his expertise, and so enthusiastic that you can't help but come away inspired. 

Getting to know Adam

Now that you've got a little background on Adam's journey in the music industry, we thought we'd get one on one with him to talk about the things that really make him, "him". 

Favourite album/artist?

Adam: "For the artist and album I'd say it's the Italian composer Ludovico Einaudi. I find his music really interesting… it's kind of melancholic, but catchy as well. And the album that I particularly like is called 'Islands'. 

Favourite film(s)?

Adam: "This one is really hard, but I'm going to have to go with The Dark Knight trilogy. I like superhero films, but I really like the darker side of them and I think that's one of the only sets of superhero films that I can really connect with."

Favourite video game?

Adam: "I think it's going to have to be Horizon Zero Dawn, just because I was so shocked by how good it was. I really like innovation and completely new things, and that game was something really unique and I loved the narrative."

Favourite TV show?

Adam: "I think anyone that I've taught over the last three years would know that it's Game of Thrones. I used to talk about it so much in class!"

What did you think of the last series?

Adam: "I really liked it. I think some of the criticism was that it ended quite quickly, but I find that with a lot of series, it starts out amazing and then it just drags out. I liked the ending and that it didn't drag out, but that's a very controversial opinion."

Most memorable gig? 

Adam: "I went to watch Hans Zimmer in 2016, and that show definitely helped during that transitional period from electronic music to film music. It really solidified what I wanted to do in composition."

Favourite meal?

Adam: "I think you know this already. It's a dirty, unhealthy burger from Bristol's Three Brothers! The fries they do there really complete the experience, too."

What's the dream musical project? 

Adam: "My dream musical project is to work on one of the high-budget HBO series, something like 'Westworld'. I really like the idea of spanning music out for lots of hours. In 'Game of Thrones' I found it really fascinating how he's [Ramin Djawadi] establishing musical themes in season one and then he's unwrapping them over several hours. 

If money was no object, what would be the first thing you bought? 

Adam: "It's not really an answer, but if money was no object I'd write a piece of music and then get it performed by an orchestra. That's up there in the 'dream sphere'."

What about in the 'dream' studio? What's top of the list?

Adam: "It's quite a boring answer, but I'd love to have a computer that was powerful enough to have a couple of 100 instances of Kontakt open at once. I don't know why, but I find myself getting excited over hard drive racks and the possibilities it opens up!"

Finally, what's a guilty pleasure of yours when it comes to music?

Adam: "I really like 80s music. The really cheesy stuff like KC and The Sunshine Band's 'Give It Up'.  I don't whether it's because it reminds me of those cheesy nights out at university, but I've got a real soft spot for it."


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