Meet a "Music" Developer

This week's interview will be with Aaron Spencer a freelance music composer from the UK.
First, please take a moment to introduce yourself.

Hi, my name is Aaron Spencer and I am a freelance sound designer/composer for games, film and television.

My role within a collaborative process is to work alongside developers producers and directors to help design the sound that goes with their media.
I use synthesizers, computers and live instruments and vocals to create music based on my interpretation of what the director/producer has in mind.
Though I try to surprise them, by using music in a way they wouldn't expect in a way that compliments the images.

What is your role within app development.
My role is to create the sound that goes with media be it specialist designed music that compliments the visuals or sound FX that set the soundscape.

What is the size of the work you do?
I work from home when possible in my studio but often have to call upon musicians I know for vocals or live instruments, It really is a collaborative process:

I may be the person that writes the music but what you have to remember is each instrumentalist, each technician, each runner is part of the process.

What is the your business model?
I offer a service, I work for all different creators of media, if someone wants music for their project they can contact me, tell me their audio budget(even if there isn't one) and I use that money to create tailor made music for their project...and I get to keep the money that hasn't been used.

What platforms do you develop for?
I have produced music for iPhone games, Internet media live performances and Films.

How many Apps have you published (Commercial Work)
I've worked on two iPhone games with Jayant Varma at OZ Games.
About 10 different live performances,
A few classical music performances,
And a few small time films.

What was your flagship project that you think brought you to the limelight?
I wouldn't say that an individual piece has brought me to the attention of others it's more to do with the wonders of the internet and my determination, I send countless e-mail, i run my website and i bother directors until they decide to listen to my music which has lead to work.

Which is your favourite project you have worked on?
I worked on a small film (straight to DVD nothing fancy) that really allowed me to do what i want, it was a psychological thriller that allowed me to make the orchestra bring the emotions to life clearly: working with an orchestra is always fun.

What is your music that you have not created?
hmmm, tough, pretty much anything John Williams has created, he is a true musical genius in my eyes at least, I hope to become that good by the time I am his age, but I'll be pleased if I'm half as good.

What is your favourite device (Computer & Phone) and why?
I'm going to have to be my laptop, not because it is in anyway cool, quirky or high performance, it just runs my business, plain necessity.
Recreation wise my PS3 is such a fun console, first person shooters are my favourite games...many wasted hours spent on Call of Duty games.

Can you tell us a little bit more about the small film you worked on?
yes it was about a man who gradually looses his mind, and you whiteness the emotional state his loved ones get in as he starts to loose belief in the world around him, eventually he takes his own life and his son finds him. It's very sad and I'm not afraid to say I cried, which I tried to show with the orchestra.
I am, however afraid to say I can not remember the name of the film for the life of me [laughs].

What was the inspiration for the film?
The visuals, as with all my work I tend to show what I see in a musical way.

Do you advertise for any apps you have published? What was the outcome/results?
Every piece of work I do is advertising, if I work on a project for free for example the one thing I want is my name on the credits, and it has lead to more work in the past, it's a good feeling being told that you've been headhunted because somebody liked the work you did on something else, it's why I give each piece my all, even if I'm not getting paid.

When did you start composing?
I started about two years ago, I fell in love with the music created by Hans Zimmer, he composed the music to great films: Inception, The Dark Knight, Pirates of the Caribbean and i use his music heavily as inspiration, that and John Williams who scored Star Wars, Jurassic Park, Jaws...all the classic films.

How did you get into composition? What attracted you to this?
I have always been into music, i started guitar at the age of 4, piano at the age of 10, and i recently got a violin...which i really am bad at. All I have ever wanted to be good at is music and the top job with in music is writing it, not performing it in my eyes, if you have a whole orchestra playing a symphony the violinist will only get to play their section, but a composer can write everything, for every instrument then get to hear it come to life when musicians play it back to them, it really is a magical feeling.

What is your favourite music to write?
I like electronic music, but equally i like orchestral music, it really depends on the piece, a mixture of the two can be the very interesting to compose and hear back when it all comes together.

Do you have any GitHub repositories or OpenSource or code repos? (Free Music)
No, but I'd like to recommend myself? [laughs] I can imagine free, pre-made music is okay if you aren't really fussed about the sound. But a study shows that visual entertainment is 50% audio, sometimes more (in relation to movies). So tailor made music is a good way to improve game ratings.

What do you do other than Development?
I am currently studying Music technology and Music Composition in order to better my knowledge of music production, in my spare time try to find time to socialize and play console games, maybe some paintball if I get the opportunity.

What is your method of commute?
To work? I have a home studio, and I am within walking distance of an orchestral hall for live recordings. When I meet clients using public transport when possible although mostly I talk to clients online, skype, Instant messengers or just e-mail.

So what is next in the pipeline for you?
My plan is to carry on composing music for anything that comes my way. In the long term I'd like to move to L.A to compose for Hollywood films, but that really is the royalty of film composition and would be a dream come true.

What advice would you give to other composers out there?
Never turn down a job offer, even if you need the sleep! it could land you better job in the future or simply more work.

Would you want to provide your contact details if any one would want to get in touch with you.
Certainly: if anyone wants me to make music or sound fx for their project you can e-mail me at: ,or at: and no doubt I'll reply immediately, well I'll try at least.

It has been nice talking to you and nice working with you as always Jayant, be sure to contact me in the future if you need anything audio.