Students from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama have benefited from a partnership with the S4C drama series Y Gwyll / Hinterland enhancing their experience of composing for television. The scheme is the result of a partnership between the College, the Arts Council of Wales and the series producers, Fiction Factory.
In a series of workshops held at the College, the Y Gwyll / Hinterland production team – Ed Thomas, Ed Talfan and Gethin Scourfield – along with director Marc Evans, shared their wealth of experience in the TV industry. The students were then given an opportunity to compose pieces of music to coincide with scenes from the drama, and receive the team's professional feedback on their work.
Ed Talfan says, "We wanted to work with the College to share our experiences and expertise with the students. The idea of holding the workshops was a way for us to interact with the students, not only to tell them what we as programme makers are looking for in a music score, but also to give constructive and encouraging feedback on their work."
Nick Capaldi, Chief Executive of the Arts Council of Wales, said, "Y Gwyll / Hinterland is not only a cracking piece of drama, the series is a real celebration of Welsh talent. Conceived and created in Wales, featuring the best of Welsh writing, directing and acting talent, this is Welsh creativity at its best. But Wales is famous also across the world for its musical talent, and we are delighted to have been able to inspire a new generation of talent by giving them experience and exposure on the international stage. This collaboration will give them an opportunity to forge links with the commercial sector - vital for their future success in what is an increasingly competitive marketplace.”
The series' relationship with the College has been further strengthened as composer John Hardy, who was commissioned to create the opening music and dramatic score throughout the series, is the College's Head of Contemporary Music. He worked on the project with composition students, Benjamin Talbot and Victoria Ashfield, who have both since graduated.
John Hardy, the College's Head of Contemporary Music, said, “The students have gained valuable experience in many aspects of this kind of composing at a professional level. I have been deeply impressed by the work of the graduates and their dedication, professionalism, creativity and insight has already shown itself to be a crucial contribution to the exciting, but high-pressure process of creating the soundtrack for this exciting new series."
S4C has welcomed the partnership and is encouraging more co-operations between independent companies to share resources, information and experience. S4C Head of Partnerships, Catrin Hughes Roberts says, "Through a wide variety of projects and partnerships S4C are proud to offer training and educational opportunities for people to develop skills within the industry. The same is true of the independent production companies and the relationship between Fiction Factory, the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and Arts Council of Wales is an effective example of how to give students hands on experience."