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Ben Salisbury


Emmy nominated composer, Ben Salisbury, has forged a unique and highly successful career. He is best known as one of the countries leading film and TV composers, particularly in the field of Natural History, where he has scored over 50 films — including the last 3 of David Attenborough’s ‘Life Of…’ series. His notable feature film scores include Beyonce Knowles’ directorial debut — Beyonce: Life Is But A Dream. He is also, though, involved with some of the UK’s most interesting ‘alternative’ bands, and has formed a critically acclaimed writing partnership with Porstishead’s Geoff Barrow.  The pair have so far released the album DROKK: Music Inspired By Mega City One, described by The Quietus as “jaw dropping.. one of the heaviest and most intensely atmospheric records of the year”, and there are further plans to continue a collaboration which, according to screenwriter/director/producer Alex Garland “sets an incredibly high bar of creative skill and integrity”.

A classically trained pianist since the age of five, his TV credits include the David Attenborough series The Life of Mammals, Life In The Undergrowth and the 2008 BAFTA winning series Life In The Cold Blood, followed by Nature’s Great Events, shown on BBC1 in February 2009. Sir David himself has described Ben’s score for episode 3 of The Life of  Mammals as “one of the best scores there has been on any programme I have narrated.” On 22nd of September 2009, as part of the celebrations for the re-opening of Bristol’s Colston Hall, Ben’s music for Nature’s Great Events, co-composed with Barnaby Taylor, was performed by the BBC Concert Orchestra, introduced and compered by David Attenborough, and received excellent reviews in the media. Other credits include Ocean Giants, The Nature of Britain, Congo and the Making Waves strand of 8 ‘behind the scenes’ programmes that accompanied the award winning The Blue Planet series.

He composed the music for the shorts The Dreamer (Evolution Films) and Going Home (Shooting Gallery/Channel 4), both directed by Miquel Sapochnik; and The Tooth Faerie (HTV/South West Screen). He scored Space, directed by Tim Morgan for Central Television; Hell and Back, an animated short directed by Andrew Wheeler also for Central Television; and Music Monster, directed by Tia Perkins for Nickelodeon.

He was nominated for an EMMY for his 007 influenced music for The Wildlife On One programme Operation Thunderball. The title sequence for Life In The Undergrowth, designed by Mick Connaire and featuring Ben’s iconic theme, won a BAFTA  in 2006. He won Best Music Video Award at The Missoula International Wildlife Film Festival for his score for Natural Tracks; and a further awards for Natural World-Transylvania at the Montana International Wildlife Film Festival and for Nature’s Great Events at the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival.
In addition to his large scale orchestral scoring, much of it featuring The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the BBC Concert Orchestra , he has also produced numerous elecronica/beats-driven scores for films such as the BBC’s Fatal Flower and Clarkson’s Car Years. For the award winning Natural Tracks series of 12 programmes he broke new ground; his score being based entirely on sampled animal sounds.
Ben is also involved in the highly influential Bristol band scene. As a co-writer and arranger he was an integral part of “stand alone Bristol sensation” Malachai’s critically acclaimed 2nd album — Return To The Ugly Side, and according to Pitchfork, he brings the album “a wide screen scope, with ominous orchestral swells…that give Malachai a heretofore unheard force and sinister majesty.” He also co-wrote and arranged tracks for The Beekeepers debut album — Apiculture, and was the string arranger on the Boca 45 album Vertigo Sounds. He is currently working alongside Geoff Barrow and Adrian Utley (Portishead) on a new album by Joe Volk, and is putting the finishing touches on a highly anticipated co-written album with Malachai’s Scott Hendy (going by the name of Dolman) which is due for release later this year.