With just a week to go until John Collier’s Blackpool Remembered ebook project is released, the website has gone live (where you’ll be able to download the book from Friday 28th August), and I have put together an illustrated trailer for the book (above), which also features my own version of the Doctor Who theme tune!
I have wanted to make my own interpretation of the famous theme music since I was a child. I finally started my own version back in 2015, but it remained unfinished until now – it is an incredibly complex piece of music for somebody who only plays by ear, but I’ve given it my own stamp. You can hear it in full over on my Soundcloud page.
Back to the book – it now has over 70 contributors and is over 350 pages, packed full of memories, stories, photographs, illustrations and behind-the-scenes accounts – the range of articles and information from just one exhibition is quite incredible. But if you’re a Doctor Who fan or if you did visit the original exhibition between 1974 and 1985, then you will absolutely love this project, which has been a genuine labour of love for its editor, John and we can’t wait to share it.
Here is my latest cover art for Alice Sabo’s forthcoming book, Willow’s Run. This cover is quite different to what we’ve done before, which made a refreshing challenge. Our first idea didn’t work out, but then Alice changed direction and the title of the book! We agreed that the new cover should feature a map with a few subtle items from the story overlaid.
For more information about Alice’s books and to keep up with the latest news, you can follow her on Facebook.
Above, you can see a teaser for some of my illustrations for John Collier’s upcoming free ebook, Blackpool Remembered. This exciting project is one for Doctor Who fans everywhere, but particularly those, like myself, who went to the original exhibition in Blackpool in the 1970s and 1980s.
With 70 contributors, the book is going to be around 300 pages of memories, photographs, interviews, floor plans and a whole feast of other Blackpool exhibition-related nostalgia. As well as the front cover and interior illustrations, I have also contributed three written sections and produced the year-by-year floor plans.
The project will have its own website, where the book can also be downloaded in PDF format, from 28th August. Watch this space for details!
I am absolutely delighted to be part of an exciting project dedicated to the original Doctor Who exhibition in Blackpool, which ran from 1974 to 1985 – which was the year I visited, as an awestruck seven-year-old.
Collated and edited by John Collier, Blackpool Remembered will be a free digital publication, documenting the evolution of the exhibition through fan memories and photographs, alongside detailed recollections from some of the people who made it happen.
Contributors include Julie Jones, Bob Richardson, Mike Tucker and Neil Cole to name just a few, plus a wonderful foreword from Steve Cambden.
I have illustrated and designed the front cover (below) plus completed several interior illustrations. In addition, I have rewritten and expanded my own recollections of the exhibition, which originally appeared in my 2011 publication, Who, Where & When.
If you’re a fan of classic Doctor Who and if you ever went to the first and most iconic incarnation of the exhibition, then stay tuned, as this will be for you! For further updates, head over to Twitter and follow @BlackpoolRemembered7485
Blackpool Remembered will be available to download as a PDF in August.
I also have another exciting Doctor Who-related project in the works, which I look forward to sharing in the near future. Needless to say I will soon be adding a Doctor Who section to the gallery pages here!
It is now over a month since the release of Chiaroscuro, and in that time, Here and Now and Berlin Stratum have had radio airplay, and Comfort Zone is included on the recent free compilation album, A Journey to a Time or Place.
However back to the album itself, here is a brief insight into my thoughts and inspirations behind each track.
BerlinStratum Everywhere you look in Berlin, there are layers of history, and you can feel that in the atmosphere of the city. But there’s also a modernism and sense of progression. I wanted to capture these contrasting moods in the music. There’s also the city’s musical heritage – my particular interest being Bowie’s time there in the late 70s. This all came together in a nostalgic and melancholic, yet dynamic track.
Comfort Zone After a reflective opening track, I wanted something more upbeat and optimistic. I entered a musical comfort zone… played my favourite chords, and fired up my favourite classic 80s/90s synth – the Korg M1.
Silver Screen More nostalgia from a time gone by… inspired by images of 1940s and 50s cinemas and the golden age of the big screen – monochromatic romanticism. The saxophone really brings the track to life and was a big departure from my usual style. This development would shape the rest of the album.
Afterimage The first of three more abstract pieces. The title came first. I love the haunting description of “an image that continues to appear in the eyes after a period of exposure to the original image.”
Here and Now The rockiest track on the album was partly inspired by one of my favourite albums, Bryan Ferry’s, Mamouna (1994). I really wanted to channel a similar mood and sound of the instrumentation as a kind of homage to Ferry’s masterwork. You’ll hear more Korg M1 and late night atmosphere.
Nightowls A track that transports you straight into one of Edward Hopper’s various night paintings, the album closes with a saxophone-led solitary piece. This was actually one of the first pieces I composed for the project, and I knew right away that it would be the final track.
I’m pleased to announce the release of Chiaroscuro; a new instrumental album inspired by city life and the layers of time. Nighttime atmospheres blend with nostalgic, melancholic tones forming a dreamlike musical world in which to escape.
“The world of chiaroscuro is one of contrast – between light and darkness, of transition between one realm and another. Colours blend, textures merge, and it is the difference itself which gives meaning to the whole.
Change is the essence of life, and contrast is the basis of understanding what it all means. This album takes us through an appreciation of how we can make sense of the differences that flow through our existence, against a background of the cities in which we live. They have their darker and brighter sides, and we need to grasp the relationship between them within ourselves.
Light and shade are part of the same process – one has no meaning without the other. We need both in order to make sense of the artwork that is our life.”
The track list for Chiaroscuro is as follows:
Berlin Stratum Silver Screen Afterimage Aberration There and Then Neon Twilight Evanescent Here and Now Nightowls
The full album download comes with a bonus PDF booklet containing a specially-written introduction by Richard Hayes plus a selection of my own photography juxtaposed with archive images that all represent the theme of Chiaroscuro.
I am pleased to present a brand new track and video – Berlin Stratum.
This instrumental piece was inspired by my stay in Berlin last year and evokes the atmosphere, history, architecture and music of the city. It is a track tinged with melancholy and nostalgia, but also one of progression.
Berlin Stratum is the first track on my upcoming album, Chiaroscuro. More details soon…
(Yes, that is a photo of David Bowie, framed in the window of the iconic Hansa studios, where he recorded the Heroes album.)
I’m pleased to announce a new, free digital publication, The Art of a Changed World – a detailed retrospective of the cover art I have produced with writer Alice Sabo, since 2014.
The Art of a Changed World brings together all my concept art, final cover illustrations and designs for Alice’s thirteen books to date – spanning science fiction, fantasy and thriller genres. It contains the stories behind each cover, as well as insights into the creative process alongside contributions from Alice, plus a wonderful foreword by Richard Hayes.
This project celebrates creative collaboration in the world of independent publishing – whether you are an aspiring or established writer, artist, publisher, fan or reader, I hope you enjoy The Art of a Changed World.
Click the button below or the image above to download in PDF format.