Meet the man behind many a CCC medley: Paul Campbell
What can we say about Paul? Well, he’s the one we call when we’re thinking up new programmes and want to mash up the hits! As partner/owner at Studio Orchestrations, Paul is an expert in arranging music to suit any ensemble and genre. We recently caught up with him to ask a few questions about life in the studio, as he’s been busy working on several pieces in The Haunted Concert Hall programme. Here’s what he had to say:
What do you like most about your job?
“Can I have two things, please? I love that no two weeks are the same – I get to work with lots of different, really talented people every year, which is fun and exciting. I also love that my studio is at home, so I can be near my family and play with my kids and see my wife as soon as I’m finished work (no rush hour traffic)! This part has actually been even more fun during lockdown…!”
Do you have a favourite instrument in the orchestra that you particularly enjoy writing for?
“Not really – I love writing for and learning about all the instruments of the orchestra (and even the ones that aren’t orchestral). Every day is still a school day for me. What is amazing is when I hear other musicians putting all their energy and expression into something I’ve written. They are all on my team!”
Which instrument/s do you play?
“I say to most people these days that I play the iMac! 😂 My main instrument is Piano and I studied Trumpet at the Royal College of Music in London (it’s under the bed most of the time now though). I also enjoy conducting my arrangements, whenever I have the chance.”
How long does it take to arrange a piece of music and how do you start?
“It normally takes a day or two to arrange a piece like a song. Medleys can take longer. I start by collaborating with the people I’m writing for and finding out how I can best express what they need in the arrangement I’m writing for them. Sometimes I just sit down at the piano and have fun with the melody and harmony, until I find a way into what I need to do. Other times, I’ll have a sound in my head, then try to write that down. It’s all about teamwork when you’re putting on a great show!”
Which CCC arrangement have you most enjoyed creating and why?
“The Showtime Medley, without a doubt! It was such great fun to work out all the musical jokes Owen and Olly would play on each other onstage and experiment with lots of different percussion instruments. Then there’s a special composition premiering soon, which I’m also *really* excited about!”
On that note, Paul has written a brand-new piece especially for us, based on Lewis Carroll’s poem, The Jabberwocky, that will feature in an Essential Orchestra concert in the Spring – so stay tuned.
A big thank you to Paul for giving us some insight into how the magic happens!