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Composing the College: Natalie Roe on creating the music for the RWCMD brand film

How do you encapsulate the essence of the College through music?

Croeso, RWCMD's new brand film...

RWCMD’s brand film showcases the breadth of innovative, diverse, and fascinating projects that are constantly taking place in our building. 
The film celebrates the collaborative spirit that brings our students and staff together as creatives.

How do you encapsulate the essence of the College through music?

Composition grad Natalie Roe is the College's Student Union President for the second year running, and has got to know the College pretty well in the six years she’s been here. 

That, and her composition skills, made her the obvious person to compose the theme for the College’s new brand film.

‘When I was thinking about how to approach this, I wanted to try and give a sense of the unique atmosphere here at RWCMD. What makes it so special is the positivity, sense of community and the inspiring environment which students feel here.

The challenge was to translate all of that into sound – capturing those different elements, but also showing the student’s journey, developing as an artist throughout their time here.’
Natalie RoeSU President

Creative collaboration

One key factor in the creative process was collaborating with students to help create the different sounds. For example, the harpist you see in the film, Tilly Whates, recorded the harp for me which I then edited and manipulated electronically to make the transition sounds.

The voice on the soundtrack calling the ‘The house is now open, please do not cross the stage’ is Stage Management student Will Hughes – I checked with him on the right language to use for that – which I then edited to give the impression of hearing it through headphones from the point of view of a stage manager.

I didn’t want to rely just on acoustic sounds, as the College represents so much more than that. To reflect its diversity, I incorporated contemporary sounds using a synthesizer. Since electronic music is my passion, I knew it had to be part of the composition.

I worked with RWCMD’s Head of Composition John Hardy – which was an incredibly inspiring experience particularly with his extensive and successful background and work in film music. John and the whole composition department have always been such supportive and enthusiastic mentors and tutors to the composition students, and I will forever be grateful for this.

Thank you so much to College and the team behind this video for giving me the opportunity to compose for this film. It was a joyous project to be a part of.

‘Sound of the City’: composing for Cardiff

Since working on the brand film, Natalie has been announced as one of four composers given a ‘Sound of the City’ commission by Cardiff Council as part of its major new music festival, Cardiff City Music Festival this autumn. 

The commission included a four-week residency supporting the artists to be experimental and creative with their craft.

Diolch yn fawr – a message from the Marketing team

The brand film was a true College project because it was all about collaboration. We couldn’t have made it without the help of so many students and staff, and it really brought us together to celebrate the RWCMD creative community. 

We’re excited to release it, and hope that as many of you share our film as possible.

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