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About

Jason Staddon is a musician/composer/songwriter based in Cardiff, Wales. His background in music started with the classical guitar and slowly moved towards more alternative and popular styles later on in his music education. He studied composition at Royal Conservatoire of Scotland with Gareth Williams where he won the Craig Armstrong Prize and the Thomas Wilson Prize. After his time in Scotland, Jason moved away from classical composition and began writing music in more of an alternative style. The fascination of writing classical music never left his writing style and it still influences his choice of harmony, colour and song structure.

Jason’s recent work has been in theatre, film and indie music writing for Everyman Theatre, Pagan Films and Joby.

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Projects

Here you can find past projects Jason has written about including his time with Scottish Opera, writing for film and his time at the composer’s marathon.

Album (2017)

‘I am currently working on a album of original songs for voice, flute, sax, piano, percussion, drums, guitar, bass and string quartet. I am hoping to start recording late 2017 with the release date sometime after that.’

501 Days (2016)

‘I wrote the score for a short film by Pagan Films in 2016 written and produced by Laurence Clarke and directed by Tom Hockey. It’s an intimate little short about a couple chosen to be the first to visit Mars. I wanted to highlight this intimacy so limited myself to using only guitar and voice. I used electronics to manipulate the sounds and add layers to create this soundscape. The film has been nominated for an Ouchy Film Award: http://ouchyfilmawards.com/en/501-days-2017/

Here is the trailer.

Joby (2015)

‘I started the band Joby to get back into writing indie/alternative music. As a band we recorded one EP and two separate singles. We received lots of radio play with 3 different tracks including BBC Radio 6 Music play on Tom Robinson’s Introducing Mixtape Show. We also made a music video for our first single Lost Again which can be seen below.’

Equus (2014)

‘I have always enjoyed writing music for theatre as it always evolves and changes throughout the process. Things always need to be taken away and other bits added as the scenes change. Equus was performed at Chapter Arts Centre and was directed by Tom Hockey. It was an amazing show and received excellent reviews:’

http://community.nationaltheatrewales.org/profiles/blogs/response-team-critic-s-review-of-everyman-s-equus-horses-for

Scottish Opera (2014)

‘When I lived in Glasgow I worked on a project with Scottish Opera which included running a programme of skill building and creative workshops for families who experience homelessness.  The sessions worked towards a performance of an original opera created by the whole group.  The libretto for the opera came directly from the people involved and we introduced this aspect in the very first morning session.  We asked the adult group to write four words on a post-it note giving advice to a tourist visiting Glasgow. During the next morning session I went away and composed a song including all of these lyrics in the narrative order they had decided on.  The project ended with all the participants taking part in the performance of a brand new chamber opera they had helped to create themselves.’

Composer’s Marathon (2013)

‘The day arrived in which ten composers had to write a piece in 24 hours for an ensemble they had only just been informed of!  I was one of these composers, both terrified and excited by the prospect!  There was a muted buzz around the centre as everyone busied away on their pieces, now and again asking their ensemble to go over a few things in the score.  I was given Knox and Ion to work with.  An acoustic guitar duo for Live Music Now who specialise in Jazz.  Their stylistic approach to music is very different to that of classical musicians and I wanted to write a piece that echoed this. I had a seed of an idea for a week prior to the marathon.  For some time I had been thinking about how my background in Rock, Pop and Folk music fits into the modern style of classical music, so I decided to reference this music. I chose Norwegian Wood by The Beatles as a theme, it’s a sort of museum piece hanging on the wall, lingering in our memories as we reminisce.  The piece I then wrote for the duo was to be played over The Beatles track in a different tempo and time signature.  I used strummed chords on both guitars to act as waves of colour designed to come in and out of the theme.  I called it ‘I enjoy playing the guitar’.’