Al has been nominated for the Royal Television Society West BEST MUSIC Award 2012 for his score for the BBC's Empire Of the Desert Ants.
'..One of my favourite composers and a fantastic guitarist..' - Guy Fletcher OBE - Chairman Of PRS For Music
From his modest studio environment in Bristol, UK, Al has written and produced the music for some of the BBC's most stunning marine, environmental, wildlife and adventure films. He is also known for his work on many documentaries that have explored emotive and highly charged subjects, often involving key moments in art and history.
“We are all wanderers on this earth. Our hearts are full of wonder, and our souls are deep with dreams.” Anon
But there’s another side to the story - equipped with mobile recording gear and guitars, Al creates new music during rambling voyages – exploring coasts, islands and the stretches of open sea between them. Taking inspiration from the ocean, coastal cultures and road trips, he shapes a music that reflects a search for the real and the raw.
Down To The Sea In Ships
Al's floating studio during these voyages is a 29ft yacht he sails with his wife, filmmaker Jenny Jones. During their summer cruises, he plays and records guitar, surf, sea birds and dolphins, as well as atmospheres, conversations overheard, street musicians, marching bands, church bells – anything that crosses his auditory horizon. These recordings provide a fund of musical ideas that evolve into albums and film soundtracks.
While Jenny is skipper of the boat, she is also a film director, and with Al on board as composer they have collaborated on films for the BBC, Channel 4 and Animal Planet – their favourite subject seems to be sharks, most spectacularly, the Great White.
Releases for 2012
In 2012 Al is making his music available to a wider public, outside the context of his broadcast films.
Bringing together his film soundtracks and brand new recordings in a series of linked themes, Al is releasing a number of albums throughout 2012.
First Release - for June 1st 2012:
The Living Soul - a journey into memory and place, an exploration of universal themes: the oceanic unconscious, love, loss, and redemption.
Personal, reflective and emotional, this album is played out with acoustic instruments, and features the hauntingly beautiful vocals of Abbie Lathe.
Seven videos featuring tracks from The Living Soul are available to view on Al's YouTube channel and FaceBook band page. They include footage edited from some of Al's most striking and haunting films for the BBC.
If you like Sigur Ros, Cocteau Twins, Max Richter, you will like this artist.
Manta Queen - Emotive and atmospheric soundtrack to the BBC film (winner of ten international awards) - Andrea: Queen Of Mantas. An exploration of the work of Dr Andrea Marshall, and her driven quest to gain protection for one of the most intelligent and strange animals of our seas, the Giant Manta Ray. This film was instrumental in raising awareness of the plight of these migratory ocean wanderers, and had a direct effect on the 2011 Bergen decision by the UN to afford protection to them in key areas of the world.
Shark! - An album dedicated to raising awareness of the plight of one of the most endangered of fish groups - the sharks.
The role of shark myths in the human psyche, our fear of sharks, a fear that may be rooted in an awareness of our own inner monster.
Al has written the music for a number of films about these amazing animals.Through this work, he has had access to some of the extraordinary people who study sharks in the wild, and has seen and heard their witness to the decimation of these ancient and beautiful predators. In many areas of the world's oceans the level of this extermination now appears to be off the scale and possibly catastrophic.
Hence an album of shark music, part travelogue, part history, part poetry, dark, as well as celebratory, a plea for coexistence, and thus a plea for the future life of the oceans.
This recording involves contributions from conservationists, artists, and philosophers, surfers, researchers and fishermen, people from all over the world whose lives are intertwined with this animal. It is a magical and emotional journey into the heart of our relationship with fragile seas, a true oceanic soundtrack.
The Navigator: A Sea Spirit - Deeply personal journey into the world of layered Spanish guitars, conceived at sea on a two month sailing trip from Los Christianos in the Canary Islands to the Saronic Gulf in Greece. This short album was finally recorded in a remote cottage overlooking the cliffs and Atlantic coast of Land's End Cornwall.
Meteorites - A road trip through an actual and remembered Morocco in 2012, the music of desert guitar, found sound, and disappearing nomads.
Al Lethbridge’s tracks