Today sees the release of my debut EP REFRACTION. The 5-track EP, which features my recent single Ballot, is available for download and streaming via all major digital music stores. To listen to or download REFRACTION click HERE to find it on your preferred platform.
Viewing entries in
An update on the recent re-vamp of www.oliharrison.com, including details of new pages and design elements.
News of the recent opening of the Syria: A Conflict Explored exhibition season at IWM London. Details of my work designing and installing the audio visual elements within the 2 gallery spaces.
A look back at my project work from 2016, including Sand Men, People Power and Lumiere.
Recently I have been contemplating the concept of networking as a freelance creative worker in the climate of 2016. This is a subject of major interest to me as a freelance music and audio producer. I'm constantly having to readapt my approach in order to survive and thrive. Building a network of clients and collaborators is crucial to freelance success, and there are many different ways to do this. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, LinkedIn, events, trade shows; there are so many different ways to connect with like-minded people. But for all of these tools that we have there are just as many questions; where to begin, how to make the right kind of connections, how to stand out from the crowd, how to get paid what you should be paid.
I was recently invited back to City University London to take part in a joint alumni/student event on the subject of building your network of contacts in the creative sector. As an alumni of City, I was approached to attend and speak to current students from the university's program of creative industry degree subjects about my experiences so far in networking. It was great to speak to so many talented individuals about their experiences of studying at City and their aspirations for their careers in the creative sector. I was happy to have the opportunity to meet them and offer some advice based on my early experiences in the culture and media sectors.
Although a great experience, the irony of the situation was not lost on me in that I consider my own approach to networking to be quite haphazard at the best of times. Lots of my most successful freelance work has come about through being in the right place at the right time, or being friends with the right people who have approached me to collaborate with them. How could I offer that as a strategy to the students at City University that evening? "Make more friendships and maybe one day they will turn into working relationships". I would have thought that was a bit of a cop out if I had been one of those students looking for guidance.
But however implausible it sounds, it really is the way that things happen a lot of the time. Sure I came out with the usual sound bites of "go to networking events", "get your online presence up", "get yourself some business cards". But the strongest message I could give them was to look around at the other people in the room and, instead of talking more with me, talk to them and build some new connections. They may one day turn into professional relationships, just like some of mine have done. At that point, as some of them took my advice and walked away I realised I had missed a trick, so I chased after them and thrust my business card into their hands. You never know, maybe I'll get to meet them again as collaborators in the future.
So my first alumni event back at my old school proved to be very interesting and got me thinking enough to write this post. Creative industries and freelance working are mysterious, challenging and rewarding beasts, and they are held up by the talented people you find within them. I was honored to have the chance to meet some of the future crop. Building a professional network is an essential skill that can be a hard thing to get right. If you want to share a thought with me on the subject feel free to drop me a line using the Contact page, or connect with me on Twitter.
As autumn well and truly covers London in a cool, golden-brown blanket, it is a perfect time for me to reflect on a couple of things that made summer 2016 such an entertaining, challenging and rewarding time. The summer sun brought with it some exciting projects and events that I was thrilled to be involved with. I had the opportunity to explore some new realms and also revisit some familiar surroundings. I'll cover these over the course of my next few posts, but for now I wanted to talk about 2 great music to picture projects I had the chance to work on during the tail end of summer.
In August I was finally given the chance to take my first step into an area I have wanted to explore for a long time. Advertising has always been of interest to me since my academic days at City University, where I learnt the important lesson that writing ad music is a very difficult thing. When writing for an advert, you usually have a tiny amount of time to introduce, develop and conclude a musical idea, whilst also representing the aesthetic of the brand in question.
With this in mind, this summer I jumped head first into my first advertising project. The advert was for "The Lumiere Collection", a range of bespoke diamond jewellery made by London-based luxury retailer William & Son. The ad itself was produced and directed by Leon Chew at Modern Parallax and my frequent collaborator Rick Blything was on sound design and mixing duties. You can check out the finished product below.
Once we had finished our work with Modern Parallax, myself and Rick jumped straight into working on our 3rd collaboration of the year so far. This project is called "Sand Men" and is a short documentary film written and directed by award-winning London-based filmmaker Tal Amiran. Sand Men gives us an insight into the incredibly tough experiences faced by migrant workers coming to the UK. Leaving behind their homes and families, many find that the UK isn't the land of opportunity they had hoped it would be for them.
The film is slated for a 2017 festival run and, based on Tal's track record, should be one to watch for you film festival fans. That about wraps it up for this post but I'll be back later this month with more news and some brand new music.
Happy New Year! I hope that whatever 2016 has in store for you will be fantastic. I myself am really looking forward to these first few months of the year as they will bring with them the culmination of some great projects I've been working on for a long while now. This will be the first in a series of posts filling you in on these projects so I hope you enjoy it and come back for more soon.
The first project I can unveil is my first forray into an industry that is gaining serious momentum. Escape Plan, the brainchild of Brendan and Kerry Mills, is an exciting addition to the UK's growing escape game market. Based in Elephant & Castle, Escape Plan offer a unique, WWII-themed escape experience that drops you right into a Great Escape-esque adventure. Players are given 60 minutes to test their mettle against a range of challenges and escape from the Stalag-Luft III-inspired barracks.
You can find out more about Escape Plan at www.escapeplanltd.com.
I was commissioned by the creators of Escape Plan for 2 pieces of work: to design both a sound system for the venue and also an immersive soundscape to accompany the game. The soundscape needed to help immerse players in the environment of a 1940's POW camp. Footsteps, scrapes, rustles, escape attempts, aeroplane fly-overs, weather; it was important to achieve a detailed sound environment. The sound design needed to adapt to different zones to give gamers the experience of the camp exterior in earlier game areas, as well as the interior of an officer's barracks later on in the game. To create these environments I had to gather a massive amount of raw sound material, which I collected through foley recording and sample libraries. The number of distinct sounds used in the soundscapes number over a thousand.
I had to be quite creative with how the soundscape would be played back, as the soundscape had to synchronise to an exact 60 minute duration but also provide the operator with the ability to jump to random playback points depending on the gamer's progress. I achieved this using Ableton Live coupled with an audio interface. This allowed for different sound material to be sent to different zones with everything being synchronised by Ableton's master clock. The soundscapes were mixed in 4-channel surround to achieve the immersion factor we needed, and with Ableton allowing us to synchronise multiple surround outputs together, we got great results from a modest, 8 speaker system.
Here you can listen to the climax from the last game area. The final 10 minutes of the game features a slow build up where sound elements heard previously layer on top of each other and are slowly morhped and modulated. As well as this, the outdoor camp soundscape from zone 1 builds to a climax in the background. The game finishes with the chimes of the grandfather clock. To hear it in all it's glory you'll have to pay a visit to Escape Plan and take on the game for yourself using the link further up the page.
That just about wraps it up for this post, so if you want to know more about this work or any upcoming updates from me just drop me a line using the Contact page. Also, keep checking the blog or my Twitter feed as there will be another update soon.
It's not what you know but who you know. My fledgling career is thus far staying true to that mantra, and earlier this year it struck once again. Through good friends of good friends, I found myself given the opportunity to diversify my portfolio with a new client; OWSLA. The Los Angeles record label, founded by Sonny Moore, Tim Smith, Kathryn Frazier and Clayton Blaha, were making preparations for an upcoming residency on London-based radio station Rinse FM and needed audio branding materials for the show. One recommendation from a friend to a another friend later and I secured the commission for the production work.
Over the course of a few weeks back in the spring I worked with audio submissions from artists on the label to produce a catalogue of stingers, sweepers and beds to be used on the show, as well as the show's intro. It was a great project for me as I got the opportunity to work with some great artists in a field I hadn't touched before professionally. Although the residency's air date has been delayed, this looks like it could be the start of a longer relationship between OWSLA and myself. In anticipation of an air date for the full show you can listen to the intro below, and as always any feedback submitted via the contact form on this page or my Twitter feed is greatly appreciated.
I'll be back with another update in January, so a Merry Christmas to you and thanks for being here!
It would be an understatement to say that this blog and website have been a little quiet this year, but that's about to change as many of the projects that have taken my focus away from self promotion lately are coming to a close. It's been a busy year so far but also a highly rewarding one, as I've had the opportunity to work on some really great projects with really talented collaborators. These projects have seen me expand my portfolio of film scoring work as well as branch out into areas which are new and exciting for me, including live installation and sound design work as well as producing radio promotional materials. Keep an eye on this blog over the next few weeks for updates and work from all of those projects.
Another recent development has seen me secure a feature on a new US/French-based composers forum called Unique Sound. The company has been recently set up to act as a portal for composers to connect with content producers and advertisers around the world. Getting a profile on site is on an invite-only basis so I feel proud and grateful to Thomas and the rest of the team at Unique Sound for approaching me. My profile will be live in the next couple of weeks and can be viewed on www.uniquesound.com.
In the meantime, I've just added a new piece of work to the website which you can check out below. Nuit Blanche is a 2010 short film directed by Arev Manoukian which won multiple short film festival awards. The video below is the film alongside a re-score I produced during my MA in 2012. Hope you enjoy watching and please get in touch using the contact form in the top right of this page if you have any feedback.
It's a Wrap
As promised last month, I can now share with you all the final version of Magnetism, featuring the finished audio mix with all sound design and my original music production. The film below is brought to you by Charlie Davies (https://twitter.com/CharlieHEDavies), with contributions by yours truly, Rick Blything (rickblything.net) and John Richards.
Feel free to share this video, tell your friends about it, wax lyrical about it, but most of all we hope you enjoy it. If you do and want to tell us how much you like it, feel free to drop me a line using the contact form on this site or via Twitter.
Exciting times are afoot as I can now at long last share with you my latest composition. This is hot off the press, not an old treasure unearthed, but a brand spanking new Oli Harrison composition!
As the title of this blog post states, this is indeed a film about pulling, but not quite the type of pulling you were expecting I bet, you cheeky devils! The film is called Magnetism (see what I did there?) and is a testament to the classic love story, except Romeo and Juliet have been replaced by C-29 and R-04.
A film which is touching, funny and tragic in equal measures, Magnetism is the brainchild of Charlie Davies of FACE (www.facecreatives.com), who produced, wrote and animated the film. I have been lucky enough to work on the project as the music composer and you can now view a version of the film featuring my original score here.
This version of the film is only meant as an advance preview; the final version featuring sound design and editing by Rick Blything (www.rickblything.net) and mixing by John Richards will soon be online, and will feature on this blog when that time comes. Keep your eyes and ears open as it will be well worth the wait.
In the meantime, I hope you enjoy watching this version of the film as much as I enjoyed scoring it!
Some things have indeed changed around here recently. I wouldn't expect many of you to notice straight away, mainly because my self-promotion strategy up until now has been stuck in the contemplative stage, which may have impacted somewhat on the number of visitors to this corner of the internet. That's all about to change now however as I am finally ready to launch Operation World Domination, and what better way to begin this operation than with a brand new logo! That's right, below you can behold my new self-designed logo in all it's glory.
Prepare to see this logo on cards, flyers, billboards and blimps near you soon!
As well as working on this logo and incorporating it into the design of this website, I've also been busy finishing off my most recent composition project which will be available for you to view here very soon. The project is called MAGNETISM and was a collaboration with Charlie Davies, Rick Blything-Smith and John Richards. It's in the final stage of mixing right now and should be online before the month is out.
In the meantime, I've uploaded a few old sound design pieces to act as hors d'ouvres before the main course that is Magnetism. You can check these out here.
Thanks for reading, and if you want to get in touch use the contact page link to drop me a line.
It's been a while I know, but I'm back with a blog post to give you news of exciting things which will soon be appearing on new pages across this website. I will soon be posting new entries to my film music and film production portfolios as I have been busy over the last few months putting the finishing touches to a couple of big projects as well as acquiring a few more which I'm about to get stuck in to.
As you can probably deduce for yourself, this is the first blog post I've written here this year and I wholeheartedly apologize if you've been waiting with baited breath. There have been a few projects which have been monopolizing my time this year but I offer no excuses for the lack of activity on this site. Shame on me!
The projects I have been beavering away on this year have included remixing some old pieces of music to picture which I produced during the first year of my MA and the last year of my bachelors degree at Leeds Met. I'll be uploading these periodically over the summer and autumn so keep checking back here or keep an eye on Facebook and Twitter.
Alongside this remix work, I've been revamping my home studio, gaining new inspiration from different avenues, and generally enjoying life. But the biggest, most challenging, most time-consuming element of my existence this year has been my involvement in the regeneration of my workplace: the Imperial War Museum. We have been working behind closed doors to overhaul many of the visitor spaces and build a new First World War gallery to celebrate the centenary of the conflict.
My work on this project has taken a few different forms but has mostly involved contributing to the AV equipment specification and fit out, as well as producing video content to be displayed in the new spaces. This has been a mammoth job and on the 19th of July the public will get their first opportunity to see the fruits of our labour. For those of you interested to see some of the new content but can't make it to the museum, keep an eye on the social media wires and this blog as I'll be uploading examples of my film production work for the IWM to new pages in the Film portfolio section of this site.
The last titbit I have for you is that I have started work on my first original piece of film music since I left City University last summer. It's shaping up to be a great little project involving some immensely talented individuals...and me of course!
That's it for now but I'll be back with another update soon. In the meantime I'll leave you with this exclusive image from the new atrium space at the IWM. Exciting times!
Welcome to my first attempt at designing a website. I've designed this site to be a place where you can take a peek into my past, present and future work, and also get a little info about me as a composer, sound designer, performer and guitar teacher. By using the main navigation at the top of each page you can view information, images and videos about me and my work. Keep checking back as I'll be regularly updating this blog with my own ramblings about the world of music, and in particular my involvement in this exciting world of ours. I'll also be regularly updating my portfolio page with examples of work, both past and present. If you want to get in touch with me, there are various options open to you. You can use the contact page, which can be found by using the main navigation above, or alternatively you can reach me on Twitter, Facebook and Vimeo by using the icon links found in the footer of each page. Also, you can leave a comment after any of my blog posts and I'll try and respond as soon as I can.
I've been working on this site for around 2 months now and designed the whole thing myself in Squarespace. I will be the first to admit that web design is not my forte but hopefully you will find the functionality and content of the site easy enough to navigate. The examples of my work currently occupying the portfolio section are exclusively taken from the body of work I produced during the second year of my MA at City University. This is my most recent work, and as a result is probably the best representation of where my head is at right now. Over the course of the next few months I will be revisiting my older back catalogue and remixing/remastering certain elements and uploading them here periodically. My production and mastering skills are a little more advanced now and I've got a lot of old work which could benefit from a 2013 upgrade!
Apart from this trip down memory lane, I currently have plans in the works for a few upcoming film-related projects, but more details on those will have to wait for another day. I hope that you find something on these pages which amuses you in some way, but if not, let me know and I will endeavor to upload something to suit your browsing needs.
Watch this space...