My Music: Cellarscape interview

As part of our music special issue, Matt Chapman checked in with MyM magazine’s interviewee from one year ago… 

In May 2014 we chatted to a singer/songwriter who scores film soundtracks, writes books about popular TV shows and had just recorded a solo album that blew our socks off (it’s called The Act Of Letting Go and we still give it a spin at least once a week). We began our interview with this introduction: “A year in the life of Paul Terry might include work on a new Cellarscape album, a major publishing project and laying down temp tracks for a British blockbuster movie.” To help celebrate our music special edition, and with it being exactly one year on since we last spoke, we decided to put that introduction to the test…

Cellarscape - Paul Terry

Based on our conversation last year, you’ve got a lot to live up to. No pressure, but what’s happening on the music front?
The Act Of Letting Go has been nominated for Best Eclectic Album 2015 at the 14th Annual Independent Music Awards! The calibre of judges is huge – you’ve got Amanda Palmer on there, Shelby Lynne, Weird Al Yankovic, an editor of Rolling Stone – so I’m extremely happy and grateful to be nominated.

I can also exclusively reveal that I’m already writing the next Cellarscape record, which will be called Exo Echo. I’ll probably record in 2016 for release in 2017.

I’m also doing a side project called Mech Wendigo with Dave Draper, who has mixed and mastered my last album. Mech Wendigo is all about everything Cellarscape isn’t: huge drums, crashing riffs, distortion – we’re having a lot of fun with it. The name blends mechanical, for sampling and industrial tones, with wendigo being something much more organic sounding but still quite feral. We’ll be putting out a record in 2016.

And you’ve also released the soundtrack from the short film The Furred Man?
Director Paul Williams and I were almost biding our time as to when we release the score officially. Then almost by accident and the crazy lives we lead we realised 2015 will be the fifth anniversary – the official press screening was in October 2010 in the Science Museum IMAX. The Furred Man is now online of course and it’s still getting booked for festivals, which blows our minds. We’re approaching being the official selection at 50 festivals now.

What’s happening on the film front?
I’m working on a documentary project called Creator Owned. The director is Len Ciccotello and it’s essentially celebrating artists, writers, independent creatives who operate outside of the big two comic companies – Marvel and DC. I’m attached to that as a producer and the composer. Since Comic-Con 2014 we’ve already interviewed some wonderful people and they’re shot and in the can so that’s coming together beautifully.

The short film Care that I scored has also done amazingly well. It’s already received its 17th official selection since it started its festival journey less than a year ago. Director Tristan Aitchison should be very chuffed with that. It’s already picked up an award for artistic direction at La Guarimba, which is one of Italy’s biggest film festivals. The Care soundtrack is out now from SkyBabyRecords.

The score for the drama Emily, featuring Christopher Eccleston and Academy Award nominee Felicity Jones – we were all extremely thrilled for her that that happened! – has also just come out. Felicity is not only the lead in Emily, she’s also one of the producers and it’s a very personal project for her and writer/director Caroline Harvey, who’s a BAFTA nominee herself.

What was great was that when we went back to master the soundtrack we rediscovered a demo we did that works as a full song. We were able to complete it and now it’s at the end of the soundtrack. It’s super-tiny and intimate but it feels like a nice exit.

Any more film or TV tie-in books our readers might enjoy?
My frequent collaborator Tara Bennett and I are currently working on The Art Of Sleepy Hollow. The crew and the art department, from make-up and costume to VFX and locations, have been amazing and have opened their vaults to us. Since January we’ve been looked through gigabytes of artwork and interviewing those people. I think that’s going to be a pretty special book.

Is there anyone you’d like to thank?
So many people. The IMA nomination isn’t just for me, that album is a collaboration with a ton of extremely talented people. That includes the string quartet of Fra Rustumji, Nuno Carapina, Tom Wraith and Joe Fisher as well as Tony Lewis, Nik Jones, and my strings co-arranger James Bellamy. I’d also like to thank the team at Xpo North for letting us screen Care and talk about it. And I definitely have to thank BBC 6 Music’s Tom Robinson because he’s been a huge Cellarscape supporter since Epinephrine. He cares a lot about supporting independent artists, and his new album is out very soon too.

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