Scotland launches bid to become ‘world-class’ hub for film, TV and computer game soundtracks

A bold bid for Scotland to become a “world-class” base for recording film, TV and computer game soundtracks has been unveiled.

Scottish composer and conductor Blair Mowat worked with the RSNO on the soundtrack of Sky's forthcoming yuletide ghost story The Amazing Mr Blunden. Picture: Lorimer Macandrew

The Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO) has set out ambitions to establish its headquarters as the “go-studio” for soundtracks outside London.

Newly-installed facilities at its purpose-built base in Glasgow, which have seen the RSNO become the first orchestra in the UK to boast its own recording studio, will be promoted to producers around the world in a bid to secure their projects.

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The development of the RSNO Centre on Killermont Street, which has an auditorium with moving walls that can be adapted for chamber or full orchestral performances, is expected to provide a huge boost to the country’s screen sector, which boasts film studios in Glasgow, Bathgate, Cumbernauld and Leith.

It is hoped the soundtrack studio venture will also help other orchestras and musicians work on soundtrack projects in future.

The new facilities have already been used for a Sky adaptation of The Amazing Mr Blunden, which saw Edinburgh-born composer Blair Mowat join forces with the RSNO.

RSNO chief executie Alistair Mackie said: “In Scotland’s Studio, we’ve created a state-of-the-art facility that will give the RSNO another string to its bow in the post-pandemic landscape as the only orchestra in the UK with its own recording studio, while also giving Scotland’s developing film industry a new facility to support its offer nationally and internationally.“

The Scotland’s Studio venture has been backed by Richard Kaufman, one of the world’s leading conductors of film music.

Edinburgh-born composer and conductor worked with the RSNO to creatre the soundtrack for his new Sky show The Amazing Mr Blunden. Picture Lorimer Macandrew

He said: “In the tradition of the great studio orchestras of Hollywood, the RSNO is consistently brilliant in their understanding of the film music genre and in their passion for playing music created for motion pictures.

“Composers, production companies and ultimately audiences will find the artistry of the RSNO and their recording of original film music a truly extraordinary experience.”

Mowat said: “Scotland’s Studio is a world-class facility and a game-changer, not only for Scotland, but anyone looking to record in the UK.

"We’re in desperate need of more recording studios this size to meet the pent-up demand, and the players in the RSNO rival the best in the world.

Scottish composer and conductor Blair Mowat worked with the RSNO on the soundtrack of Sky's forthcoming yuletide ghost story The Amazing Mr Blunden. Picture: Lorimer Macandrew

"We were delighted by both the experience we had recording with them and also the sound we achieved on the final recording.

“It was an honour to be the first film score to record here, of which I’m sure there will be countless more.”

Mowat revealed he had seen Elmer Bernstein, composer of the score for the 1972 film of The Amazing Mr Blunden, conduct the RSNO on a school trip nearly 25 years ago.

He said: “When I got the gig, I immediately called the RSNO to see if they could record the score for this exciting new remake.

Edinburgh-born composer Blair Mowat worked with the RSNO on the soundtrack of his new Sky show The Amazing Mr Blunden. Picture: Lorimer Macandrew

"Happily, the stars aligned and it was a dream come true to be composing and conducting for an orchestra that meant so much to me growing up in Scotland.”

Scottish culture secretary Angus Robertson said: “The Scottish Government is committed to developing our screen infrastructure and this new world-class facility for recording film, television and games scores will make the country even more attractive to international production companies.

"The new studio will also contribute to growing a sustainable economy for the creative industries.”

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