Andrew’s musical career doesn’t have a start date because rumour has it he was born clutching blank sheet music that over the years he’s filled with some scribbles, lots of gems including his music from his Curved Air days and the early ’70s Prog Rock movement – an era Andrew was very much part of, an era that saw rock music elevated to a new level of artistic credibility.
That credibility has stayed with Andrew his entire career and although best known for creating the iconic music for Teletubbies and Rosie & Jim he is also a serious song writer and film composer. Andrew also gives a tremendous amount back to the industry by advising and supporting up-and-coming talent, helping production companies so they always get the best musically, and through his work with BASCA (the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors).
1. What are you watching on TV?
Torchwood, Have I Got News for You, various movies invariably on BBC’s iplayer in the wee small hours.
2. What song would you have loved to have written?
Anything by Holland, Dozier and Holland and/or most of Dark Side of the Moon.
3. What is your greatest extravagance?
Guitars, accordions and hurdy gurdys, oh and mandolins, bouzoukis and bagpipes … and don’t forget harps, weird Chinese and African instruments, plus the unique and baffling eigenharp.
4. What’s the one thing you couldn’t live without?
Music, musical instruments and my juicer.
5. If you could perpetuate a myth about yourself what would it be?
That I did actually write most of Dark Side of the Moon.
6. What are your all-time greatest movies?
So many – from Fritz Lang’s Metropolis to Martin Provost’s Seraphine via O Brother Where Art Thou and the Coen brothers’ blacker-than-black A Serious Man.
7. What’s the biggest lie you’ve ever told?
That I wrote most of Dark Side of the Moon.
8. What keeps you awake at night?
Actually not a lot.
9. What would be your top tip for up-and-coming composers?
Write something every day without fail, walk the walk, talk the talk – and for goodness sake get out there and meet people because they won’t come to you. And smile.
10. Does the way you work now differ from how you started out
I have a few more tricks up my sleeve these days but try to maintain the youthful innocence and enthusiasm with which I approached music way back.
11. What do you think of the changing platforms for viewers to watch programs?
They are indeed changing with no end in sight but I draw great comfort from the fact that while the platforms may change the journey remains the same – the telling of a story and while we’re at it, when can we expect to see the wristwatch TV that I was promised in The Eagle comic in the mid-sixties?
12. What are you working on at the moment?
In the final throes of mixing my solo album Equilibria. It’s only taken a year to get this far! Writing and recording the incidental music for Abney & Teal, a new animation series from Ragdoll destined for CBeebies. Playing live with several bands – The Waffle Grippers were sublime at Glastonbury this year. Working with new artists, recording, recording/producing and co-writing – names to watch out for: The Staves, Jack Garratt, Lynne Jackaman (vocalist with St Jude), Tom Billington and Cara Luft.