Stuart McCallum‘s music has always thrived in that beautiful space where genres blur. With a wide range of influences from Machinedrum, Lau and Martin Simpson to Debussy, Taylor McFerrin and Burial, it’s not difficult to see how this has come about. His 2011 Naim debut, Distilled, was a series of beautiful instrumental soundscapes and glorious melodies that owed as much to dance music as it did to jazz. Stuart performed with the Cinematic Orchestra between 2004 and 2012, and was part of the band’s critically acclaimed albums ‘Ma Fleur’ and ‘Live At The Royal Albert Hall’. In addition he contributed to the award-winning Disney nature documentary soundtrack ‘The Crimson Wing’, and the remix of Radiohead’s ‘Exit Music For A Film’ for Radiohead’s ‘Exit Music: Songs For Radio Heads’. He has performed at the Royal Albert Hall with the Heritage Orchestra and The London Metropolitan Orchestra, The Big Chill, Montreal Jazz Festival and Coachella.
Stuart recently worked as an artistic director on our Manchester Hill WW1 Residency which commemorated the forgotten story of the fall of Manchester Hill in 1918.
Here Stuart shares his top tips for aspiring musicians…
1) Practice. Having a good work ethic is essential in the creative arts. You will definitely get more done if you work eight hours a day than if you don’t.
2) Success. See commercial success as something separate to creative success. In creativity, success is just in the creation of something that didn’t used to exist.
3) Have fun. Being creative can involve hard and serious work, but keep it light hearted and enjoy yourself.
4) Rest. After eight hours of work in a day you have earned some rest time. Give yourself time off from your creative endeavours and make time for other people and activities.
5) Community. Be a part of a creative community, contributing to and taking ideas from it, as well as offering and receiving support from other members.