Bio: Simon Boswell grew up attached to a piano keyboard. At the age of 8, inspired by a BBC Radio program about Mozart, the young lad scribbled down a theme and variations in the styles of Chopin, Bach, Mozart, and Rachmaninov. This astounded an unprepared audience at his school concert.
When he was 12, he learned the guitar after being mesmerized by a television broadcast of Jimi Hendrix. Sharing the two mistresses of classical piano and rock guitar, Boswell spent several young years in bands (ADVERTISING, LIVE WIRE) before becoming a record producer. In 1982, his production of Italian superstar, Renato Zero, became one of the biggest selling Italian albums of all time. Later on his work with 23 Skidoo on 'COUP' became the Chemical Brothers BLOCK ROCKIN BEATS. He has also produced Elton John, Dolly Parton and Marianne Faithful.
But it was horror director Dario Argento who changed his career. Having seen Boswell perform in Rome, Argento asked him to combine with the nucleus of GOBLIN, on the soundtrack to the film PHENOMENA.
Since then, British composer Simon Boswell has scored films that span a myriad of genres and styles. Well known for combining electronic elements with orchestral instruments, Boswell’s music has ranged vastly in style and tone since the mid 1980s. His work for horror and fantasy cinema is key, especially the Italian giallo films, and flicks like Clive Barker’s detective horror LORD OF ILLUSIONS. Then there's the chillingly atonal INCUBUS, and the hybrid cyberpunk riffings of HACKERS and HARDWARE, where he unusually combined acoustic slide guitar with resonant, doomy synths to create a hugely popular, apocalyptic score which has sold many thousands.
But that only tells one side of the story. Simon has also composed countless orchestral scores both melodic and experimental: A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, PHOTOGRAPHING FAIRIES, COUSIN BETTE, TIN MAN and JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS to name a few.
In addition, he has scored films for Danny Boyle (SHALLOW GRAVE) Álex de la Iglesia (PERDITA DURANGO) Tim Roth (WAR ZONE), Richard Stanley (DUST DEVIL) and many more. At the last count there were over 100 of them.
Along the way he has garnered many international awards and nominations including 2 BAFTA and 1 CLASSICAL BRIT.
“Clearly I have a dark side and I find it easy to express this in ever changing ways, so perhaps my excursions into horror were not pure coincidence,” Boswell said. “Fantasy films allow you to be more experimental. I get bored doing the same thing over and over and relish new territory. That is why, in this 30th anniversary year, I have formed my group theAnd. We are giving my music a completely new spin and taking it to live audiences around the world, together with an immersive video backdrop. Kind of ...Pink Floyd meets the Velvet Underground, conducted by Bernard Hermann on acid...” Simon Boswell, December 2014
Simon: 'I cut up my previous scores into bits and re-assembled them as new songs mixing full orchestra with muscians from Blur and The Kills and spoken word parts for some of the actors and directors I have worked with along the way - including Ewan McGregor, Ray Winstone, Goran Visnij, Dario Argento, Alejandro Jodorowsky and Richard Stanley.
I am now performing live with my newly formed group theAnd with band members Jacko Peake, contemporary fine artist
Lola Gunn ( lg White), Tom Milsom and video artist David Sagberg.'
Simon continues to work on his own unique art project called Blink - an audio-visual installation of portraits extracted from news footage, looped to last forever, and individually scored with their own soundtracks. This was first exhibited at the ICA in London (2002) on 4 simultaneous cinema-sized screens. A later version was screened on the exterior wall of the Hong Kong Convention Centre (2012), showing additional footage of archival interviews with the late martial arts icon, Bruce Lee. Recently Blink has been showed at Asia House in London.