Hylton Mowday is the Creative Director and Head Composer at We Love Jam Studios - a dynamic WBAC member and a successful Walsh Bay arts company. Here he shares some personal inspirations, what a ‘typical’ working day looks like and what’s new in 2017.
“I grew up in a very musical family. Music was around for as long as I can remember. I am extremely privileged to go to work everyday and not only make music, but get paid to do so. I’m inspired by all sorts of things; listening to people’s stories, going to concerts, checking out gigs its all part of the bucket from which you draw inspiration. The challenge is of course to convert inspiration into creation. Sometimes it happens successfully, sometimes sadly not!
Being a small company we’re often able to make decision quickly. Being able to choose who we do, and do not, work with is also a great privilege. I’m extremely fortunate to work with a really good team. I’ve been in work environments before where it’s slightly “broken,” thankfully that’s not the case here. I wish I had more time to do more.
Very few of my Walsh Bay working mornings start without a Walsh Bay Coffee from one of our excellent suppliers! Being a composer and performer, there are many projects always on the go. Some, the deadlines are short, to mid term deadlines to personal artistic ventures where the end of a project is not as clearly defined.
A typical day for me might be split up into:
Composing. Sitting either in front of a blank piece of manuscript trying to write a piece of music. This could be for an orchestral or small Rock Band or perhaps a piece just for computer. .
Performing. Being a musician myself, I live the opportunity to perform. Playing Piano, Clarinet, Saxophone or even a vibraphone is rather exciting. If I’m not performing on a composition of my own, quite often I’d be hired to perform on someone else’s recording.
Practicing. This is the part of the day that I wish I were able to dedicate more time to. Learning one’s instrument and craft is something you can never perfect!
Reading, Writing & Research. Not only in the commercial aspect of our business, it is important to break “Muscle Memory” in music. Quite often we tend to default to writing what we know and not what we should know! I’m currently reading a music theory book that is so different to what I’m accustom to its really, really challenging!
Business Relations. Music and Audio aside, a substantial part of my day is maintaining our current client relationship as well as trying to find new ones. It’s tough out there. You can’t win everyone over with just your passion!
What’s new at We Love Jam in 2017? Well we’ve just finished a fantastic piece of work for Oxfam. We composed the Music and Sound Design in its entirety, including a 360 Spatial Audio Sound Scape with directional sound. What made this project exciting was that it is all in 360 Virtual Reality.
We’ve also just finished a feature-length documentary “Kings of Baxter” about how the Bell Shakespeare Company went to the Baxter Juvenile Detention Centre to teach “Macbeth”. And I’ve completed a family album called “The Mowday 3+3” with my father and sister.
We Love Jam Studios were recently commissioned to produce original music and sound design for an exciting installation at the Sydney Opera House. Our music and sound scape is designed to compliment the beautifully inspiring visuals and to make the installation a fully immersive experience. We have more interesting installation and film pieces coming up with music and technology, one of which is an incredibly moving documentary about World War 1. It’s always exciting here!”
On what’s special about working in Walsh Bay and being part of the WBAC community.
“One of the chief reasons for moving our business to Walsh Bay was the community with the arts industry. Like everything, good relationships take time and we feel now that we’re beginning to have good work bonds with our neighbours. Personally, I love the space, I love the history, I love that the buildings creak - they have personality not forgetting the water and proximity to the city. There’s a lot to love!
As member of Walsh Bay Arts and Commerce we hope to establish and maintain great artistic and business relationships with our neighbours. We Love Jam are also keen to provide opportunities for up-and-coming musicians and composers to work with fellow emerging artists in whichever space. We’d like to talk less and do more!”