Solent Lecturer performs on London Road soundtrack
Brixton cinema hosted a star-studded premiere of London Road on Tuesday, a musical centred on events surrounding the arrest and conviction of Steve Wright, the serial killer who murdered five women in Ipswich in 2006.
The film, out in selected cinemas tomorrow (12 June), includes a soundtrack featuring Professor Pete Wilson, Senior Lecturer at Southampton Solent University, on bass guitar.
Directed by Rufus Norris and featuring stars such as Tom Hardy, Olivia Coleman and Anita Dobson, London Road uses the residents' own words - down to every 'um' and 'erm' - to explain what went on in the now notorious street as police hunted for and arrested Wright.
Pete says: “The process of recording this film's music was unusual – it was all back-to-front. Normally in a recording session singers perform with a band that’s either live or pre-recorded. In this instance, though, the cast had already sung all the songs on location to an accompanist playing a piano.”
“Recording the band after that, to fit the pre-existing vocal performances, is definitely a pressurised situation. There’s no time for errors – so if you’re not the sort of person who gets off on studio red-light fever I imagine it would be quite painful,” adds Pete. “Luckily, I really like that intense focus.”
For the past twenty years Pete has balanced an academic career with playing bass guitar in a variety of pop and classical settings.
As well as playing for BBC Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, London Sinfonietta, American Composers Orchestra (Carnegie Hall) and in several BBC Proms (Royal Albert Hall), he has played bass for dance companies that include The Royal Ballet, Rambert Dance Company, London Contemporary Dance Theatre, Scottish Ballet, Random Dance and Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Company.
Pop credits include Brian Eno, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Melanie C, Rufus Wainwright, and playing Sir Paul McCartney’s violin bass in Abbey Road Studio 2 in front of the man himself.
"Having played in all sorts of musical contexts I'd like to think students get quite a broad perspective from me on the musician's life," Pete says. "And of course it gives me concrete examples and specific scenarios to back up more theoretical discussions."
"I also hope that my working at a certain level in the industry might inspire the odd student to do the same. I try to be as transparent as possible about how it works for me and the skills I think are necessary to drive a long career. But I'm also happy to admit that everyone's situation is unique and what works for me might not be the case for others."
A Cuba Pictures / National Theatre production, London Road is produced by Dixie Linder, and executive produced by Nick Marston, Tally Garner and David Sabel. BBC Films, the BFI Film Fund, Arts Council England and LipSync financed the project.
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About Southampton Solent University
Southampton Solent University offers more than 19,000 students over 200 qualifications ranging from HND to PhD, in subjects such as maritime education and training, fashion and design, media and television, music, health, sport and leisure, business, IT and technology. The University was awarded the 2013 Quality Assurance kitemark for quality and standards of teaching and learning. Solent was voted one of the most creative universities in the UK in a Which? University 2014 poll of students. Solent Business School has been awarded the Small Business Charter Award, which is supported by the Association of Business Schools and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and ‘gold approval’ by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).