John Young (born 1995) is a London-based composer who specialises in music for film. He studied music at the University of Oxford, but by accepting his place had to turn down a Foundation Scholarship from the Royal College of Music to study composition.
He is a proficient instrumentalist — a violinist (National Children's Orchestra, Junior Royal Academy of Music, Oxford University Orchestra), pianist (99% LTCL diploma distinction, National Youth Jazz Collective, Pianoman scholarship) (read more), pop, rock and electronic keyboard-synth player, and a founding member of contemporary jazz-pop band Wandering Wires.
He has composed the soundtracks of several trailers, short films and theatrical productions and dozens of independent compositions, mostly programmatic. He is a composer for a couple of London-based production companies. He has composed for films submitted to major international festivals. He composed the soundtrack for the short film Blue Boy (directed by Verity Upton), which was semi-finalist in the Sydney Indie Film Festival 2018 and officially selected for the online Women's Only Entertainment Film Festival. He has credits to his name on IMDb for Martin Friar's First Kiss (Red Spire Films) and The Sex Lives of Eels (directed by Silas Elliott and Luke Rollason), which made the official selection for the Vault Film Festival 2017.
John's compositional styles draw from his classical and jazz training, as well as experience in popular and electronic music. He has a strong and inquisitive ear, which allows him to match his compositions accurately to the vibe and narrative of a film or emotional nuances of a scene.
In first person
"The first thing I worked out on piano, as a small boy, was the theme from Samuel Whiskers. Growing up I had a penchant for working out themes and improvising, experimenting with combinations of chords and notes the way a child learns to mix colours, and thereby nurturing my aural skills. As a seven-year-old I remember the evocative sound of John Barry's "Dances With Wolves" filling the car during a striking sunset. It was on a compilation CD of some of Barry's best film themes, and his music, along with James Horner's score for The Mask of Zorro (my childhood favourite), was a foundation for my desire to become a film composer seven years later.
There is nothing as fulfilling as creating — as transforming a blank canvas into a work of art, imparting a piece of yourself into a sensory and intellectually- stimulating object of beauty — and then experiencing what you have made, and sharing it with others. I find that music is the best form of creating; it reaches right into our emotional core. It tells a story; it creates emotions, atmospheres and worlds — more vividly than any other form of art. A similar ideal is shared by any good director, whose film heightens these qualities in the score, providing more specificity, humanity and narrative for an otherwise more abstract medium. Everything is then amplified by the adrenaline-charged cinematic platform: the dark room full of other people, the big screen, surround sound, full focus, a thrilling HD audio-visual experience that casts the illusion of transporting you through space and time. Film and music are the perfect symbiosis."