To accompany our Autumn 21 film, ‘The Road to Ruan Lanihorne’, Ffern commissioned the cellist and composer Georgina Lloyd-Owen to create an original score. Centring around improvised cello refrains, Georgina’s work incorporates organic sounds and reaches for a meditative tone - the perfect accompaniment to our slow footage along the lanes to Ruan Lanihorne, Cornwall, the place that inspired our Autumn 21 fragrance.
Georgina Lloyd-Owen is a cellist and musician who has played at the Royal Festival Hall, the Royal Albert Hall and the Roundhouse. Among her composition highlights is an award-winning short film, Like Water, made with Ballet Black Senior Artist Mthuthuzeli November. Georgina has recently finished training in sound engineering at Abbey Road Institute and is working on a number of exciting projects, including her first solo venture.
Watch our Autumn film, featuring Georgina's seasonal score, below:
As a composer, I am particularly drawn to acoustic and organic sound sources, and these feature heavily in my pieces.
When I first saw the footage, what struck me was the feeling of stillness, whilst also being in motion. I wanted to be able to capture the meditative nature of the film whilst also providing interest for the viewer and listener. The work of composers such as Max Richter and Oliver Coates were particularly present in my mind when composing.
My first step was to focus on the sound design for the underlying soundscape elements. This is where organic meets electronic, as I used things such as bird song, and muted piano alongside sampled and synthesised sounds. Once I had created this metaphorical “bed”, I really let myself improvise freely, and a lot of the cello material is just that - improvisation!
I began playing at 5 years old, so to be totally honest I can’t recall what exactly it was that drew me there. One thing I do know is that I turned down the violin because I didn’t want to have to stand up and play!
I am always moved by musicians who explore and expand the capabilities of a cello. For example, singer/songwriter Ayanna Witter-Johnson, whose cello Reuben morphs between percussion, bass and acoustic guitar, or Oliver Coates, whose second album Upstepping features sounds almost exclusively originating from his cello.
I know I should really say autumn, but I think winter would be the season of my favourite scents. In particular, the frosty, dewy smell of a winter morning.
In the people around me. I am very blessed to have many creatively gifted close friends, who are also very kind and supportive. Watching different peoples journeys teaches me a lot about my strengths and weaknesses, and my place as a creative in the industry.
I am currently working on a few different projects, including scoring a short independent film, and collaborating with choreographer Mthuthuzeli November, with whom I have a long-standing creative partnership. I am also beginning my own solo project which is a little terrifying, but mostly exciting.
A big thing that stopped me from saying yes to opportunities in the past was a belief that there was someone else who could do a better job. You have to get rid of that thought - as long as you care, and work hard, your work is just as valid as anyone else's. Grab every opportunity you can. I have achieved so much more by saying yes to things I had never done before, and thought I wouldn’t be able to achieve. Push yourself!
Georgina is the sixth artist to work with us on the Ffern Artists series. You can read about the others here.