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Raw, the new movie from director Julia Ducournau, has been receiving rave reviews since it’s release, and we’re proud to say our very own John Gallen mixed the soundtrack.
John Gallen has been a Music Production tutor at ACM for a number of years, and has spent over 35 years in the music industry enjoying success in many areas. He’s worked with major recording artists in leading studios around the world, including Queen, Motörhead, Uriah Heep, The Damned, Simply Red, Go West, Boy George, Billy Ocean, Rick Astley and Maxi Priest.
John has worked all over the world, including stints in London, New York, Munich, Tokyo, Paris and The West Indies. He has undertaken live concerts and TV events in Europe, Japan and China, including the 1999 broadcast and recording of the Beijing Symphony Orchestra and State Opera in Tiananmen Square, Beijing.
He is still very active in the industry, recently having mixed the soundtrack for the movie Raw. The film has picked up many awards already, including two awards at the Strasbourg European Fantastic Film Festival for best international fantastic movie and Public Choice Award for best international movie, as well as the Fipresci prize for director Julia Ducournau at the Cannes Film Festival.
We caught up with John to find out more about his work…
Hi John! How did you get involved with the Raw soundtrack?
I’ve been mixing film scores for composer Jim Williams for some years now…credits include the Ben Wheatley movies Kill List, Sightseers and A Field in England along with the TV series Hotel Babylon.
Tell us a bit about the steps you take when mixing for film?
You have to cover a lot of options… Multiple mixes and stems so that the director can choose the mix to suit at the final dubbing stage. But mixing the score is also about making a beautiful piece of music. The Wheatley soundtracks stand up as great musical works and have been released on limited edition vinyl. I’m really proud of them and it has been a great honour to work with Jim Williams on so many great projects over the years.
How did you originally get involved with Jim Williams?
I have worked with Jim since the 1980’s when he was signed as an artist to CBS records. I recorded and mixed the first 2 singles.
Do you work as part of a wider team when working with Jim on a soundtrack; what’s your typical approach?
No, Jim is very self-sufficient and created nearly all the music himself. I am brought in at the final mixing stages.
The Raw soundtrack involves a wide mix of intense, organ-led pieces with more mellow acoustic tracks. Can you talk us through some of the creative choices you had to make when approaching the mix for this soundtrack?
The variation in styles pretty much speak for themselves and Jim’s expertise is impressive. My job is to make sure there’s some sonic continuity.
How would you say mixing for a soundtrack differs from mixing other music?
The picture must take priority when mixing music for film although we always want the score to sound great as a stand alone product.
What else have you been working on recently?
I’m about to record an album with singer Zoe Frances and the legendary jazz guitarist Jim Mullen, in a fabulous studio called The Bunker, owned by mega star drummer Ralph Salmins.
If you’d like to study at ACM and learn first-hand from world-class producers and engineers like John Gallen, please call our Admissions Team on 01483 500 841 or visit www.acm.ac.uk/open-days/ to book a place on an ACM Open Day today.