The Composers Of Doctor Who: Dominic Glynn

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Christopher Morley stands for Trial...


We now come to a critical juncture in the music of Doctor Who, heralding a rather big impending change! For Dominic Glynn's arrangement of the Sixth Doctor's theme was heard during Season 23- aka the Trial Of A Time Lord arc.



He would also supply the scores for two of the stories seen during that trial, The Mysterious Planet & The Ultimate Foe, these assignments proving to be the start of his compositional career as his official website notes....
"Dominic Glynn is a familiar name to "Doctor Who" fans, being one of the few people to have arranged the show's theme tune. His career began with his 1986 reworking of the famous theme that accompanied Colin Baker's Doctor, and he composed incidental music for the series through the late 1980s."
Sue, spouse to Neil Perryman, author of Adventures With The Wife In Space, wasn't keen!
"They’ve changed the theme music again. It’s horrible. The dum-de-dums are alright, I suppose, but the rest of it sounds like it was done on a cheap Casio keyboard."
That criticism aside, this theme would also be heard once more in several Sixth Doctor Big Finish audios, starting with 2003's Jubilee (elements of which would be adapted into Dalek for Series One of the revived television series!). But just how did Glynn land the job? His appointment simply followed on from producer John Nathan-Turner's overhaul of music production which began with Peter Howell's radical 1980 revamp of the Doctor Who theme itself. As the Telegraph put it:
"Incoming producer John Nathan-Turner decided to revamp the show completely in 1980, overhauling just about every aspect, and replacing the theme music with a much glossier, pacier version realised by Peter Howell of the Radiophonic Workshop.

After 17 years of the original it came as a shock to hear something so radically different opening the series, but the fact that it was so different worked in its favour.

Twinkly synthesizers meld with rock guitar and bass to create a fast-paced, dynamic interpretation that is very much a product of its age, and arguably fitted the new aesthetic better."
Within six years of that shift, Glynn's time would come.



Nathan-Turner once again decided the time was ripe for a change and took action.
"Going outside the Radiophonic Workshop for the first time, he commissioned electronic composer Dominic Glynn, who tried to bring back some of the atmosphere of the original version."
You can listen to Glynn speaking to The Whovians podcast about that time here.


Since then he has also contributed several mixes to the Gallifrey Remixes project from last year, including one as "Syzyguy" alongside Justin Mackay, their first new work in twelve years.



Under his own name, Glynn also premièred what would come to be known as the Gallifrey One mix at the convention of the same name.



Glynn also dabbles in techno/electronica! As his bio reveals:
"The 1990s saw his love of underground dance music result in record releases with Creation Records - famous for leading the Brit Indie scene with bands like Oasis and Primal Scream, and also with Rising High Records - a label that was firmly at the forefront of UK techno. He went on to form his own No Bones Records, and since has been a DJ at events like The Big Chill festival."
Before all that there was the small matter of a change of Doctor and three more scores for the latter days of Doctor Who! With Keff McCulloch now in charge of the theme, Glynn provided the incidental music for Dragonfire, The Happiness Patrol and Survival.



Mfiles shed a little light on Glynn's technical tricks for his Seventh Doctor scores-
""Dragonfire" uses some effective crystalline sounds in the Iceworld caverns, a cathedral organ for Kane's lair and melodic hints of the Dies Irae. "The Happiness Patrol" features a harmonica player who plays the blues. Glynn complemented this with piano sounds and used a sinister fairground melody for the Kandyman.

There is a rare CD of his music (original issued on cassette by the Doctor Who Appreciation Society) called "Black Light: The Doctor Who Music of Dominic Glynn". Since his time on Doctor Who, Glynn has continued to write music for film and TV (including several tracks used on "Red Dwarf")."
He's also just released his new CD, titled Ravolox Remixes.



The new mini-album features music from The Trial of a Timelord, Dragonfire and Survival, as well as a new take on the Terror Version from 1989’s Variations on a Theme CD.



The “Trial Theme” itself, is a brand new update of a mix originally created a for a Doctor Who Magazine front cover flexi-disc in 1990.


The origins of these “Ravolox Remixes” are in Dominic’s live performances at the L.I. Who and Chicago TARDIS conventions in 2014, and by way of popular demand these tracks are now being made available for the first time.

It's available now for digital download from iTunes, Amazon and most music services. What better excuse to dip in and appreciate the man & his mixes? 

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