Ned Bigham (Composer)
Ned Bigham is a composer whose diverse career encompasses orchestral performances, ambient electronica and club music.
His musical output has certainly been varied, including performances of his chamber music at classical festivals across the UK, electronic surround installations at international art shows including Venice Biennale and at the ICA, two number ones in the American Club charts with Miami DJ Robbie Rivera, songwriting for Amy Winehouse and his ambient/orchestral Anti Atlas project with producer and Radiohead manager Chris Hufford.
Ned spent three years as a postgraduate studying composition and orchestration at Trinity College of Music under Daryl Runswick, John Ashton Thomas and Michael Garrick (jazz arranging), where he was awarded the John Halford and Daryl Runswick composition prizes. He also won the Southwark Heritage competition for his brass fanfares at Southwark Cathedral.
Prior to Trinity, he began his musical career performing with artists such as Wayne Batchelor (bassist to Courtney Pine) whilst a student at Balliol College Oxford and then went on to drum for Neneh Cherry before founding the cult Acid Jazz band D-Influence in the early Nineties. His tune The Classic, which used one of the early sampler keyboards (Roland W30) to chop up orchestral and beats samples, did indeed become a classic for Acid Jazz Records. Ned then signed exclusively to Atlantic/East West records in New York and D-Influence went on to support Michael Jackson at Wembley Stadium, as well as Prince, Seal and Bjork.
After leaving Trinity, Ned increasingly focussed on writing orchestral music as well as sonic experimentation via studio technology. Sampling classical recordings and then reversing, pitch-shifting, combining and splitting the results became a hallmark of Anti Atlas, and to date three CDs have been released (Future Nostalgia, Between Two and Between Voices), receiving critical acclaim including Sunday Times CD of the week and press interviews including The Independent, which you can read here.
He also co-wrote and co-produced the album Outside for Asian artist Amar, a collaboration with Robin Millar CBE, producer of Sade and Everything but the Girl. Again experimentation was key here: as well as manipulating samples from a wide variety of sources, Amar, Ned and Robin drew from classical Indian ragas for rhythmic inspiration, which were then programmed into Ned’s Akai MPC2000 (a favourite drum machine of Rap and Hip Hop).
In 2001 Ned started writing and producing vocals for Miami acts such as Kluster and Robbie Rivera. Kluster’s I Feel Love became a worldwide dance anthem, and his first collaboration with Robbie, The Hum Melody, climbed to the top of the US Billboard Club Charts. This was repeated a couple of years later with Which Way You Going, and Ned has to date collaborated with Robbie on three albums. He has also collaborated with European DJs such as Nic Chagall (including the popular club anthem What You Need) and vocalists such as Leona Lewis and Victoria Wilson James from Soul2Soul. In 2009 he wrote and produced an album for Anglo-Polish artist Pola, another collaboration with Robin Millar.
Recent projects and commissions include the music for Favela Descending, a large-scale installation (multiscreen/surround sound) at the Shoreditch Concrete and Glass festival, a collaboration with award-winning film director Gerry Fox. May 2014 sees the release of 'Culebra', an album of compositions performed by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra (conductor: Gregory Rose) and including The Nairne Ballads, a commission from the Scottish Ensemble, modern versions of eighteenth century Scottish ballads that they have performed across Scotland.
He is published by Faber Music.