René Lalou: La planète sauvage (Fantastic Planet, 1973)
I love animation as a medium for storytelling and ‘Fantastic Planet’ is one of the finest works I have seen. The late René Lalou created rich animated stories with a brilliant mix of political/philosophical undertones, bizarre flora/fauna and radical sound effects.
Neil Gaiman: Neverwhere (1996)
When not composing music, I try to study, unassisted by a formal institution. I am currently focusing on the topics of neuroscience, gender theory and peak oil. But, what I really enjoy is the escapism of a simply written novel, involving an average person who finds themselves in some sort of obscure or magical land. ‘Neverwhere’, is exactly that. It’s about an average office worker who somehow finds their way down to ‘London Below’ where rats are treated like royalty. In this strange and deadly underworld, the various familiar names of London all take on a new significance: for example ‘Knightsbridge’ becomes “Night’s Bridge”, a stone bridge whose darkness can suck the very life out of you when attempting to cross it. What I particularly like about Neil Gaiman’s writing, is the way he draws upon old mythology and his use of strong female characters.
On a trip to the Scottish Highlands last year, I decided to live on a small rock called The Isle of Harris. The lunar-like landscape of this island was used in the filming of ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’. I have never felt so inspired or been in such a creative head-space as during my time there. When it was too dark or windy to continue hiking through the strange and barren topography, I worked on a single piece of music.