I am a professional bassist working out of my studio in the fantastic little village of Pathhead, ten miles south of Edinburgh on the A68. It is here I explore and produce my work as a bassist, composer, and sound designer. I also explore the countryside on foot, am deeply rooted into the community, and have had the joy and honour to live and raise a family in this magical place.
My heart lies deeply rooted in playing bass and that has been the primary driving force in my life since I was a teenager, and I am motivated even more noe, to work and explore with musicians I love and enjoy, to create music, perform, and record. The duo with Sophie Bancroft (Bancroft & Lyne) being a rather prominent project in my life (we are married with kids and have made eight CDs together), and a new duo venture with pianist Dave Milligan is just in the early stages with the studio recordings in the bag and looking to release some music soon. I have been very lucky to play with a whole host of musicians across the jazz and folk scenes in Scotland and always look forward to the next project.
This journey as a bassist has led me from my home in the Edmonton Alberta, across Canada to Montreal where I gained a BMus in Jazz from McGill University in 1991. This led to many new musical connections and opened my world and my first journey across the Atlantic, busking across Europe from the streets of Nice, Zurich, Paris, and Stockholm with my then busking family, The Overexcite Band (pictured here in Cap D’ail France 1988). Some years later with a slightly different collection of musicians we became the Men Without Heads and relocated to Amsterdam to live, play, and produce our CD the Red Door. After years of a musicians, travels, concerts, and festivals, I had brief stay back in Edmonton before my life really changed gears and I emmigrated to Scotland. Sophie and I got married in 1999 and found ourselves settling in this marvelous little village of Pathhead and set about raising our family.
Music & Sound
I have also been working as a composer and producer of music for film and video while developing my interest in sound design and live performance with animated film, visuals and experimental audio. This work in film as a composer and sound designer has led me to new forms of music and unusual ways of thinking about sound. I completed an MSc in sound design at Napier University in 2020 and I came away from that experience with a more profound relationship with sound and music. This also led to the production of a series of soundscape sample libraries produced during lockdown called Surrounded by Midlothian.
In 2018 I set up Aspects of Sound working as a sound designer in film, television and theater. This incorporates all aspects of audio production, sound design, composition and orchestration. While each of these areas of production are an entire career of their own, I kept being drawn into treating the whole soundscape of film as a whole and working with the different aspects at the same time. Hence Apsects of Sound.
The interesting development from this way of working with film turned into the beginning of the Sonables collections. These are compositions that incorporate the field work of the sound designer with my exploration in composition and bass playing. Sonable generally means anything that may be sounded, and in these recordings, I literally use almost anything that makes sound. There are currently two volumes with more in the pipeline. Here is Sonables and Sonables II and you can click through to hear the whole album on Bandcamp (and buy them too).
Far From Mars – Electric Bass
Tom’s CD Far From Mars 2016, provides a showcase of computer and electronic based music highlighting his compositions and production skills as well as his work as a multi-instrumentalist. Far From Mars takes you on a unique sonic journey that will move your heart and mind. This music is packed with energy and improvisation that captures a sense of the 70s and 80s generated with a palette of modern production and innovation. The album began as a series of instrumental improvisations that developed into a set of generously arranged, concise and exciting compositions. This is an album that asks for careful listening to get a full sense of the detail and production, but is also immediately rewarding for the casual listener.