Dale Sumner

He is the Composer of Calum Chalmers’ Graduation Afternoon Dollar Baby film.

SKSM: Could you start with telling me a little bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?

Dale Sumner: My name is Dale Sumner and I have been a freelance composer for around 20 years. I have worked on both short and feature films as well as corporate work, adverts and theatre productions.

SKSM: How did you become involved with Graduation afternoon?

Dale Sumner: The director, Calum Chalmers, asked me to write the music for the film. We had worked together on his previous film, which was a great experience, and it was a pleasure to have the opportunity to work with him again.

SKSM: How did you get started as a composer and what do you do on production?

Dale Sumner: I first started out writing world fusion/relaxation albums but always wanted to try writing music for film. I had the opportunity to score some students films at my local University and from there went onto scoring film.

SKSM: How did you get started to wrIte the Soundtrack for Graduation afternoon?

Dale Sumner: I watched the entire film to get a feel of the story, mood and emotion, and from there ideas formed for the overall feel of the music, which I then applied to each scene.

SKSM: Is this your most challenging project so far?

Dale Sumner: No I wouldn’t say this has been the most challenging project so far, although creating the climatic effect at the very end of the film took some effort to get right.

SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when you made the music that you would like to tell me about?

Dale Sumner: None I can think of!

SKSM: After Graduation afternoon did you write more music? If so what?

Dale Sumner: Since Graduation Afternoon I have written scores for three films and released a relaxation álbum. I have also scored various shorts. My music for the film ‘Hello Darlin’ won best score at the Golden State Film festival last year.

SKSM: What are you working nowadays?

Dale Sumner: I am currently working on a second relaxation album for release this year, and am finalising a couple of other albums for release. I have also been commissioned by a record label to write an album of experimental music, which should be a very interesting project. Later this year I will be working on my next feature film, due for release in 2022.

SKSM: Are you a fan of Stephen King’s work?

Dale Sumner: I read some of his work as a teenager and for a while I enjoyed the horror genre, but, to be absolutely honest, I find horror and violence more abhorrent the older I get!

SKSM: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

Dale Sumner: I am a natural bodybuilder and am working towards entering my first competition next year.

SKSM: What advice would you give to those people who want to be musicians?

Dale Sumner: Get a job that pays money and do your music in your spare time until you get a break. It’s tough trying to break into the business, and it might take years before you start earning a living as a paid composer. But if you stick at it, and don’t give up, an opportunity some day might just pop up out of nowhere. And always try and be original – don’t copy what everyone else is writing. Be unique: write interesting music.

SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything else you want to say to the fans that read this interview?

Dale Sumner: There is more to music than what your commercial radio stations play to you: explore music and broaden your horizons. There is a great deal out there and some of it is incredible.

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