Producing: Clare Estelle - Somehow

During the final months of 2017, Mike was contacted by his friend and colleague Steve Hope-Wynne to see if he would consider getting involved in the production of Clare Estelle's collaborative track "Somehow", and if he would contribute some musical elements of his own. 

The pair had been working together and experimenting and bouncing ideas off each other for a while; Clare had composed the music and written lyrics alongside performing piano, acoustic guitar and some percussion. Through various collaborations, Clare then sourced Irish whistle (Sam Piper), drums (Stuart Hemphill) and bass guitar (Phil Smith) with Steve adding electric guitars and a variety of his own vocal section recordings.

© 2016 Clare Estelle

© 2016 Clare Estelle

It was clear from the first couple of listens and early conversations that Clare was telling a very vivid cinematic story and through the user of layering and cleaver production techniques, the aim was to evoke a mental narrative for the audience to experience while listening. As such, during our first meeting and when first approaching the Pro Tools session at the AEP studio, Mike began to establish a workflow within the session and take in the various creative mixing techniques and philosophies which had been applied by Steve in the months leading to his involvement.

Mike's job was to build on Steve's initial mix adding balance, cleaning up the existing tracks and fades, creating room for the various sections of the track to work in the narrative context and to question the use of background and foreground. The track is very unconventional in approach which gave room to experiment and even compliment imperfections, something very refreshing in our current state of relentless digital perfection. Alongside this, Mike contributed a Duduk counter melody to work alongside the flute, extreme low sustained double bass notes to carry the darker and deeper parts of the track and some elements of percussion to backup that which was already there. 

Clare is currently looking into releasing the track, please see her website for more information and updates on the release. 

Michael W. Bell

Mike was born in South East London in 1988 but moved to Brighton during his early teens where he spent most of his time collecting music and performing rhythm guitar in a local heavy metal band. He later studied both Music Production and Composition for Film & Media at the University of Brighton where he found a passion for working sonically within the visual arts. Now based in London, Mike works as a film composer and sound designer providing bespoke music and sound for any media project you can throw at him through his own production company Aurora Eclipse Productions. Mike’s journey into music composition and production began while studying Music Production when he was commissioned for the first time to compose original music for “Francis” (2011), a short horror film. This was the first time he had approached writing music for an orchestra and fell in love with the whole process. During this time Mike also found himself in the studio, where he successfully produced “Hatriotism”, an EP for Demental, a Brighton (UK) based metal band. While finishing his degree in 2012, Mike was asked to compose a dark ambient orchestral soundscape for the US based band Shores of Acheron. This soundscape is featured on their newly released EP “End of Reign” as well as serving as an opener to the band’s live performance. It was also during this time that he formed his own sonic production company, Aurora Eclipse Productions. Mike has just finished working on the short animation “Æ Har Det Bare Bra” (2013) in which he provided sound design and engineered the sonic environment of the film. Currently, Mike is working with Personatones Ltd. to provide original music and sound for smartphones with his first Personatone 'Cinematic Majesty" due out next week; he is also composing music for the upcoming documentary film "Night Owls" from director Roy Petersen. Mike’s music may be described as dark, haunting, dramatic, atmospheric, orchestral, minimalist, cinematic, modern and textural. Description