With a successful career as a violinist cut short due to a hand injury, Ros Gilman refused to give up his love for music and instead cultivated a highly successful career as an award-winning music composer. He tells the Quintessential Gent how music is part of his DNA.
I arranged to meet Ros at the Reverend JW Simpson, and I immediately recognised him from his 6-part documentary detailing the process of making the Soundtrack for the critically acclaimed short film ‘Johanne’. A short film for which Ros has since gone on to win the Audience Award for the Best Music at the British Animation Film Festival.
As we settled down and ordered our drinks, the conversation inevitably turned to music and it Ros’ love for music quickly shone through. Both his parents are professional musicians, and growing up in a household where he was surrounded by music, it was inevitable that music would be a big part of his life. A naturally gifted musician, he started playing the piano before moving on to the violin from the age of 5. Ros believes he was is lucky to have performed across three continents including radio and television appearances in Australia. Having met him, I can assert that he wasn’t lucky; his natural talent and strict routine carved the path for this promising young violinist to perform around the world. He was destined for a great musical career.
A promising career which abruptly came to an end following a tragic hand injury. Ros says that when his violin professor retired, he found a new professor allowing him to complete his diploma. His new professor adjusted his hand position which irreparably injured his hand. The injury was so severe that he was unable hold a knife and fork. He saw several doctors but none could help him. A young man who had sacrificed 21 years of his life to playing the violin must have been heart-broken to have it snatched away; I asked him? Ros smiled contentedly and replied ‘I couldn’t go without music being part of my life, so I decided to study to become a composer instead.
He studied hard for a number of years to master his craft at a number of prestigious universities across the world including the University of Music in Vienna and then at the Royal College of Music in London. Since completing his degrees he has been in constant demand as a composer and songwriter and has worked on a host of film and television projects, including most recently the short-animated film ‘Johanne’ directed by Anna-Ester Volozh. The film, inspired by Joan of Arc, follows a day in a life of the heroine. Working with a talented director with such a deep knowledge of music was an honour, especially since Anna-Ester had a clear vision of the music score for ‘Johanne’. She trusted Ros to be able to interpret her vision through music score. The entire process of creating the score was wonderful but Ros admitted, after further probing, that the real beauty lay when he conducted the finished score with F.A.M.E.’s Macedonian Symphonic Orchestra, an experience he describes as “a great privilege”. The film caught the attention of the industry and it has been nominated for a number of awards. Ros recently won the Audience Award for the Best music at the British Animation Film Festival, which will undoubtedly provide him the platform to write another beautiful score.
So, what’s next for Ros? Well he’s just finished composing music for a TV documentary for French TV channel ‘France 5’ called “Enfants De Daesh” (The Children of ISIS) and is working on his debut EP, ‘Fantasies’, due for release Spring 2018. Does he ever relax or unwind I ask? Ros laughed and replied “I enjoy running or working out; it’s an important part of my daily routine and I find my best musical ideas come to me when I’m working out”. I laugh and think even when he’s meant to be relaxing music is always at the forefront of his mind.
Ros Gilman’s debut EP is Fantasies is out Spring 2018 and Enfants De Daesh will be broadcasted on October 4th at 8.50pm on France 5