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Broadoak Studios
Harvey Summers Music

A condensed biography.

I’ve been composing, producing and recording music since I fell in love with it at the age of 11, when I started to learn how to play keyboards and guitar. At 15, I composed and recorded an original score for a school play, a modern interpretation of Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’. We made an album of the music to sell at the shows (on cassette tape in those days) and it sold out. I also got interviewed on the local TV news and so got my first taste of what it might be like to be in the business.

Harvey in the studioBy 17, I’d been honing my composition and arranging skills and began work on my first proper solo album, “Dream Spinning”. I begged and borrowed equipment to record it and started working with other instruments, inviting friends to play clarinet, oboe and flute. The album attracted investment and we sold 1000 CDs pretty quickly. It’s still available on iTunes since it was re-released a few years ago. Around this time too, I had the chance to score a Doctor Who spin-off video and found that I really enjoyed working to picture as I’d always had a very visual approach to music anyway, being fascinated by the possibilities of creating a sonic landscape that transports the listener.

I continued to write new music, finishing my second record, ‘Circle’ at the age of 19. At this time I was assisting at a local recording studio, saving up to buy my own equipment. Soon, I received commissions for further Doctor Who spin off work, and eventually worked on official audio dramas of the series, working with Colin Baker, Peter Davison, Sylvester McCoy among others. Soon after that I received  my first feature film score commission, ‘Chilly Dogs’, directed by comic legend Bob Spiers, and starring Leslie Neilson, Rik Mayall, Natacha Henstridge and Skeet Ulrich.

I spent some time working with my dear friend and mentor, Kenny Craddock. Together we produced a number of library albums, his own solo album and more until his sad death in 2002. Harvey in the studioAround this time, I was producing sample CDs (collections of little loops of musical performances which computer based producers use to construct their tracks) and I realised I needed a bigger space, So I moved into Broadoak Park and set up my current workshop / sonic laboratory, ‘Broadoak Studios’. As a result of this work, I was contacted by Paul Crockford Management who asked me to produce a sample pack with legendary double bassist, Danny Thompson. We got on great which led to several further projects together including his contribution to the title track on my album, Jupiter and on my forthcoming album, ‘human’.

Broadoak has grown and evolved with me, and I have become a keen collector of high quality vintage equipment and microphones, which have very much become a vital part of my sound and increasingly ’steampunk’ work space!

All of this commissioned work took me away from personal projects for many years. It wasn’t until 2010 when I released a collection of slightly unfinished work, entitled “Past Lives” that I felt I was back on the horse so to speak, and for the first time, writing songs and singing myself. Following Past Lives, I wanted to focus my efforts on a very personal project, something that would really showcase the sound I had developed, that would be entirely my own ideas, without brief or commission. at the deskI also wanted to draw on subjects that fascinate and inspire me. Over the next few years though, my flagship work, “Jupiter” took form and was released in early 2013. My brief to myself production-wise, was to use no synthesisers or samples on the record, but to create atmospheric and engaging, other-worldly textures by taking an organic source, such as a guitar or piano performance, and applying treatments and effects.

My latest project, ‘human’ is a collaboration with Canadian singer and songwriter Laura Cole and will be released in November this year, the first single, Skeletons having just been released and available from my new web shop.