Tic Ashfield-Fox

28 October 2020

“Hi! I’m Tic a composer and sound designer working in theatre and TV. I’m originally from the West Midlands but I have lived in Cardiff for just about 11 years.

Mainly I work composing music and sound for theatre in and around Cardiff. I love working with artists from different disciplines and it’s a privilege to have the opportunity to learn from the people I work with each time I start on a new project. I also write music for film and TV, mainly with the company John Hardy Music where I’m part of the creative team. I also love to teach.

It’s so important to me to try my best to be a positive role model for other femxle composers and sound designers, particularly those starting out in the industry. This is something that I’m deeply passionate about, particularly when it comes to my work as a composition tutor at RWCMD. We are definitely in the minority, and so I think it’s important that we all look out for each other and support one another throughout the different stages of our careers.

When I was a teenager I started playing guitar and writing my own songs (badly!) and I started wanting to be able to record what I was doing and add layers of harmony and guitar parts. I used to plug my Dad’s old computer into a pair of speakers, record one part into the computer and then play that back out of the speakers and sing over the top again and again to create layers. Of course each time I did this it would sound worse and worse! But this started me on the journey to where I am now. I was always interested in writing music through technology and I’m incredibly lucky that I have managed to make a career out of it.

For me the most important part of working on a project is the sense of shared collaboration you get with the people around you. I love to be creatively inspired by each team that I get to work with. I also think it’s really important to always be questioning what the role of music and sound actually is within the context of any production. I work hard to try to find the right sonic language to best suit the story and narrative as well as making sure that music and sound are being used in the right places at the right time. I think it’s crucial in storytelling to make sure that any music and sound is sympathetic to the storyline and never interferes with the text. I’m pretty sure I don’t get it right all the time but these are the kinds of questions I’m always asking myself!

Coming from a specifically musical rather than theatrical background, I found there was so much to learn when I started to work in theatre. Although this has been challenging in some respects, working in theatre has provided me with a creative space where I feel truly at home. It has allowed me to develop new skill sets and ways of working that I didn’t previously know were possible. It has also given me the opportunity to work with more womxn in a creative and safe environment.

I feel hugely empowered by all of the incredibly talented, passionate and welcoming people I have so far had the pleasure of working with as a composer based in Wales. It’s amazing to feel like I am a part of this big, extended family and it’s one of the things that makes me feel so happy and grateful to be here!

I’ve been really focused on teaching at the moment. I’m trying my best to teach in the college building as much as I can (as long as it’s safe to do so!) and it has felt great to be back in the building doing what I love. I’m also very lucky as I’m currently working with the Sherman Theatre composing music and sound for five of the ten radio plays in the ‘Heart of Cardiff’ project.”

Tic is an absolute powerhouse in the world of sound and composition. Such a wonderful person that I’m proud to know and had the pleasure to have worked with.

Find Tic and examples of her work at www.ticashfield.com

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