Clive Cockburn

Clive Cockburn is a New Zealand based Musician with a career spanning many years as a working musician, songwriter and composer working in the Film and Television industry.

After learning classical piano and playing guitar and keyboards in a high profile and successful NZ band "The Avengers", Clive co-wrote Rock Operas, TV commercials and film scores. He was a finalist on five occasions and winner on three for the ‘Best Original Music’ category at the New Zealand Film and Television Awards.

"When I was commissioned to compose a television pantomime I realised that I needed to learn more so I went to Los Angeles and the Dick Grove Music Workshops which is now the Grove School of Music. Many who attended this exclusive little school had already graduated with a masters degree from some prestigious university but wanted to learn the real 'nuts-n-bolts' that a composer/arranger needs to know, to survive in the 'real' world.

It was a privilege to be there in one of the years when Dick was actually teaching. We studied harmony for five hours a day during the first six months - he was such a wonderful teacher!

During the second six months, we would be given an A4 lead sheet every Thursday. We had a weekend to turn this into an arrangement for Big Band, often supplemented with woods and strings. The arrangement had to be completed and the parts copied, (for the 17 - 37 players) by the Tuesday morning. We were then given just ten minutes to direct the band and make it work. This weekly exercise taught us to deliver music to a deadline which is great practice for film and television composers. Usually we had to work right through at least one night of the weekend."

Many of the elements of the Grove course are in The Contemporary Music Course, so take your time, you will find there is a lot in here!

Clive Cockburn Film and Television History Reel


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