Ivor Novello Award winning and Emmy nominated composer, Ben Salisbury, is best known as one of the countries leading film and TV composers, with recent credits including the feature films ‘Ex Machina’, ‘Free Fire’ (both co-composed with Geoff Barrow) and ‘Beyonce: Life is But a Dream’. He is also a member of the bands ‘Drokk’ (with Geoff Barrow) and ‘Dolman’ (with Scott Hendy).
Ben is particularly well known in the field of Natural History, where he has scored over 50 films – including the last 3 of David Attenborough’s ‘Life Of…’ series. He has also formed a critically acclaimed writing partnership with Porstishead’s Geoff Barrow. The pair have so far released the album DROKK: Music Inspired By Mega City One, described by The Quietus as ‘jaw dropping.. one of the heaviest and most intensely atmospheric records of the year’. The soundtrack album to Ex Machina has been described by Louder Than War as ‘sensational’, and there are further plans to continue a collaboration which, according to screenwriter/director/producer Alex Garland ‘sets an incredibly high bar of creative skill and integrity’. Other recent co-written credits from Ben and Geoff include Ben Wheatly’s Free Fire (executively produced by Martin Scorsese) and Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror: Men Against Fire.
A classically trained pianist since the age of five, his TV credits include the David Attenborough series The Life of Mammals, Life In The Undergrowth and the 2008 BAFTA winning series Life In The Cold Blood, followed by Nature’s Great Events, shown on BBC1 in February 2009. Sir David himself has described Ben’s score for episode 3 of The Life of Mammals as ‘one of the best scores there has been on any programme I have narrated.’ On 22nd of September 2009, as part of the celebrations for the re-opening of Bristol’s Colston Hall, Ben’s music for Nature’s Great Events, co-composed with Barnaby Taylor, was performed by the BBC Concert Orchestra, introduced and compered by David Attenborough, and received excellent reviews in the media. Other credits include Ocean Giants, The Nature of Britain, Congo and the Making Waves strand of 8 ‘behind the scenes’ programmes that accompanied the award winning The Blue Planet series.
He was nominated for an EMMY for his 007 influenced music for The Wildlife On One programme Operation Thunderball. The title sequence for Life In The Undergrowth, featuring Ben’s iconic theme, won a BAFTA for designer Mick Connaire in 2006. He won Best Music Video Award at The Missoula International Wildlife Film Festival for his score for Natural Tracks; and a further awards for Natural World-Transylvania at the Montana International Wildlife Film Festival and for Nature’s Great Events at the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival. Ben and Geoff Barrow’s score for Ex Machina was the 2016 Ivor Novello Award winner for best film score.
Ben is also involved in the highly influential Bristol band scene. As a co-writer and arranger he was an integral part of ‘stand alone Bristol sensation’ Malachai’s critically acclaimed 2nd album – Return To The Ugly Side, and according to Pitchfork, he brings the album ‘a wide screen scope, with ominous orchestral swells…that give Malachai a heretofore unheard force and sinister majesty.’ He also co-wrote and arranged tracks for The Beekeepers debut album – Apiculture, and was the string arranger on the Boca 45 album Vertigo Sounds. He is currently working alongside Geoff Barrow and Adrian Utley (Portishead) on a new album by Joe Volk, and has released a co-written album with Malachia’s Scott Hendy under the name ‘Dolman’ – praised by Crack magazine as an ‘impressive exercise in sonic muscle flexing’ to create ‘ the sonic accompaniment to a collection of enthralling shorts’.