BWW INTERVIEWS: Composer Steven Luke Walker
The most exciting line-up to arrive in Theatreland made up of only the best of the West End, will take to the stage at The Charing Cross theatre on Sunday 20th March to sing the songs of Steven Luke Walker. Performers include Gina Beck, Ramin Karimloo, Summer Strallen, Samantha Barks and Rebecca Lock.
Hi Steven, welcome to BWW:UK. When did you start composing?
I was fifteen when I wrote my first song, it was a very simple yet depressing ballad about unrequited love! No further comment! At 16 I composed my first piece of musical theatre called 'Aspirations', it was due to be the 'big' Christmas show at my high school, but it was never performed as I left to accept my place at The Birmingham Conservatoire.
What influences your composition ?
Many things: essentially life and relationships. Not my own, but a passion to depict life in all forms and the various different relationships that form the fabric of it - those of love, friendship, contempt or unfamiliarity...I find relationships fascinating, and never two the same. Musically, I would have to say 'the epic of musical theatre'. I have never loved theatre more than when I leave feeling exhausted, educated and inspired and this always tends to be after the period epics, or 'big sings'. Among the composers I admire and take inspiration from: Stephen Schwartz for his arrangements, Stephen Sondheim for his unrivalled talent for setting lyrics to music, Frank Wildhorn for the melody and of course the iconic Andrew Lloyd Webber for his unforgettable songs.
How did this concert come about ?
Initially I found it hard to believe that people could just "put on a concert". Luckily my friend Gina Beck amongst others thought differently and that gave me the nudge. The concert has been in development since November last year. I'm probably going to be totally overwhelmed on the night and won't be able to take it all in, but luckily it's being filmed so I will be able to relive it!
How did you book such an amazing line-up?
Initially I drew on my resources as a vocal coach/singing tutor to several of those involved, but those performers I didn't know were recommended to me by those I did: in the way the business tends to be, a small close-knit circle. I'm so happy, I consider myself to have the most talented and stellar line up; they have dedicated their huge talents and a considerable amount of time to what will ultimately be a charity event.
How did you choose the charity?
I chose the charity 'Gingerbread', of which JK Rowling is the President, because part of the programme will include a small selection of songs inspired by the first book from her epic 'Harry Potter' series. I wanted any profit to go to a charity that wasn't so well known but was no less deserving.
Tell us a little bit about your day job.
By day I'm a singing tutor and vocal coach. I divide my time between two leading drama schools; The Guildford School of Acting (GSA) and Mountview Theatre Arts. When not at these places I work with industry clientele privately and with production companies when employed to coach individuals or ensembles on their shows. I consider myself very lucky to be training the stars of tomorrow while working with the stars of today!
Stars of the West End Sing the Songs of Steven Luke Walker, Sunday March 20, 18:30 at the Charing Cross Theatre.
Photo: Joseph Shaffery.