"The Italian guide book (1) is for my new series for Channel 4. It's a very focused history of the five key moments in Western musical history. We start in 1023 in Arezzo, with the invention of musical notation. My computer (2) has Sibelius software installed on it. I resisted it for a long time as I was a firm believer in pen and ink. My rhyming dictionary (3) is an indispensable part of the songwriter's kit. The grey box (4) is a tiny orchestra which plays a score back to me. My assistant kept stealing my Ordnung & Reda pencils (5), so I had to buy her a set of her own. The real music score (6) is a form of shorthand which I later translate into an orchestral score. No one else would be able to make sense of my spidery writing. The Newcastle United mug (7) keeps my feet on the ground. I'm really a Geordie in my soul."
Interview by Aoife O'Riordain
Photograph by Adrian FiskReuse content