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Rebecca Sneddon playing saxaphone with a band member playing drums Image courtesy of Rebecca Sneddon
Rebecca Sneddon graduated from Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) in 2013 with a BMus in Music.

Rebecca performs with Free Nelson Mandoomjazz, a trio she formed in Edinburgh with classmate, Paul Archibald, and their mutual friend, Colin Stewart.

Rebecca is also a composer for various media, including films, video games and animation.

Tell us about yourself

I come from Carluke in South Lanarkshire. I came to Edinburgh to study Music in 2009 and graduated from ECA in 2013 with a Bachelor in Music (BMus). I am currently based in Bristol.

Tell us about your creative practice

Like any musician, I am driven by my passion for music. Crafting something that is uniquely yours – bringing a piece of yourself to life in music – is such an amazing feeling; it's almost an addiction. I wouldn't want to do anything else.

My inspiration for my work is extremely varied. As a media composer, the primary inspiration comes from the media itself – whether this be film, video game, animation or otherwise. For me, this allows the process of composing to more easily begin. The media is an open door to my own creative instinct.

I am certainly inspired by a vast range of musical genres, with my varied musical background colouring my work. It's difficult to define what directly influences my composition, as it is a subconscious combination of experiences.

Being a very competitive industry, it can be difficult to keep motivated. I believe that hard work and dedication are necessary in achieving success as a musician, but also enjoying what you do.

Performing and composing give me a kind of satisfaction I can't find anywhere else.

"Edinburgh is so fantastically colourful – with its people, places and general atmosphere, it's quite unlike any other city I've visited. Other than just being unbelievably beautiful, I loved the feeling of living in a lively, bustling atmosphere, with the University being integral to the city."

Rebecca Sneddon

2013 Music - BMus

Why did you choose to study at ECA?

I was drawn to both Edinburgh’s reputation, as a University, and the arts and cultural life of the city itself. While the Reid School of Music only became part of Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) during my time as an undergraduate, the move has been fantastic in creating a more unified arts scene for students.

When I first began my degree, I was unsure about which direction I should take – there seemed so many options and specialisations. The BMus is extremely varied in the first two years, which allowed me to better understand where my skills lay and helped me realise a specialisation in composition and film.

Having small classes in honours years was one of the highlights of my education. It allowed plenty of contact time; the tuition was very personal and I always felt well supported.

During my four years at Edinburgh, my peers were family. And they still are. (Seriously, I can't get rid of them.)

Being surrounded by musicians is an amazing experience – everyone has come from varied backgrounds and with different musical tastes. I was fortunate to be involved in so many different projects during my undergraduate degree, and this certainly furthered my knowledge and interest in varying genres of music.

What have been your biggest achievements since you graduated?

It's only been a year since I graduated, but it's been eventful!

During my time at Edinburgh, I entered into an experimental trio with my classmate Paul Archibald and our mutual friend, Colin Stewart. Our ridiculously named band, Free Nelson Mandoomjazz, began as an experiment and has blossomed into a very serious project. Shortly after completing my degree, we were signed to record label, RareNoise, and have released a debut album and toured mainland Europe. This October, we travelled to Berlin to perform in the Berlin Jazz Festival in a programme that included Benny Golson and Elliott Sharp. Our second album is to be released early next year.

After graduating, I continued my studies at the University of Bristol. This year, I have completed a Masters in Composing for Film and Television, and will be graduating in February 2015. I have been involved in many projects while studying at Bristol, perhaps my most significant being a student documentary concerning wolf reintroduction to the Scottish Highlands by filmmaker Sam Sutaria. I was glad to be involved in a project which, not only gave a stunning depiction of Scottish and American wildlife, but was socially and environmentally relevant and important. The film is to be released soon in partnership with the Alladale Wilderness Reserve.

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