Composition of Music for Film and Television
Shun Hang "Henry" Chan
“Having been brought up in a musical family, music has always been central to my life.”
Both Nicholas’s parents are active musicians and met whilst singing in an opera. Subsequently, Nicholas was involved in musical activities from an early age, singing in primary school at four years old, and violin when he was five. He performed with the Capital Art’s Children’s Choir touring in New York and France and performing Carmen at the 02 Arena and The Royal Albert Hall. At school, He was the lead bass in the choir, Barbershop Quintet, and the Hertfordshire County Youth Choir.
Furthering his interest in performing, but more importantly, Composition, Nicholas went to Cardiff University to Study for a Bachelor’s in Music. Here he studied composing to the highest level, completing several pieces for piano and full orchestra, as well as studying deeper into analysing orchestration, harmony, and instrumentation. He finished his degree during the COVID lockdowns with a 2:1 degree.
Nicholas’s passion for composing and recording for the entertainment industry was further cemented when he worked with sound engineer Andrew Dudman at Abbey Road Studios for a recording with Guitar and Voice, featuring a song I had written. Andrew’s expertise in film recording, including his work on the Lord of the Rings Score, helped Nicholas understand the technicalities behind orchestral film composing and understanding sound from a recording point of view. Andrew also outlined the intricacies of communication between the director and composer when working on a film score.
Master’s degree in Composition for Film and Television, Bristol
In 2023, Nicholas furthered his knowledge in film composition undertaking a Master’s degree at Bristol. Here he learned alongside many like-minded, talented musicians to take his composing to the next level. Quickly learning how to make use of Logic and Cubase, Nicholas was able to record many ensembles and soloists. He also had the outstanding
opportunity to re-score and work with many BBC wildlife producers.
Nicholas learned from and worked alongside media composers William Goodchild and Tess Tyler, which ended with the amazing experience of working with BBC producer Dom Walter in composing a scene from Prehistoric Planet. Nicholas composed and recorded parts within the score in a workshop where I conducted the Bristol ensemble, and
Dom provided valuable real-world composing experience.
Nicholas’s knowledge of orchestration and professional composition was honed by studying with Dr John Pickard. Shadowing music producer and technician Jonathan Scott, Nicholas was able to assist in two full orchestra recordings in the Victoria Rooms hall, as well as utilising the Victoria Rooms studios to record a string quartet, vocals, a brass ensemble, and an electro-swing band.
Coming out of the degree Nicholas has a massively diverse portfolio, scoring for documentaries, animations, and videogames, and will continue to collaborate with filmmakers in the future. Currently, he is working on two documentaries; one with a UWE student on a documentary set in Scotland, and another with an Australian filmmaker