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#58: Library Music: The Hidden Champion

It was wonderful to catch up with Ted Barnes and Ali Friend about the fine art of library music, how they got into making it, and what makes it so special!

In this episode we investigate the fine art of library music, where some of the world’s best musicians produce collections of music to be used as sonic backdrops to films, TV series and viral social media videos. Oisin Lunny speaks to top-flight musicians, producers, composers and long-time creative partners Ted Barnes and Ali Friend about how they got into making library music and what makes it so special!

Audio Talks

A podcast on all things audio presented to you by HARMAN and our family of audio brands including JBL, Harman Kardon and AKG. Host Oisin Lunny, music journalist and audio enthusiast, will interview expert guests, legends of the music industry, and audio scientists to discuss the power of music and audio in all its facets.

About Ted Barnes

Ted Barnes is a UK based musician, songwriter and composer.

Best known for his work with British songwriter Beth Orton, he co-wrote, recorded and played live with Beth for over ten years. Ted has released four solo albums and formed the band ‘Clayhill’ with long term collaborator Ali Friend (Red Snapper) and the late Gavin Clark (Sunhouse).

He has worked with filmmakers Shane Meadows and Clio Barnard and written soundtracks for both theatre and circus companies including devising theatre shows for the National Theatre and Battersea Arts Centre. He is a member of Mrs H and the Sing-along Band and also produces singer songwriters and commercial music library albums.

“Deeply poetic without uttering a word, his work instantly transfixes you” Dazed & Confused
“His delicate, evocative music weaves a quietly irresistible magic” Uncut
“This music is quite awesome – simple – but awesome” Record Collector

More info

About Ali Friend

East London based multi-instrumentalist and composer Ali Friend was first known for his distinctive and versatile double bass and electric bass playing with pioneers Red Snapper, singer songwriter Beth Orton and luminaries such as the Chemical Brothers, Paloma Faith, The Imagined Village and neo-classical composer John Metcalf.

Ali always enjoyed the writing process in music creation and has now established himself as a successful composer, whether it be working alone on BBC documentaries and audio books, or with long standing creative partner Ted Barnes on film soundtracks for Shane Meadows in their band Clayhill and on an expansive catalogue of production and library music.

His love of found sound and unusual collected instruments characteristically informs his compositions.

Ali and Ted are part of the family-based community-driven music innovation called ‘Mrs H. and the Singalong Band’, a group who specialise in interactive music and singing sessions with young children and their carers, as well as inter-generational sessions with the elderly. Ali has co-produced and co-written four albums.

Red Snapper and off-shoot Number continue to play live and release material including film soundtracks such as for Senegalese film Touki Bouki.

Ali’s propensity to draw on a vast and varied history of music-making facilitates his diverse and multi layered composition.

More info


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Audio Talks is presented by Harman.

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