“…full of yearning and a shadow-streaked melancholy. Long falls on the neo-classical side of chamber music,
not quite ambient, not full-on classical” – John Diliberto, Echoes
Helen Jane Long is an award-winning film composer whose musicology brings indie culture to classical and soundtrack music. This one-time Warner Bros. composer left it all behind to create her own record label, publishing company and destiny. Her signature sound is cinematic classical and she’s kicking and dragging it into the future with her stunning fourth release, “Identity”.
Helen is a classically trained pianist who taught herself to play string instruments; a competitive athlete whose music inspires audiences and filmmakers; and an intensely serious musician who possesses a cheeky sense of humor when it comes to her chosen profession.
Born and raised on the southern coast of England, Helen was able to play piano by ear as a four year old. Her ability to recreate the sounds she heard quickly became one of the cornerstones of her composing career as she taught herself to play the cello, violin and guitar, in rapid succession, in order to create her own orchestral arrangements.
After earning her degree at Bristol college, Helen quickly landed a job with the BBC where she immersed herself in the world of television scores and often worked with composers Ronnie Hazlehurst (Only Fools and Horses), Dennis King (Black Beauty) and Nigel Hess (Ladies in Lavender), and was mentored by composer Ron Goodwin who taught her the importance of being both passionate about the composition process and mindful of the people she worked with.
In 2003, Howard Shore hired her as the Musical Score Continuity Director for the Lord Of The Rings films and by 2004, Helen had found success composing for television commercials and was well on her way to being associated with brands such as Mercedes, Galaxy Chocolate, Volkswagen Passat, and Bosch. In 2011, British Airways chose her to write the song for their multi-billion dollar “To Fly, To Serve” TV campaign to re-launch the airline.
In 2006, she was discovered and signed a contract with Warner Classics who released her first album, Porcelain, the following year. It went on to critical acclaim in England and the U.S. Not one to thrive in a corporate environment, Helen walked away from her contract with Warner in order to pursue her own musical visions and released her second album, Embers, independently on her own BLE Records. The album rapidly climbed the charts to become the most requested album on London’s national Classic FM radio, and in 2011, earned Helen the honor of being the only female composer in the Classic FM Hall of Fame. By the time she released her third album, Intervention, in 2012, Helen had composed music for ten feature and short films, seven commercials, and eleven documentary films including scores for films by iconic American director Louis Schwartzberg and Batkid, a documentary by The Make A Wish Foundation.
Her new album, Identity, marks yet another shift in her composing career as she sets out to take listeners on a musical exploration of the things that make us individuals among humanity. Composed over the course of a year, Identity marks a move toward a bigger sound as she embraces the full richness of soundtrack composition folded into her uniquely intimate melodies. The highly anticipated fourth album releases worldwide on April 11, 2016.
Enormously talented, extraordinarily kind and exceptionally engaged in the processes of composing and performing, it’s obvious that no matter which lens you view Helen Jane Long through, certain things remain crystal clear. Her life long devotion to her music, development of her craft, and dedication to her process has spawned music that enhances and illuminates the world around her.
U.S. Tour Dates
Nov 10 – New Orleans / Marigny Opera House
Nov 11 – Lancaster PA / Make Films Studios
Nov 14 – Chicago IL / Pianoforte Foundation
Nov 16 – San Francisco / Herbst Theater
released December 5, 2016
Written, composed, arranged and produced by Helen Jane Long