Kevin Sargent
composer for film and television

Latest

The Birth of Valerie Venus

Score for BFI short film now available

My original score for writer/director Sarah Clift‘s mischievous and beautifully made short, The Birth of Valerie Venus is now available on to download or stream on all major platforms, as the film itself starts to gain awards around the world. As Sarah puts it: “Trapped in a world of domesticity and servitude, long suffering vicar’s ...
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The Birth of Valerie Venus

Score for BFI short film now available

My original score for writer/director Sarah Clift‘s mischievous and beautifully made short, The Birth of Valerie Venus is now available on to download or stream on all major platforms, as the film itself starts to gain awards around the world.

As Sarah puts it: “Trapped in a world of domesticity and servitude, long suffering vicar’s wife Valerie (55), has spent a lifetime serving others. At her wits’ ends, she makes a quiet plea to the Virgin Mary, who answers her prayers in the form of a strange force. Convinced she is possessed, Valerie fights her path to enlightenment every step of the way, until she realises there actually might be some benefits to being kind to yourself.”

The score draws on Baroque minimalism and Tango elements, and was performed by founder member of the London Tango Quintet, David Juritz (violin) and Nicholas Holland (cello).

Continuing the Legend

Scoring My Mum Tracy Beaker and some thoughts about my own family history

My Mum Tracy Beaker has been CBBC’s biggest ever launch, racking up over 2.1 million streams on iPlayer in the first weekend alone and setting social media reaction on fire in early 2021. I have to confess the world of Tracy Beaker – Jacqueline Wilson’s feisty ‘problem child’ –  had escaped me.  I was born ...
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Continuing the Legend

Scoring My Mum Tracy Beaker and some thoughts about my own family history

My Mum Tracy Beaker has been CBBC’s biggest ever launch, racking up over 2.1 million streams on iPlayer in the first weekend alone and setting social media reaction on fire in early 2021.

I have to confess the world of Tracy Beaker – Jacqueline Wilson’s feisty ‘problem child’ –  had escaped me.  I was born too early for it to hit my childhood viewing or reading.  All the same, I knew Tracy was an essential part of the cultural landscape for my children.  Blimey, hadn’t Stormzy even quoted the theme tune?

So when long-time collaborator, producer/director John McKay (Compact Pictures) invited me to come aboard this new chapter for CBBC –  My Mum Tracy Beaker – it was a great thrill and opportunity to be part of the canon, but I needed to bone up quickly – I immediately devoured the previous series over several days.

John saw the new series as a love story between mother and daughter, seen through the eyes of Tracy’s daughter Jess.  Along the way, it examines ideas of home and stability, and more sombre questions of mental health, parenting and childhood trauma – something which resonated, of which more later.

It was clear the bond between Tracy and Jess needed an emotional thread, a simple, tender and honest musical idea to return to. After a few false starts, I presented a slightly hymnal, almost folk piano sketch which I performed to John on the on a Zoom call and it seemed to hit the spot – aspects of sanctuary and tenderness. With his encouragement I found it blooming into an expansive second section under my fingers, before returning to the spare, opening mood and a gentle resolution; John could hear this forming a Heart and Home theme and it became a central element of the score.

The script was shouting for other musical reactions, so even before they were shooting – under Covid restrictions, of course – I started to present other character sketches to John and CBBC exec Spencer Campbell in Zoom meetings.  John and I often work like this – it’s very much a dialogue in the early stages, trying things out, writing away from the picture, trying to capture the spirit of the story in character sketches and subtextual layers.  On occasion, a musical approach might trigger a bold editing idea or even a new sequence – always exciting.

First was a potential title theme for Tracy in her groove, on top of her world: confident, cheeky, with a hard-won toughness but not without emotional depths. I heard rhythms of reggae and ska, the dubby sounds of a diverse, contemporary Britain, with eclectic instruments for the melody: banjo, melodica and the Arabic oud.  A toy piano – and elsewhere mandolin – consciously evoked Tracy Beaker Returns in a nostalgic nod to Joby Talbot’s delightful earlier work. The fresh, swaggering theme found a perfect home in the opening sequence, here.

To reflect Tracy’s hair-trigger rage when threatened or challenged, and perhaps work as a main title theme, I created a kind of 80s-pop stomp-and-clap with a playground-type chant.  I went through several versions improving it or so I thought, making it punchier, busier, ever more aggressive, but John kept returning to the demo for its simplicity and sense of fun. I think they even dubbed the demo into the final film, despite our slicker later mixes

For me, the character of our narrator Jess – precocious, bookish, perhaps as wilful as her mother – called for something naïve yet spirited which we found useful for bridging passages, to suggest time passing and things changing.  Here it melts into luxurious loungecore as they arrive at Sean’s swanky pile.

Much as I made every play to bag the theme tune, it was perhaps inevitable that nothing could displace the original Keisha White song Someday, so long and affectionately associated with the Beaker universe.  EP Spencer approached the original producer/co-writer Brian Harris who soon brought us several new versions with a fresh vocal from Keisha: a cool, dark R&B mix edit became our end-title music, and the fabulous disco-tastic arrangement got a star appearance in the wedding scene.

The score was mixed by my long-serving engineer Steve Parr. Given the geographical and Covid constraints, we were forced to mix remotely. In a successful first experiment, we had Steve operate my computer workstation here in Newcastle from his facility in London, while I simultaneously streamed the full-resolution audio back to him. We kept in contact via a continuous WhatsApp call on our phones – it worked a dream and saved loads in time and travel costs.

The Heart and Home theme runs through the story whenever Tracy chases a dream of stability for her and Jess, something Tracy wasn’t lucky enough to experience consistently in her own upbringing.  There’s something bittersweet about it that seems to make it work on both happy and more melancholy scenes.

It wasn’t until I was in sight of the finishing line, polishing the closing cue with more mandolin and starting to relax, that I had a small epiphany: so much of the story in fact had deep echoes in my own family history, echoes now triggering a wave of unexpectedly powerful emotion in me.  At once I recognised again the many parallels between Tracy’s story and that of my own, dear late mother, whose upbringing had brought its own challenges and struggles throughout her life.  While their personalities could not have been more different, I realised what I had been writing for Tracy B, I had also been writing for her.

So Mum, this one’s for you.

Barbara Jean Sargent (née Jones) 1930 – 2003

SHORT FILM DRAMA DEBUT FOR STUART DOUGLAS

The Douglas Brothers gave me my first break into writing for commercials. Stuart Douglas (Ronnie Wood: Hell of a Racket) has made his drama debut with this tender, moving short film Cúl an Tí: The Back of the House, from a script by Emma Pyne, and taking inspiration from Séan Ó Ríordáin’s much-loved poem. Here’s the trailer for the film which is already appearing at festivals internationally.

The score features David Juritz on violin and Barnaby Robson on Bb and bass clarinet.

Katy Wins Two BAFTA Childrens Awards

I am so thrilled that KATY, adapted for CBBC from Jacqueline Wilson’s retelling of WHAT KATY DID has won two BAFTA Children’s Awards: Chloe Lea for Best Young Performer and Tom Bidwell for Best Writer. It was also nominated for Best Drama. Well done to Spencer, John and all the team on a lovely series. ...
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Katy Wins Two BAFTA Childrens Awards

I am so thrilled that KATY, adapted for CBBC from Jacqueline Wilson’s retelling of WHAT KATY DID has won two BAFTA Children’s Awards: Chloe Lea for Best Young Performer and Tom Bidwell for Best Writer. It was also nominated for Best Drama. Well done to Spencer, John and all the team on a lovely series. For the score I was lucky enough to have Barnaby Robson of the Royal Opera play clarinet, Michael Cox of the London Sinfonietta on flute and Nicholas Holland on cello. Arthur Dick performed the heavy metal guitars and banjo, mandolin, omnichord, piano, accordion, acoustic guitar, glockenspiel and Juno 6 were me. Much of the score derived from a single acoustic demo I wrote in response to the script.

Sky scores high with Ratburger

Sky One enjoyed its highest ratings ever among 5-14 year olds, and the highest overall for five years with the Christmas Eve treat Ratburger, adapted by Kevin Cecil and David Walliams from the latter’s book. Starring Sheridan Smith, Walliams himself and newcomer Talia Barnett, it tells the story of young Zoe who, bullied at school, befriends ...
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Sky scores high with Ratburger

Sky One enjoyed its highest ratings ever among 5-14 year olds, and the highest overall for five years with the Christmas Eve treat Ratburger, adapted by Kevin Cecil and David Walliams from the latter’s book. Starring Sheridan Smith, Walliams himself and newcomer Talia Barnett, it tells the story of young Zoe who, bullied at school, befriends a dancing rat she names Armitage. However, the evil Burt (Walliams) has plans to turn Armitage into one of his revolting burgers and a series of disappearances adds to the mystery. Plans are in place for a digital release of the soundtrack soon.

BASF

Brings Power to the Dispossessed

The problem with traditional utility poles for power and communication cables is that weight and rigidity makes them vulnerable to extreme winds and weather. German company BASF have developed an ultra-light pole of glass-fibre and polyurethane composite called Elastolit® which can withstand freak storms due to an ability to ‘bend with the wind’. Stuart Douglas’ stirring ad for Leagas Delaney London showcases the life-saving qualities of this innovative product and features music by Kevin.

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Kevin Scores World Cup Winning Goal in Tina and Bobby

Tina and Bobby
England’s original footballing jetset-couple Tina and Bobby Moore airs on Friday nights in January 2017 in ITV’s 3×60 primetime three-parter. It stars Michelle Keegan as Tina, Lorne McFadyen as Bobby. Directed by John McKay and produced by Spencer Campbell from a script by Lauren Klee.
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Kevin Scores World Cup Winning Goal in Tina and Bobby

Tina and Bobby

England’s original footballing jetset-couple Tina and Bobby Moore airs on Friday nights in January 2017 in ITV’s 3×60 primetime three-parter. It stars Michelle Keegan as Tina, Lorne McFadyen as Bobby. Directed by John McKay and produced by Spencer Campbell from a script by Lauren Klee.

Tina and Bobby

Ordinary Lies Returns to BBC1

Ordinary Lies - Series 2
Red Productions’ highly successful ensemble series returns to our screens with an completely new cast and setting, the secret lives of the staff at a South Wales warehouse. Written by Danny Brocklehurst, directed by Misha Manson-Smith (No Offence) and Jon Wright (Robot Overlords).
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Ordinary Lies Returns to BBC1

Ordinary Lies - Series 2

Red Productions’ highly successful ensemble series returns to our screens with an completely new cast and setting, the secret lives of the staff at a South Wales warehouse.

Written by Danny Brocklehurst, directed by Misha Manson-Smith (No Offence) and Jon Wright (Robot Overlords).

Ordinary Lies - Series 2

Sweet Dreams for Avon

Kevin has scored the new Avon Dreams fragrance commercial for Leagas Delaney with a delicate, haunting song co-written with vocalist Helen Hamilton formerly of London band Death Rattle. Directed by Kathi Prosser via The Sweet Shop, it first airs from February 1st across Eastern Europe and South Africa and then online worldwide. Click here to ...
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Sweet Dreams for Avon

Kevin has scored the new Avon Dreams fragrance commercial for Leagas Delaney with a delicate, haunting song co-written with vocalist Helen Hamilton formerly of London band Death Rattle. Directed by Kathi Prosser via The Sweet Shop, it first airs from February 1st across Eastern Europe and South Africa and then online worldwide.

Click here to watch

The Right Time for Patek Philippe

The world’s finest handmade watches deserve music of equal distinction; Kevin’s beautiful, timeless composition ‘Tick Tock’ emphasises the emotions in Patek Philippe’s new Global Generations film. Tender scenes of a parent and child in a variety of cultures – London, Geneva, Tokyo, Shanghai and New York – demonstrate “You never actually own a Patek Philippe. ...
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The Right Time for Patek Philippe

The world’s finest handmade watches deserve music of equal distinction; Kevin’s beautiful, timeless composition ‘Tick Tock’ emphasises the emotions in Patek Philippe’s new Global Generations film. Tender scenes of a parent and child in a variety of cultures – London, Geneva, Tokyo, Shanghai and New York – demonstrate “You never actually own a Patek Philippe. You merely look after it for the next generation.”

Click here to watch

‘Eclectronica’ Score for hit show Ordinary Lies

Ordinary Lies
This new six-part series from writer Danny Brocklehurst (Shameless, The Driver) has been getting excellent reviews and a passionate response from millions of viewers. Directed by John McKay and Juliet May, and produced for Red Productions by Tom Sherry, it examines the lives – and lies – of the staff at a used car-dealership somewhere ...
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‘Eclectronica’ Score for hit show Ordinary Lies

Ordinary Lies

This new six-part series from writer Danny Brocklehurst (Shameless, The Driver) has been getting excellent reviews and a passionate response from millions of viewers. Directed by John McKay and Juliet May, and produced for Red Productions by Tom Sherry, it examines the lives – and lies – of the staff at a used car-dealership somewhere in the north of England. A superb cast of familiar faces including Max Beesley, Jo Joyner, Sally Lindsay, Mackenzie Crook, Jason Manford and Michelle Keegan feature in these modern morality tales. Kevin performed much of the highly-original score himself, which combines mandolin, ukelele, bouzouki, autoharp, boomwhackers and banjo with synthetic textures in what he calls ‘eclectronica’.

Ordinary Lies

Double BAFTA Nomination for The Wrong Mans

Best Scripted Comedy

The Wrong Mans
The Wrong Mans Series Two has been nominated for two BAFTAs. Not only have Mathew and James have been recognised in the Comedy Writer category, but the series has received a nomination for Best Scripted Comedy. Congratulations to director/producer Jim Field Smith and all the talented contributors involved.
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Double BAFTA Nomination for The Wrong Mans

Best Scripted Comedy

The Wrong Mans

The Wrong Mans Series Two has been nominated for two BAFTAs. Not only have Mathew and James have been recognised in the Comedy Writer category, but the series has received a nomination for Best Scripted Comedy. Congratulations to director/producer Jim Field Smith and all the talented contributors involved.

The Wrong Mans
  • Cúl an Tí – The Back of the House
    Short Film
  • Slava’s Journey: Secrets of Snow
    Documentary
  • Killing Joe
    Academy Award Nominee - Best Short: Live Action
  • Marhaba
    We Welcome the World
  • Dove
    Courage is Beautiful
  • The Birth of Valerie Venus
    Short Film
  • Patek Philippe
    Devil
  • BASF
    Share
  • Patek Philippe
    Global Generations - Office
  • EIRGRID
    The Grid of Life
  • Tina and Bobby
    Biographical drama
  • Katy
    Katy
    Emmy-winning TV Adaptation
  • Patek Philippe
    New Twenty~4 Automatic
  • Patek Philippe - Wanting the Perfect Numeral
    Patek Philippe
    Wanting the Perfect Numeral
  • BASF – Utility Poles
    BASF
    Utility Poles
  • Avon
    Dreams
  • The Wrong Mans
    BAFTA-nominated Comedy Series
  • Ordinary Lies
    Opening Titles
  • Mapp and Lucia
    Mapp and Lucia
    RTS-nominated Score
  • Ordinary Lies
    Ordinary Lies
    Selections from score
  • The Hour Series Two
    The Hour 2
    BAFTA-nominated Score
  • The Wrong Mans
    End Title
  • A Waste of Shame
    A Waste of Shame: The Mystery of Shakespeare and his Sonnets
    Ivor Novello-nominated Score
  • Macbeth
    Shakespeare Retold
    Macbeth
  • Ballet Shoes
    Ballet Shoes
    Selections from Score
  • Crush
    Crush
    Pregnancy Montage and Epilogue
  • Lilies
    Lilies
    Drama Series
  • Fakers
    Fakers
    Crime Comedy Feature
  • We'll Take Manhatten
    We’ll Take Manhattan
    Prix Europa Best Single Drama
  • Blue Murder
    Blue Murder
    Drama Series
  • The Last Days of Lehman Brothers
    The Last Days of Lehman Brothers
    Selections
  • Bank of Ireland - Lighthouse
    Bank of Ireland
    Lighthouse
  • Patek Philippe - Global Generations
    Patek Philippe
    Global Generations
  • Guinness - Christmas
    Guinness
    Christmas Card
  • Sony Playstation 3 - Meet the Entertainers
    Sony Playstation 3
    Meet the Entertainers
  • Cerruti Image - Tunnel
    Cerruti Image
    Tunnel

About

Kevin Sargent

Composer for film and television

Hello. I’m Kevin Sargent, multi-instrumentalist and composer for film and television, based in the UK.

I was proud to be nominated for a BAFTA for my score for Emmy-winning drama The Hour (Kudos/BBC) and an Ivor Novello Award for A Waste of Shame (BBC).

Mapp & Lucia (BBC) was nominated Best Original Music by the Royal Television Society, and both We’ll Take Manhattan (Kudos/BBC) and The Wrong Mans (BBC/Hulu) for Music+Sound Awards.

Productions I have scored have won notable prizes including the Prix Europa Best Drama for We’ll Take Manhattan and International Emmys for family films Katy (CBBC), and Ratburger (Sky/King Bert).

Read more >

Hello. I’m Kevin Sargent, composer and multi-instrumentalist best known for my work in film and television, based in the UK.

I was proud to be nominated for a BAFTA for my work on Emmy-winning drama The Hour (Kudos/BBC) and both an Ivor Novello and European Soundtrack Award for the film portrait of Shakespeare the poet, A Waste of Shame (BBC), written by author William Boyd.

My orchestral score for Mapp & Lucia (BBC) was nominated Best Original Music by the Royal Television Society, the 60s jazz-inspired We’ll Take Manhattan (Kudos/BBC) and action-comedy The Wrong Mans (BBC/Hulu) for Music+Sound Awards.

Recently I had the honour of working closely with the late Ennio Morricone in Rome – rhythm-programming and remixing one of the maestro’s final projects.


“Your score, besides being so right for the movie, also displayed a rare quality among composers these days: you write terrific melodies! I was very impressed …”

Burt Berman, President, Music Division, Paramount Pictures


As a classically-trained pianist, my performance as joint soloist in the Malcolm Arnold double piano concertos with the Ulster Orchestra was broadcast on BBC R3 and is now available on the Naxos label and major streaming platforms.

As drummer/percussionist and keyboardist signed to A&M and then Elektra Records, I recorded three albums with influential band Thrashing Doves, touring the UK and Europe and headlining across the USA working with some of the world’s finest producers and recording engineers.


“Really so delighted with what you’ve done. Sophisticated, original, sexy, emotional, layered, witty, understated and elegant. Everything we hoped for.”

Sandra Goldbacher, director The Hour


Productions I have scored have won notable prizes including the Prix Europa Best Drama for John McKay’s We’ll Take Manhattan and International Emmys for both Katy (CBBC) and Ratburger (Sky).  Both Katy and The Wrong Mans (Hulu/BBC) earned two BAFTA nominations and The Hour no less than five.

Mehdi Norowzian’s Killing Joe (Joy Films) was nominated for an Academy Award as Best Short Film. and Slava’s Journey: Secrets of Snow (Blue Canary) won Best Original Score at the Docs Without Borders Festival 2020.


“Your willingness, talent and great attitude for going above the call of duty was refreshing, thoughtful and extremely appreciated.”

Jack Binder, Producer, The Upside of Anger (Sunlight Pictures)


Commercials I’ve scored include original and award-winning work for global brands such as Dove, Adidas, Patek Philippe, Hyundai, Harrods, Volvo, Financial Times and Sony Playstation. The Guinness commercial has become a much-loved and timeless staple of the festive season in Ireland for over ten years now.


“As ever, your response was creative and inspired”

Mal Stevenson, Creative Director, BBDO Dublin


A founder member of The Hurricane Club, London-based comedy improvisation team, I performed at their weekly West End venue for several years. Recently I have been elected Media Committee Chair and Board Director of the Ivors Academy for Music Creators, the UK’s leading organisation campaigning on behalf of composers and music creators.

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Audio Reel

Here are some favourite cues from various scores of mine. Will be changing this list every so often.
Please use the slider on the right to scroll down for more tracks. Hope you enjoy.

CONTACT

Please get in touch via the details below.

Studio

+44 (0) 7973 326954

[email protected]

Film & TV

c/o Ollie Fitzgerald
Cool Music

+44 (0) 208 995 7766

[email protected]

Commercials

+44 (0) 7973 326954

[email protected]