Course studied: BA (Hons) Commercial Music
Graduating year: 2017
Silas Blackburn is an undergraduate student studying Commercial Music. He is a freelance composer, producer and engineer and has been creating music since a very young age. After travelling to New York in 2015 to intern at Nylon studios for two months Silas took the opportunity to push his freelance career further and since then has been worked with several artists and built his own small music production set up.
Silas's undergraduate experience
So far studying at Bath Spa has been a wonderful experience. I feel at home working here and it was a great place to live in first year. The course is immersive and collaborative work is an essential part of it. Funnily enough I found out about the course through working with my dad (a professional camera man) who was hired to direct the commercial music videos. It was a great way to see into the course and experience first hand the quality of music coming out of there.
The facilities are fantastic. I seem to live in the studio half the time, working with different artists and just generally creating stuff. There is a real vibrant hub in Bath as well. The Nest is a fantastic watering hole and I go there a lot. I remember gigging there with my band, Pepper's Ghost, in first year and packing the place out for a St Patrick’s day gig I organised as a promoter there. It's such a good place to get your footing.
In terms of highlights, there have been lot of great gigs and lovely memories made over the past two years. The 2015 Summer Ball and Bathfest were beautiful moments in my musical career.
Outside of commercial music, I also am part of the Global Citizenship course. It's been significant in helping me to learn about wider, worldwide issues and supporting me to intern in New York for two months last summer. Not to mention the opportunity to listen to incredible speakers.
I guess going to NY has to be my biggest highlight and has really changed how I operate as freelance composer, producer and engineer. It was eye opening and I learnt so much about the industry itself. The positive feedback I received (they even asked me to stay on two weeks and cover for the in house engineer) has boosted my confidence and given me the courage to push forward with my musical career. I am also grateful for the John Cullum Award which helped me to travel there. I have been lucky to have these experiences and I feel that the open minded nature of the university was instrumental in creating these opportunities. I most certainly would not be where I am today had I not come to study here.
Most recently I received part funding from the school of Enterprise and Employability to purchase my new (and quite wonderful) Adam monitor speakers. This again has allowed me to do lots more work outside of university. I am thankful for all the support and am excited to continue creating music.
"The facilities are fantastic. I seem to live in the studio half the time, working with different artists and just generally creating stuff. There is a real vibrant hub in Bath as well."
Why did you choose Bath Spa University?
It is a vibrant and exciting campus of creatives with fantastic facilities at their fingertips. I wanted to be a part of this and the Commercial Music course seemed perfect.
''The best thing about the course ...''
My favourite thing is simply studying and being assessed on something that I have always loved to do. It's brilliant to pushed to excel in music in an open minded and holistic way as that is exactly what I am trying to achieve.
''I recommend Bath Spa because ...''
It very much caters to you as an individual and creative, embracing differences and promoting collaboration. The campus is beautiful and much smaller than bigger universities, creating a much more close knit community. I regularly bump into someone I know even when just popping in.