Mark preparing to record the Bratislava Symphony Orchestra
Mark Rutherford is a London born, composer - producer with an innovative approach to composition and a unique style of production.
From starting out as a classical guitarist Mark moved on to be a guitarist and songwriter with Malcolm McLaren managed band, Jimmy The Hoover. Their song Tantalise reached 18 in the charts and they appeared on many TV shows including Top of the Pops.
Following this Mark became a session musician performing on a wide range of documentaries, commercials and some Hollywood feature films starring among others, Steve Martin, Daniel Day-Lewis and Jeff Goldblum.
Mark has worked extensively in the music industry, producing, songwriting and remixing with many prominent artists including; Peter Gabriel, William Orbit, Mike Oldfield, Malcolm McLaren, Goldie and Freddy Fresh.
He has scored a number of award winning feature films including; The Lighthouse, Panic Button, This Is Not A Love Song, The Darkest Day and Devil's Bridge.
Additionally, he has composed and produced the music for an array of number one selling games, including; Aliens vs. Predator, Batman: Arkham Origins, Assassin's Creed Chronicles, How To Train Your Dragon and the Sniper Elite series. Mark has scored games that have sold in excess of 50 million units.
Aliens vs. Predator
Assassin's Creed Chronicles
Batman: Arkham Origins
How To Train Your Dragon
Killzone: Mercenary - trailer
LittleBigPlanet - DC Comics
LittleBigPlanet - Marvel
Predator Hunting Grounds
Sniper Elite 2
Sniper Elite 3
Sniper Elite 4
Sniper Elite VR
Aliens vs. Predator
Mark’s first game score was for the 20th Century Fox, number one selling game, Aliens vs. Predator. This was a full orchestral score recorded in Slovakia with the Istropolis Philharmonic Orchestra. To create a unique and original sound for the Predator and the Alien he made his own percussion kits constructed from found pieces of metal and wood which were then scraped and hit with nails, sticks, brushes and mallets.
Read the Games TM Interview here...
Batman: Arkham Origins
Mark composed and produced the orchestral score for the multiplayer component of this number one selling game from Warner Brothers. It was a demanding brief that required Mark to musically stay on-brand whilst creating a unique musical experience that could be seamlessly implemented into the complex gameplay conditions. The result is a mix of extreme synthesised elements along side a full orchestral score performed by the Bratislava Symphony Orchestra.
Assassin's Creed Chronicles
Mark was excited when he was asked to compose music for this number one selling franchise from Ubisoft. He collaborated on this score with the talented Chris Jolley and Aaron Miller. The game features settings in three countries; China, India and Russia. With great effect Mark was able to draw on his world music experience gained when working at Gabriel’s “Real World Studios”.
The soundtrack for Dirty Bomb from Splash Damage is a combination of processed orchestral elements, electronica and crazy sounds made from a collection of bespoke instruments that Mark created. One of the instruments was made from a three metre steel girder sitting on a galvanised metal box with various straps and bungee cords attached, he used a collection of vintage mics to record the instrument, including an AKG D12 inside the metal box and an AKG D190 from the 70s above the plastic tube, which acts as a bridge and sound transmitter.
Take a look at some the instruments and have a listen here...
Mark has composed and produced the scores for the award-winning, number one selling, Sniper Elite series from Rebellion. He has given Sniper Elite an unmistakable musical identity that is now synonymous with the game. Every game needed to have the very distinct “Sniper” orchestral themes and sound, this was mixed with native instrumental elements to reflect the country that each particular game is set in.
Have a listen here...
FILM & TV
Mark’s introduction to working on feature films and TV came when Grammy award-winning music producer Steve Levine offered him the opportunity to work in his studio in London. During this time Mark gained a wealth experience with programming and production, he was also given the opportunity to come up with ideas and melodies whilst performing as an instrumentalist, working on feature films including the award winning Planes, Trains & Automobiles staring Steve Martin, Eversmile, New Jersey starring Daniel Day-Lewis and Mister Frost starring Jeff Goldblum.
Mark went on to compose for the film, This Is Not A Love Song, directed by Bille Eltringham and written by Simon Beaufoy (Slum Dog Millionaire / The Full Monty). This was the first ever film to be simultaneously streamed on the internet with it’s cinema premiere at London’s Leicester Square.
Mark then started to work closely with the uncompromising writer-director Chris Crow, to date he has scored all four of Crow's feature films. Devil's Bridge, a stark, brutal thriller that was dubbed a "British Deliverance" by critics. Panic Button, this cult horror, premiered at Film 4 Frightfest at the Odeon Leicester Square London and was described by Sky Movies as "British horror at its bloody best". He then moved on to A Viking Saga: The Darkest Day, a brutal tale set against the first Viking attack on Lindisfarne in 793 A.D. Following this was the BBC funded feature film, The Lighthouse, a period thriller based on the notorious Smalls Island incident of 1801.
Mark’s music has featured in many other film projects including, Hell’s Kitchen (starring Rosanna Arquette and Angelina Jolie), Blood Brothers (by director Jon Woo), Sacred Planet and Jeremy Gilley’s Peace One Day.
Mark has composed the music for some award winning shorts including Fish Can’t Fly written and directed by Richard Murphy and Dust directed by Ben Lavington-Martin. More recently he worked on the post-apocalyptic action-satire, Get Some written and directed by The Horton Brothers, staring Warren Brown and John Hannah.
Mark’s music can also be heard on many TV shows and documentaries including Channel 4’s Body Shock series, The Twins Who Share a Brain, Horizon, 5th Gear, Minds Eye, Trading Spaces, Perfect Proposal, Visions Of The Future, Horizon Space Tourists, Formula One and WWE Smackdown/Raw.
As well as working on many film and TV projects for Levine, Mark found himself working alongside artists and musicians such as Dave Gilmoure, Greg Phillinganes, Boy George, Bonnie Tyler, Aswad, Labi Sifri, Motorhead's Lemmy and Barrington Levy.
It was during this time that Mark discovered his desire to become a music producer. For the following years, with Levine's guidance and using some of the best equipment available at the time, he spent every moment he could learning the techniques of music production.
Mark then secured a studio space at William Orbit’s Guerrilla studios which he shared with friend and DJ, John Gosling, aka Sugar J, their studio was called "Mekon Studios". Soon, there were collaborations with William on many projects including remixes for Peter Gabriel, The Christians, Psychic TV and Yothu Yindi. The relationship with William quickly developed with Mark achieving production and writing credits on projects including; Bassomatic, Strange Cargo and Beth Orton.
It wasn’t realised at the time, but Mark’s next collaboration with artist and friend Goldie would prove to be a game-changer in the music industry. They wrote and produced under the names, Rufige Kru and Metalheads. In total 14 tracks were written and produced during this period.
The first record they put together, along with DJ Freebase was "Krisp Biscuit/Killa Muffin", released on Marc Mac and Gus Lawrence's Reinforced Records. With breaks from Freebase, Goldie’s vision and desire to push the boundaries along with Mark’s expertise in programming and production proved to be a winning combination.
Next was the “Dark Rider EP”, featuring four tracks; "Darkrider", "Believe", "Menace" and "Jim Skreech". This EP had a much darker sound, something that suited Mark well, allowing him to show what he could produce in the darker realm. It was at this time that Goldie gave Mark the nickname “Darkus”.
Following the success of the “Darkrider EP” they started to write and produce a new track, which would become the very first Metalheads track “Terminator”. For this track, Mark brought an Eventide H3000 Ultra-Harmonizer to the studio, a piece of equipment that he had previously been experimenting with at Levine’s studio. The unique thing about the H3000 was that it could time-stretch in real time, meaning one could change the pitch of any sound while keeping it’s original tempo. Mark showed Goldie what it could do, and they began experimenting with time-stretching drum breaks.
To the best of knowledge this was the first time that time-stretched drums had been used in this way on a record. Goldie had the idea to precede the time-stretched drum section in the track with a sample of dialogue, “you’re talking about things I haven’t done yet” from the Schwarzenegger film, Terminator. The finishing touch was to add the vocal talent of Diane Charlemagne.
The finished track went down well with the record company and as a result they were given the opportunity to write and produce three more tracks; "Kemistry", "Knowledge" and "Sinister". The end result was the legendary “Terminator EP” by Metalheads. The success and recognition it received was unprecedented.
Before moving on Mark was able to do one more record with Goldie, “Ghosts of My Life/Terminator 2” EP. All of the tracks they wrote and produced together have been re-released or remixed many times, one example is the seminal "Kemistry" which featured on Goldie's album “Timeless”.
Mark regards the years he spent with Goldie, Linford, Toby, Kemi and Jane, as a special time and feels proud to have been there at the beginning of what was to become “Drum 'n' Bass”.
Gabriel invited producer Mark Rutherford, DJ Sugar J and engineer Robert Hill, to create an album using contributions from a variety of artists at Gabriel's Real World Recording Studios in Box. The result was the world music crossover album "Way Down Below Buffalo Hell" by Jam Nation.
Mark was able to demonstrate his writing and production skills with an amazing array of international musicians who had gathered together at one of the now legendary Real World Recording Weeks. The Recording Week events were spontaneous gatherings of some of the world's finest artists and musicians, living and working together each summer at Peter Gabriel's Real World Studios.
The album includes contributions from numerous artists including Ayub Ogada, Alex Gifford (Propellerheads), Peter Gabriel, Galliano, Jocelyn Pook, Daniel Lanois, Billy Cobham, Karl Wallinger, Jah Wobble and the late Lucky Dube among many others.
After hearing Mark’s work at Real World, he was invited down to Mike’s studio to work on the rhythms and drums for the album “Songs Of Distant Earth”. For this, Mark utilised field recordings he had previously made in Central Africa. Following the release of the album he was asked to get involved in the remixes of the first single from the album “Let There Be Light”.
Mark says working with Mike over this period of time was a great privilege.
Pioneers of the industrial music scene (the band’s trademark is the use of custom-built instruments, predominantly made out of scrap metal and building tools) their music contains many unorthodox elements. The early albums were unremittingly harsh, with Blixa Bargeld's vocals shouted and screamed above a din of banging and scraping metal percussion.
Neubauten’s producer Jon Caffery became aware of Mark’s experimental style of production and as a result asked him to remix the band’s forthcoming single NNNAAAMMM the result was the first truly industrial drum 'n' bass record released.
After the release of the remix, the band invited Mark to a deserted American army base on the outskirts of Berlin to rehearse with them in preparation for their upcoming tour. Unfortunately Mark wasn’t able to commit to the tour for logistical reasons.
Mark remembers working with Neubauten gave him a unique firsthand insight on how to push the boundaries of experimental music even further than he had done previously.