James Pickering

James Pickering

Composer at James Pickering
Music Composer, Musician and Songwriter

Faversham, United Kingdom

Member Since:
June 2013
Last online:
> 2 weeks ago
Invites sent:

About James

James draws inspiration from his mashup of varied musical experiences.

His score for Henry Blake's brand new feature 'County Lines', which received film of the week and one of the best films of 2020 in the Guardian and Evening Standard, was described by Mark Kermode as “...a mournfully ambient and somewhat ethereal score by James Pickering helps elevate this above mere social realism, finding unexpected shards of beauty in even the most dismal circumstances.” It has also received multiple plays on Scala Radio.

James's range of experiences include being signed as a songwriter and guitarist in a Shoegaze band in 2000, working as a Film and TV composer over the past eight years (BBC “...a real talent...his ideas are fantastic.”) and his involvement in the London Symphony Orchestra’s Soundhub scheme for emerging composers: a forum for his ‘contemporary’ concert music and a great inspiration for his electronic and sample based music. The later two styles are a sound world which features heavily in Henry Blake’s new film, ‘County Lines’.

James houses his varying interests under a few different guises including The Fake Arts: a multi-genre and sort of free-for-all music project which has received multiple radio plays on BBC Music Introducing, and Brik Hit House: a brand new, independent joint venture of four experienced music makers in the production music and Film and Television music industries, who love to work with visuals. In-house studio facilities offer a one-stop-shop to clients who have tight deadlines and high expectations. This is currently in beta-testing with a handful of clients in the industry, going public next year.

James got his first introduction into the world of film composition after director Henry Blake and producer Victoria Bavister stole his seat in the ICA bar at the London Short Film Festival back in 2013. They started chatting and James has been composing on Henry’s films ever since.

Unique traits: Film, Concert music composer, Songwriter/Music Producer, Avant-garde and experimental musical interests.


  • County Lines

    County Lines (2019 - 2020)
    by Henry Blake (Drama) Composer Premiered at the London Film Festival 2019. Released through the BFI County Lines is a powerful and moving coming-of-age film about a 14-year-old boy who is groomed into a ‘county lines’ criminal network. Inspired by the stories he heard while mentoring young people at an east London pupil referral unit, writer-director Henry Blake’s powerful feature debut boasts a compelling central performance by Conrad Khan as 14-year-old Tyler, with strong supporting performances from Ashley Madekwe and Harris Dickinson.

  • Gus & Son

    Gus & Son (2017)
    by Henry Blake (Drama) Composer Gus Ferguson runs a tree felling business with his only son, Travis. Neither of the men are happy in their work or with each other. Over the course of a two-day job Gus must face the devastating truth that the family business is failing and why Travis is so desperate to take control.

  • BBC Television (Various)

    BBC Television (Various) (2015 - 2016)
    Documentary by BBC (Various) Composer I have been fortunate enough to have hundreds of plays on various television programmes via production music libraries.

  • The Foley Artist

    The Foley Artist (2015 - 2016)
    Film (short) by Oliver Holms Composer How to Sound Design Your Life The Foley Artist sees a master of sound at work on a fashion film. If you’ve ever wanted to see the chasm between the finished product and the extraordinary lengths taken to produce it, this short is for you.

  • Breathe

    Breathe (2016)
    Film (short) by James Doherty (Drama) Composer Premiered at BFI's Flare Festival. A hardy traveller Patrick (John Connors) becomes increasingly concerned with his 7 year old son's femininity and sets about toughening him up.

  • Countryfile

    Countryfile (2015)
    Television by BBC1 Composer A bit of a UK institution that has been running since the late 80's, Countryfile looks at environmental issues.

  • Snake Pit

    Snake Pit (2014)
    Film (short) by Two Birds Entertainment (Film-Noir) Composer A labyrinth of hate, lust, power and loss is revealed as four dancers are interrogated after a mysterious death at the club they work at, The Snake Pit.

  • Yoke Farm

    Yoke Farm (2014)
    Film (short) (Drama) Composer Henry runs a corner shop in a sleeping English town. He begins to notice that his new free range egg supplier may not be as ethical as he seems.

  • Resonant Frequency

    Resonant Frequency (2014)
    Film (short) by Kono Films (Drama) Composer Haunted by threatening voices a paranoid schizophrenic descends into psychosis. As his hallucinations become more violent his rage turns against his family and their perceived betrayal.

  • Glorious Gardens from Above

    Glorious Gardens from Above (2014)
    Television by BBC1 (Documentary and Family) Composer "In this series presenter and horticulturalist Christine Walkden embarks on a journey to explore some of Britain’s most glorious gardens and countryside from a striking new perspective: she’ll be taking us “up, up and away” in a hot air balloon, for a bird’s eye view."

  • Hello Carter

    Hello Carter (2013)
    Film by Revolution Films (Comedy) Composer (Additional Music) Down-on-his-luck Carter has recently become homeless, single and unemployed. Desperate to win back his ex-girlfriend, he goes off on an adventure throughout London to find her, picking up some odd helpers along the way.

  • Addi & Chess

    Addi & Chess (2013)
    Film (short) by Two Birds Entertainment (Drama) Composer The world is changing - and so are they.

  • I Give It A Year

    I Give It A Year (2013)
    Film by StudioCanal (Comedy) Guitars Newlywed couple Nat and Josh are deliriously happy despite their differences, though friends and family aren't convinced that they can last. With their first anniversary approaching and attractive alternatives in the mix, can they last?

  • Lifeline

    Lifeline (2012)
    Television by BBC1 (Action and Documentary) Composer The BBC's monthly charity appeal programme, in which a well-known personality introduces the vital work of a charity they care about, and appeals for donations.

  • Crimewatch

    Crimewatch (2011)
    Television by BBC1 (Documentary) Composer With exclusive access to some of the UK's top detectives and security experts, this programme reveals how police track down some of Britain's most audacious armed robbers.


  • County Lines, Mark Kermode, Observer, Film of The Week

  • County Lines, Guardian's Best 50 UK Films of 2020

  • County Lines, Evening Standard's The very best films of 2020

  • County Lines, BIFA 2020: x4 Nominations

  • BFI Flare Festival Official Selection (Breathe)

  • Belfast Film Festival (Breathe)

  • GAZE Film Festival Dublin (Breathe)

  • Galway Film Fleadh (Breathe)

  • ICCL Human Rights Film Awards (Breathe)

  • Palm Springs International ShortFest 2016 Official Selection(Breathe)

  • Fastnet Film Festival (Breathe)

  • Limerick Film Festival (Breathe)

  • Festival de Cannes - Page Officielle (Breathe)

  • #FiveFilmsForFreedom (Breathe)

  • Vimeo Staff Pick (The Foley Artist)

  • Official Selection London Short Film Festival (Resonant Frequency)

  • Official Selection London Short Film Festival (Yoke Farm)

  • Royal Television Society Award (Glorious Gardens from Above)

  • Official Selection BFI London Film Festival (Resonant Frequency)

  • Winner - Unchosen Modern Day Slavery Short Film Competition (Yoke Farm)

  • Official Selection BFI London Short Film Festival (Hello Carter)

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