Staff Directory

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Contact Details


Ph. D. (Glamorgan) M.Mus (Wales) B.A. Hons (Nottm) FHEA


Rob Smith is a composer, performer and improviser. He has composed scores for films, television and theatre. He also composes and performs jazz, and runs a community big band Wonderbrass.

Main teaching areas:

Popular music
Film music



‘The Knowledge’ 1996 dir. Chris Forster.

‘The Confectioner’ 1997 dir. Margaret Constantas. (BBC Cominssion)

‘Minim’ 1999 dir. Chris Forster. In 1999 this film won both the D M. Davies Award at the International Film Festival of Wales and 3rd jury prize at the International Short Film Festival at Uppsala, Sweden.

‘Overland’ dir. Chris Forster for Al Fresco completed October 2001

Score for 50 minute film about artist Gwen John for Green Bay in
Jan 2002 screened by BBC in 2004.

Score for film ‘The Portrait’’ by Chris Forster, 2013 (20 mins)

‘I thought I heard Buddy Bolden Shout’ Composed score for this radio play by Larry Allan, first broadcast on BBC Radio 3 o 12/2/06

Six scores for TV (4 series and 2 one-offs) for Raw Charm Ltd.

‘Trails’ 2012 dir. Wyn Mason (composed score with Ben Challis). (57 min)

‘Unwaith’ 2012 dir. Wyn Mason (4 min)

‘The Portrait’ 2013 dir. Chris Forster. This film won Best Short BAFTA Cymru 2014.


Selected compositions include:

1986-97 Composed several scores for theatre including three musicals, Race 1988, Starcross’d 1990 and Dangerous Acquaintances 1997 for theatre groups including
Gradual Decline, Moving Being and Hijinx.

1994 ‘Two Arctic Songs’ performed in Cardiff University by London Sinfonietta Voices.

May 1998 ‘Coasting’ for clarinet and piano. Performed by Verity Fielding and David Appleton of PM Ensemble.

July 1998 ‘The Bridge (Y Bont)’ for Jazz Big Band, Steel Pans, Samba Percussion, Indian Percussion Group, Gospel Choir (S, M-s, A), Folk Singer, Bhangra Singer, Rapper and Narrator(T). Performed by various groups, commissioned and co-ordinated by South Wales Intercultural Community Arts and conducted by Rob Smith. The first performance was at the EU heads of state conference in Cardiff.

June -July 2000 ‘Crossing Borders’ for Community Music Groups in Torfaen (scored for Choir, Brass Band, Jazz Group, Samba Percussion and Trumpet Soloist)_

1999 Score for Film MINIM toured in Wales and Europe by PM Ensemble.

2001 ‘Toccata, Lachrymae, Tenebrae’ for Viol Consort, Electric Guitar, Flute and Soprano sax. First performed in Alkmaar, Netherlands 2.3.01.

September 2002, Composition ‘The Street Enters The House’ for piano quintet performed in Vale of Glamorgan Festival by Ensemble Chamber Domaine.

August 2005, Composition ‘The Meeting Place’ for Amampondo and Wonderbrass premiered at Brecon International Jazz Festival.

May 2006 Composed ‘The Idea of North’ for strings, soprano sax, bass clarinet, laptop & electronics. First performed in Bath International Music Festival.

2007 Composed ‘Sacred Sites’ for Cardiff Improvisers’ Ensemble, first performed at Improvisation Continuum Conference in Royal Welsh College of Music, May 2007.

Over the past ten years I have also composed six multi-movement scores for community Big Bands, sometimes augmented by extra instruments and at others by an entire samba percussion group. These have been commissioned by The Welsh Jazz Society, South Wales Intercultural Community Arts and Wonderbrass. They were funded by The Arts Council of Wales, The Lottery Arts Fund and the Performing Rights Society.



Founder and Musical Director of ‘Wonderbrass’ 1992-present. Wonderbrass is a community jazz big band.

Tutor on Community Music Wales’ Music Tutor Training Programme. 1995-present.

Organiser of, and regular contributor to, monthly ‘ROVE’: concert series, in Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff .2003-2010

Performs with bands Heavy Quartet (since 1984), Iron Eye (since 2012) Occasional Brass Ensemble (since 2010) Belleville (since 2013) and in various solo, duo and trio contexts.


Scores and Recordings of ‘The Bridge/Y Bont’ and ‘Torri Ffyniau/Crossing Borders’ are in British Library’s National Community Music Archive.

Score for Film ‘The Confectioner’ commissioned and subsequently broadcast by BBC Wales.

Scores for Films ‘The Knowledge’ 1996, ‘Minim’ 1999, and ‘Overland’ 2001 on general release.

Five studio albums with jazz band ‘The Heavy Quartet’ and one with free improvisers
‘The Diggers’

Articles in Journal od theatre adaptation, Jazz Research Journal, ‘Life on Mars; from Manchester to New York’, University of Wales Press 2012.

‘Interdependability’ article on interactive music ands dance in KES publication 2014.

Chapter in book on Jazz Collectives, ‘THIS IS OUR MUSIC’ Jazz and Politics series Routledge USA, published 2015.

Composed and arranged all music for 2 x IRON EYE EP’s: ‘Cardboard Cities’ (2013) and ‘System Street’ (2015).


Musicians’ Union, PRS, MCPS, Community Music Wales.


Jed Williams Memorial Jazz Days Organising Committee 2007
Jazz4Jed Organisation Committee


Research interests:

Community Music, Improvisation, Composing for film, TV and Radio

Current research activity:


• Selected publications: Machine 2005, Delete Memory 2002, (both HQRecordings)
• ‘I Thought I Heard Buddy Boldemn Shout’ BBC Radio3 Feb 2006
• Radio Tesla (Star Radio 2005)
• Improvisation Continuums (2007) organising committee. Also presented paper and special composition and performance

Areas of Expertise

Music and Communities, Jazz, Musical Collectives, Improvisation, Composing for Media, Music and Dance



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