52 x 11' series from Aardman. Lloyd of the Flies follows the adventures of Lloyd B Fly, a housefly and the middle child of 453. Lloyd lives with his parents, his little sister PB and their 225 maggot siblings inside a compost bin they call home. In the series, Lloyd and PB are often accompanied by Lloyd’s best friend, Abacus Woodlouse, and eccentric tag-along, Cornea Butterfly. Together they explore the strange world beyond the compost bin, where there is no shortage of lessons for Lloyd to very nearly learn.
Score co-composed with Jim Cornick
In writing the score for Lloyd of the Flies, we wanted to develop a unique sound world, and a clear harmonic language to take viewers into the insect environment.
Many of the instruments used in the score are sampled and built from our own recordings. We liked the sound of very closemicced scratchy found percussion, so there are drum kits built from brooms, brushes, pencil sharpeners, croc clips, velcro, sellotape and cable ties, plus a cactus. We built sampled instruments from balalaika and ukulele to make imperfectly tuned twangs, and also made use of our modular synth setups to record and sample squelchy electronic percussion effects, and buzzy keys. We resampled insect buzzes to form tremolo patches and lead instruments, alongside sidechained evolving percussive hits.
These homemade instruments live alongside some more standard sounds, like upright bass, rhodes and pizzicato strings, but where these are used they're treated with pitch shifting, flange, and controlled glitching plugins to give that slightly warbly imperfection that takes you away from a standard score.
The harmony rarely if ever sticks to standard chord progressions, built mostly on major chords which move in semitones or thirds, which mean there's a positive but slightly unsettling feel, with lots of chromatic movement. Many of the characters have themes and their own instruments, which run through the whole series, while there will also often be a new theme or sound for the episode.
At times the show plays with genre, sometimes directly referencing and parodying films and TV shows in the public consciousness. Here, the score dives fully into genre, so there are episodes that move into hammer horror, superhero action, 70's detective shows and many other styles that we push as far as we can for maximum comic effect.