Wales

Emmy Awards shortlist for Episodes composer Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas (Photo: Belinda McCarthy Photography)
Image caption Mark Thomas said typewriter sounds are more varied than a keyboard

A Bafta-winning composer from Wales is to take a red carpet walk at the Emmy Awards in Hollywood for his work with American star Matt Le Blanc.

Mark Thomas, 54, from Swansea, has been shortlisted for the theme tune to the transatlantic comedy series Episodes.

Mr Thomas, who won a Bafta for his score of cult film Twin Town, is competing against dramas including The Borgias, The Kennedys and Camelot.

The Somerset-based composer said: "I'm going there to enjoy the moment."

Mr Thomas left for Los Angeles on Thursday for the ceremony on Saturday, where he was nominated in the Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music category in the creative arts section of the Emmys.

From Penclawdd on the Gower peninsula, he is a trained classical violinist who studied music at Cardiff University.

He has worked as a freelance violinist for the London Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Royal Ballet Orchestra and has worked on film scores - including three James Bond films - with composers such as John Barry, Jerry Goldsmith and Michael Kamen.

Episodes stars British comedy actors Stephen Mangan and Tamsin Greig as a script-writing husband and wife team who try to develop a US version of their successful sit-com and have Le Blanc forced on them as the main character.

Mr Thomas said he plumped for a typewriter-based theme tune after one of the show's executive producers, Jimmy Mulville, described how the opening credits would show paper being blown from a typewriter in a London office across the Atlantic and America before being shot down in to a "Hockneyesque" Hollywood swimming pool.

Image caption Matt Le Blanc, who plays himself, is also up for an Emmy for his role in the comedy

He said: "The imagery of it was the typewriter. There are many people who still use typewriters, so I'm told.

"I did try more modern typing sounds but they were kind of characterless, whereas with a typewriter there is more variety, a palette of sounds that are more akin to an organic percussion instrument than a modern word processor.

"It's a relatively simple piece of music in terms of its ingredients but it seemed to work."

Episodes is the only comedy programme to be nominated in title music category for the 63rd Emmy Awards.

The show also has two nominations for Primetime Emmy Awards held a week later.

Former Friends star Le Blanc is in the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series category for his depiction of himself, while writers David Crane and Jeffrey Klarik are also shortlisted for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series.

Mr Thomas, who now lives and works in Somerset, said he was pleased to be returning to Hollywood, where he has worked, as a nominee.

He said: "I'm not expecting to win but I'm very proud of be nominated in the category and proud to be maybe one of the few Welsh composers to have been nominated in this category.

"If you can win something for Wales, it's a good think. To be included in such a prestigious group of nominees is enough in itself."

* The Emmy was won by Trevor Morris for his theme for the series The Borgias.

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