Postgraduate percussionist on his road to film fame

 Postgraduate Diploma student Kieran Leonard was the hit of Good Morning Ulster this week in an interview about his work on the score of How to Train Your Dragon 2, written by famous Trinity Laban alumnus John Powell.

Kieran says: “One of my percussion teachers, Gary Kettel, has made his name over the last 35 years as a session percussionist, and by pure chance the film people contacted him to ask if he knew of a bodhrán player. Gary suggested me – then rang to warn me that I’d be contacted by Isabel Griffiths, a [film score] fixer in London. He told me, “Whatever she says, say “Yes”!

“The bodhrán is a unique sounding drum so that uniqueness, matched with John Powell’s exceptional writing, really worked well. But it was a shellshocking experience, it all happened so quickly. I went from stages of panic to sheer joy at seeing it on the screen.”

Kieran also talks about how he nearly worked on The Hobbit:

“I got another call from Isobel’s office on the Friday afternoon asking if I could be at the Abbey Road Studios on Monday morning for Howard Shore – who I think anyone knows is another Oscar-nominated composer – and it was to play on The Hobbit score. So of course I said yes, but unfortunately I got a call on the Monday saying that because of time constraints Howard couldn’t make it after all. But I got paid!”

When not busy winning the All Ireland Céili Band competition as part of the Knockmore céili band, Kieran is back at Trinity Laban doing his PG Diploma – and waiting for the next call from Hollywood! The interview runs from 1:19-1:25.!page2/cjg9