AS WORKED WITH STRING OF BIG NAMES

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sure-footed. Raised in a semi in Shet­tle­ston, his fa­ther John worked at the Raven­scraig steel­works and his mother Bar­bara was a mid­wife. He said: “My mum had a big record col­lec­tion and she was in love with the movies. “I took her to the open­ing of Romeo + Juliet and I turned round and she was chat­ting away to Leonardo DiCaprio. She gets more ex­cited about my in­volve­ment in movies than I do.” When the in­stru­ments were be­ing handed out for the pri­mary school mu­sic lessons, Craig was given a vi­o­lin be­cause his hand didn’t go up fast enough to se­cure the trum­pet. Laugh­ing, he said: “Who the hell would want to play the vi­o­lin in Shet­tle­ston? “Some­one was al­ways try­ing to beat you up. It’s not the same now but it was a tough place then.” Craig ended up play­ing in or­ches­tras be­side mostly pub­lic school kids but his tal­ent shone. His blind Aunt Bella, who had at­tended the Royal Academy of Mu­sic in London, taught him the piano, be­fore more lessons from the tal­ented but bullish local teacher Mrs Ma­cleod honed his skills. hen he was 15, he pleaded to give up the piano but his mother told him it wasn’t up for ne­go­ti­a­tion. His par­ents taught their three boys to think of them­selves as equal to all. Craig said: “If I was stand­ing next to Pavarotti or Princess Di­ana, there was this old Labour sense of, ‘You are no bet­ter or worse than them’, that all you should be judged on is what you make. “I al­ways knew I had put the work in to be there.” At 18, he found him­self in London at the Royal Academy of Mu­sic. He loved the noise, the buzz and all the live mu­sic avail­able. He said: “I didn’t think I was break­ing out but, look­ing back, it was pretty brave.” Craig chose to base him­self in Glas­gow with his fam­ily – wife Laura, their three sons, who are now 28, 27 and 25, and 16-year-old daugh­ter. He said: “When I was work­ing with Oliver Stone, he of­fered me an apart­ment in Santa Mon­ica. I think he thought Glas­gow was some kind of far-out set­tle­ment with mud huts. I had to tell him it was a city.”

When he was young and “skinny with hair”, he played with bands like Texas and Hip­sway – and he tried un­suc­cess­fully to get a record deal in the UK be­fore he was signed in Los Angeles.

The al­bum’s pro­ducer, Nellee Hooper, took him to work on the score for Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet, star­ring DiCaprio, which be­came a global hit.

A 20-year col­lab­o­ra­tion with Luhrmann was se­cured and agents turned up in Glas­gow to knock on his stu­dio door. Th­ese days, he has to turn work away. As an al­bum, Sun On You is so exquisitely pure it trav­els straight to the heart. Some tracks are filmic, some clas­si­cal, writ­ten for piano and strings, to be per­formed on a smaller scale than much of his work.

Craig said: “What hap­pened was, I wanted to play a piece of mu­sic one day that I wanted to hear, so I just started writ­ing it. This is not mu­sic stand­ing back and ob­serv­ing, it is mu­sic that is try­ing to reach out.

“I just try to do what I feel is right at the time. I made it as ba­sic as it could be. I didn’t want a big production on it.”

Craig will be 60 next year and has con­sid­ered wind­ing down but isn’t quite ready to make the shift.

He said: “This year was the first time I looked back on what I have done, and I have writ­ten so much mu­sic. I haven’t been idle but in my head there is so much more I would like to do. I still feel I have room to im­prove and learn.”

Sun On You will be re­leased on Septem­ber 7 on Decca. The sin­gle If I Should Fall is avail­able for down­load now.

HON­OURED Craig with Oliver Stone as he re­ceives the Henry Mancini Award in 2016 for his out­stand­ing con­tri­bu­tion to the world of film mu­sic SCORES TO RE­MEM­BER

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