Known for his work on natural history programs and his collaborative material with fellow producer Geoff Barrow, Ben Salisbury is an English musician, arranger, and composer. He became interested in music at an early age -- having been classically trained on piano from the age of five -- and went on to study for a degree in music at both Newcastle University and Bournemouth University. After studies, he made his way into score work for television and film, most notably for David Attenborough's documentary series <I>The Life of Mammals, <I>Life in Cold Blood, and <I>Life in the Undergrowth. He went on to receive compositional credits for <I>The Nature of Britain, <I>Congo, and the <I>Making Waves series, the latter of which revolved around the planning and filming of Attenborough's <I>The Blue Planet. Salisbury also co-wrote (with Barnaby Taylor) the theme for <I>Nature's Great Events, which was performed by the BBC Concert Orchestra at the celebratory reopening of Bristol's Colston Hall in 2009. He also won the Best Music Video Award for his work on the program <I>Natural Tracks as well as receiving an Emmy nomination for his work on <I>Operation Thunderball, an episode of the BBC's <I>Wildlife on One series.
Salisbury met Barrow when they had both begun playing football for a five-a-side league on weekends. However, it wasn't until five years had passed that they discovered each other's profession and decided to begin working together. Salisbury then began orchestrating string arrangements for bands on Barrow's own Invada Records. It was through this that he began working with artists on the Bristol music scene, including Malachai, for whom he arranged and co-wrote some of the material on their sophomore effort, Return to the Ugly Side. He also worked on Boca 45's Vertigo Sounds and the Beekeepers' debut, Apiculture. Barrow had then begun working as a music supervisor for the Banksy film <I>Exit Through the Gift Shop, and eventually brought in Salisbury -- this would be the pair's first partnership in working on film music together.
In 2012, the duo worked together on their film score for the sci-fi thriller <I>Dredd. Although their material was declined by the studio, Salisbury and Barrow decided to release their efforts anyway and put out the Drokk: Music Inspired by Mega-City One album via Invada in 2012. That year also saw Salisbury compose the music for Beyoncé's autobiographical film <I>Life Is But a Dream. In 2014, Salisbury and Barrow were recruited by author/screenwriter Alex Garland to provide the score for his directorial debut, Ex Machina. The pair delivered a highly atmospheric, percussion-less, and minimal yet hefty film score, which earned them the award for Best Original Score at the 2016 Ivor Novello Awards. They worked with Garland again in 2018, scoring his second movie, Annihilation. ~ Rob Wacey, Rovi