After studying music at the University of York and Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Pascal went on a wayward tour of different occupations, including education workshop leader for the Hallé Orchestra, journalist for the Independent and Guardian newspapers, authoring two books, writing and producing animation, comic strips and short films with Joe Berger (as Berger & Wyse) and performing on the trombone.
He has since focused on music composition and sound design, the seeds of which were planted when scoring the Berger & Wyse animation ‘Covert’, for Channel 4, in 2004. Recent scores for television include ‘Nazanin’ (2023) and ‘Ukraine: Life Under Attack’ (2022), both for Channel 4. He has worked on films and animations for the Guardian – including ‘Columbite Tantalite’, a short written and directed by Chiwetel Ejiofor. Other television work includes music for ‘Henry IX’ (UKTV Gold).
Scores for film include Kieron Quirke’s ‘Carvery’ and music/sound design for ‘Framerate’ (ScanLAB, 2022) and ‘The Seven Rituals of Hesitance and Fortitude’ (Splendid Sisters, 2022) and ‘Games Night’, directed by Martin Morrison. He worked as sound designer for the Guardian’s Off the Page season (with the Royal Court) and the newspaper’s film season in collaboration with the Young Vic. Pascal was one of the artists chosen by Touch to provide a soundtrack for the BFI’s Fairy Tales series.
Pascal has been involved with podcasting throughout its growth. Most recently he scored and sound designed ‘Ashley vs WWE’ (Audible/Forest, 2023), ‘The Crimes of Dorian Gray’ (Audible/Prodigal, TBA 2024) ‘Squid Scam’ (ITV/Audible, 2022), ‘Bad Women’ (Pushkin, 2022) and wrote music for ‘Hot Money’ (FT/Pushkin, 2022) and ‘The Messenger’ (Audible, 2020). For the BBC, he composed music for the drama ‘SteelHeads’, directed by John Dryden (Goldhawk, 2021) and ‘The Frost Tapes’. He scores and designs the ongoing series ‘Cautionary Tales’, for Pushkin Industries. For the Guardian, productions include ‘Reverberate’, ‘Innermost’, ‘Jemima: Who owns our life?’ and ‘Going, Going, Gone’. He scored and sound designed Danny Robins’ ‘Haunted’ (Panoply), and wrote theme music and sound designed ‘Folsom Untold’ (Audible).
Pascal’s passion for field recording – which has taken him as far afield as the Antarctic, Galapagos and St Kilda in the Outer Hebrides – has been highlighted in podcasts, radio, various instalments of Touch Radio, as well as on Guardian projects such as ‘Woodland Tales’, created with Chris Watson.
An interest in spatial sound and ambisonics led to work in virtual reality. In 2018, Pascal was co-composer, with Chris Branch, for the site-specific theatre show ‘Somnai’, produced by dotdot, which combined live action with virtual and augmented reality. For many of the Guardian’s VR productions – including ‘Limbo’ – Pascal provided location recordings and then went on to mix and score. In 2023, Pascal mixed his work for the ‘Ashley vs WWE’ podcast in Dolby Atmos.
As trombonist, Pascal was one of the founder members of the London Snorkelling Team, who’s album Audio Recording and Map gave birth to a multimedia show, ‘The Island’, which was performed at the Roundhouse in London, Edinburgh Festival, Latitude, Barbican, End of the Road and All Tomorrow’s Parties. The team was also the band for ‘The Lost Disc’, which ran at London’s Soho Theatre in 2018 (described by Stewart Lee as “A musical detective story, part comedy thriller, part concert experience, performed by a multi-tasking cast of impossible talent”). Pascal has played trombone for the Lyric Theatre, Shakespeare’s Globe, RSC, the Gavin Bryars ensemble, plus sessions for shows including ‘Tin Star’. He created a column for the Guardian called ‘We’re Jamming’, in which he combined an interview with a jam session, with a wide range of musicians, including Buzzcocks, Alabama 3, Django Bates, The Bad Plus and Matmos.
Having ranged across disciplines, Pascal is passionate about how music and sound design can collaborate – not just with each other, but with all the other components of a story to complete the picture.