Lauren Christy


L A, home to the living hopefuls and the disappointed dead; a Mecca for all aspects of film-making and the popular music industry. In a state with a near bankrupt economy one finds more riches, glamour and celebrity than anywhere else. In the Tinseltown that is Hollywood and the Tin Pan Alley of California the movers and shakers mass to influence and entertain and fill their walls with gold. This is where it happens for one of our 'oldies'!
If success can be gauged from the number of prestige awards such as Oscar, Grammy and Ivor Novello, then The Matrix is holding up well in the music industry; they are a seven-time Grammy-nominated songwriting and production team winning also the Ivor Novello Award for Best International Pop Hit of 2003.
I must admit to being surprised yet thrilled to find Lauren Fownes again after 22 years, though not surprised that she is now one of the movers and shakers. With her husband, Graham Edwards and Scott Spock she founded The Matrix: in total their songs have sold over 28 million records. I vividly recall her as a teenager at every opportunity sitting, deep in concentration, at any one of the twenty or so pianos which could be found on the Bush Davies campus - now I realise why!
When I clicked on her YouTube link (see page 4) I heard The Colour of the Night - I was moved. Lauren co-wrote and performed this song for the Bruce Willis film of the same name; it earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Original Song for Motion Picture. In Lauren's own words we can follow her course.
I joined Bush Davies as a border at age 11. I was lucky to be in the same year as Michelle Hatch whose father Tony is one of the finest and most successful songwriters in the business. When Michelle told me about this I was blown away, 'You mean that such a job actually exists?' I had no idea it was an option. I had started out showing a real talent for ballet (This is corroborated by Daphne Peterson) and thought that was my path. Music always got through to my soul, that's why I loved to dance, and it also inspired me to choreograph. Hearing about Tony just added another dimension to my ambitions.
I hadn't written anything before Bush but because Michelle had said it was easy I thought I'd have a go. Nearly every room in the school had a piano and when I should have been warming up for class I'd be tinkering learning to write songs. My first effort, with Michelle, was, I'm Sick of Your Trick!! It became a passion and pretty much threw me off the ballet trail. Some years later, in a weird twist of fate, Tony Hatch offered me my first real publishing deal with his company. I had not seen them as they had been living in Australia but on their return to UK we met and I played all the song demos I'd made; he was so impressed I was offered a contract - the best compliment, although I ended up going to EMI. Michelle writes, "Lauren and I were good friends and I used to stay at her house sometimes for  viz weekends.  We were rock chicks who spent many an hour miming to  Abba in the mirror and making up choreographies with Monty, her cat! We used to sit in the music room and compose deeply heart-felt ballads  about long lost love and being dumped...not bad for 13 year olds." (Ed. Sounds typical of teenagers!)

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