A brand new BBC Wales TV series that takes viewers on a journey of discovery around the spectacular coast of Wales, accompanied by a soundtrack composed by world-renowned Flintshire composer Paul Mealor, is set to air throughout October.
His latest venture has been a step into deep water to set to music amazing new footage by the film-makers behind the natural history series Blue Planet.
Paul – who was brought up in Connah’s Quay – has created a soundtrack to Wonders of the Celtic Deep which has been filmed in Ultra High Definition.
Cameras for the series captured some remarkable and exciting new behaviours that have never been filmed in UK waters such as the courtship rituals of bottle-nosed dolphins in Cardigan Bay and astonishing footage of basking sharks congregating.
The dive team also filmed on the wreck of the SS Gwynfaen cargo ship, 1.5km off-shore in Caernarfon Bay and home to a diverse array of creatures including, sex shifting cuckoo wrasse, Dead Man’s Fingers coral, huge sea urchins, an ancient lobster and a giant conger eel.
Wonders of the Celtic Deep is narrated by BAFTA-winning Welsh actress Dame Siân Phillips and also highlights the work of scientists and volunteers around Wales, investigating some of the environmental issues raised by the footage.
Paul who is the University of Aberdeen’s Professor of Composition described writing the music for the series, which is performed by the BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales, as an honour.
“It’s been a true joy writing the music to this epic natural history series which explores footage never been seen before,” he said.
“Music, if done right, can add so much to film and TV. I hope I’ve been able to capture in music the myriad of sea worlds – from the largest whales to the smallest fish – in this extraordinary programme.
“The BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales have brought my composition to life exquisitely and I am looking forward to seeing it combined with the wonderful narration of Dame Siân Phillips.”
Rhuanedd Richards, Head of Content and Services BBC Wales says: “Who isn’t enthralled by the wonders of our seas and the fascinating creatures that lie beneath them?”
“For many of us, this secret world is shrouded in mystery but this wonderful new series guides us expertly through what lies beyond our Welsh shores.”
She adds: “This series is available in Ultra High Definition which gives the viewer a remarkable viewing experience.”
“The marvellous music composed by Paul Mealor and expertly performed by our very own BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales takes this series to the next level. It really is fantastic.”
Wonders of the Celtic Deep is a One Tribe TV production for BBC Wales. The series has been part-funded by Creative Wales, an agency that promotes the growth of the creative sectors across Wales.
Welsh Government Deputy Minister for Arts and Sport, Dawn Bowden, said: “We are delighted to support a real first for the creative industries in Wales.”
“Wonders of the Celtic Deep is a celebration of Welsh creativity – a stunning orchestral soundtrack created by a Welsh composer, voiced by a Welsh legend and filmed across some our country’s most stunning coastal locations.”
“One Tribe TV has created a stunning piece of work that I hope viewers will enjoy.”
- Episode one airs on BBC One Wales on 12 October