Matthew Strachan

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Matthew Strachan
Matthew Strachan.jpg
Matthew Strachan in London, 2016.
Background information
Born (1970-12-11) 11 December 1970 (age 47)[1]
Origin London, England[1]
Genres Rock/pop, country, soundtrack, musical theatre, crime fiction
Instruments Piano
Years active 1986–present
Labels Nono, Nessus, Lonely Goat Records
Associated acts Klaus Harmony, Kim Ismay, Cassidy Janson, Tom Kimmel, J. Fred Knobloch, Steve Lee, Dirk Maggs, Catherine Porter, Thom Schuyler, Keith Strachan, Tim Whitnall

Matthew Strachan (/ˈstrɔːn/ or /ˈstrækən/; born 11 December 1970) is an English composer and singer-songwriter.

Matthew Strachan at the ASCAP 17th Film & TV Awards in Los Angeles

His best known work is the music for the television game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? written with his father Keith,[1] and the BBC Radio 4 World War I drama series Home Front.[2][3] He has also contributed music to film and television productions such as Extract,[4] The Detectives,[5] Question Time, Winning Lines,[6] jingles for several television commercials, and scores for stage musicals.[7]

As a singer-songwriter Strachan is regarded as having a bittersweet style, often employing satire and characterisation to make political points about unusual subjects such as social networking[8] and the media.[9] He has remarked of his style that he is "somewhere on a spectrum somewhere between Dr. John and Richard Stilgoe".[7] He has also noted that he is out of step culturally. "My sensibilities are retro-fitted. It took me a decade to realize U2 were a good band ... I was sitting in a hotel and said to my wife of a record, 'mark my words, that track is going to be big.' It had been a hit across Europe for weeks."[10] As a composer of stage musicals he is noted for writing songs with a complete narrative arc.[11]

Strachan has won twelve awards from ASCAP (American Society of Composers Authors and Publishers) and in 2012 received the ASCAP Hall of Fame Award in recognition of ten consecutive wins for the soundtrack of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?[12]

He is also the creator of the comic fictional 1970's composer Klaus Harmony. In March 2017 Simon & Schuster announced that it would be publishing a series of crime fiction books co-written by Strachan and his wife, Bernadette Strachan.[13]


Strachan began writing songs as a teenager and his first professional job was to write five songs for the BBCTV drama Boogie Outlaws.[14][15]

After training at Dartington College of Arts and Goldsmiths College, University of London, he worked as a soundtrack composer throughout the 1990s creating music for television, radio and theatre productions[14] until concentrating on songwriting in Nashville, Tennessee where he collaborated with songwriters Don Henry, Tom Kimmel, J. Fred Knobloch, and Thom Schuyler.[16]

Following two years in America he created score and lyrics for the stage musicals About Bill[17] and Next Door's Baby.[18] In 2012 he announced the creation of a comedy oratorio based on the life of the Coronation Street character Ken Barlow for inclusion in his live shows.[19]

In 2012 Nono Records released 25 Year Songbook, an album of Strachan performing a selection of songs from his back catalogue. The second volume, 25 Year Songbook Part II, was released later in 2012.[20][21]

A new studio album by Matthew Strachan titled Serious Men was released by Lonely Goat Records in August 2016.[22]


  • A Quiet Place I've Waited, Nono Records (2017)
  • Serious Men, Lonely Goat Records (2016)
  • Perfect World Now Possible, Nono Records (2014)
  • Live at the St James Theatre, Nono Records (2013)
  • 25 Year Songbook Part II, Nono Records (2012)
  • 25 Year Songbook, Nono Records (2012)
  • 37203, Nono Records (2004)
  • Even Warren Beatty (with Tim Whitnall), Nono Records (2002)
  • Save The King's Head, Nono Records (2000)
  • Fallen Angels, Nono Records (1999)
  • The Rock Serious Electric Roadshow, Nono Records (1993)
  • Speed Limit Monkey, Nono Records (2008)
  • Flot Some, Jet Some, Nono Records (2008)
Covered by other artists
  • I Never Left You at All - J. Fred Knobloch, Hear Here, J. Fred Knobloch Music, (2015)
  • JourneymanCatherine Porter, single, Nono Records, (2011)
  • Any More of YouCatherine Porter, 37203, Nono Records, (2004)
  • Love is EnoughJ. Fred Knobloch, 37203, Nono Records, (2004)
  • The Note – Don Henry, 37203, Nono Records, (2004)
  • Mama 'n' ThemJ. Fred Knobloch, single, Nono Records, (2008)
  • Just Because I Want To – Tommy Blaize, Even Warren Beatty, Nono Records, (2008)
Soundtracks and Musicals
A.k.a Klaus Harmony
  • Oeuvre Cinq, HarmonSink (2010)
  • Oeuvre 4, HarmonSink (2009)
  • Oeuvre Derde, HarmonSink (2008)
  • Oeuvre Zwei, HarmonSink (2007)
  • Oeuvre I, HarmonSink (2006)

Music for motion pictures[edit]

  • Mostly Dead,
  • Love Is a Four Letter Word Worth Seven Points, Boxfly Media, (2015)
  • In Limbo, Nine Ladies Films, (2015)

Music featured in motion pictures[edit]

Music for stage[edit]

Music for television and radio[edit]


  • ASCAP Awards, Hall of Fame Award, 2012, London
  • ASCAP Awards, US TV Theme, 2011, London
  • ASCAP Awards, US TV Theme, 2010, London
  • ASCAP Awards, US TV Theme, 2009, London
  • ASCAP Awards, US TV Theme, 2008, London
  • ASCAP Awards, US TV Theme, 2007, London
  • ASCAP Awards, US TV Theme, 2006, London
  • ASCAP Awards, US TV Theme, 2005, London
  • ASCAP Awards, US TV Theme, 2004, London
  • ASCAP 17th Annual Film & TV Awards, Top TV Theme, 2002, Los Angeles
  • ASCAP 16th Annual Film & TV Awards, Top TV Theme, 2001, Los Angeles
  • ASCAP Awards, US TV Theme, 2000, London


  1. ^ a b c Nick Smurthwaite (21 March 2005). "Million pound notes – Keith Strachan". The Stage. Retrieved 23 March 2010.
  2. ^ Home Front page at BBC website
  3. ^ Interview with Matthew Strachan about Home Front at the BBC website
  4. ^ Extract soundtrack listing at IMDb
  5. ^ The Detectives IMDb Credits
  6. ^ Winning Lines IMDb Credits
  7. ^ a b Whatsonstage interview with Matthew Strachan
  8. ^ review of Strachan live show
  9. ^ The Public Reviews review
  10. ^ IMDb quotes
  11. ^ Guardian review of Next Door's Baby
  12. ^ ASCAP, London 2012 Special Awards
  13. ^ Simon & Schuster announcement in Book Brunch
  14. ^ a b Screened Music Interview Archived 12 October 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
  15. ^ Boogie Outlaws IMDb Credits
  16. ^ Mary James Music Publishing website catalogue page
  17. ^ Broadway World About Bill feature
  18. ^ Next Door's Baby entry at London Theatre Database Archived 22 April 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  19. ^ Ken Barlow oratorio feature in The Stage
  20. ^ 25 Year Songbook entry at MusicBrainz
  21. ^ 25 Year Songbook Part II entry at MusicBrainz
  22. ^ Serious Men entry at MusicBrainz

External links[edit]