Nick Bicât and Philip Ridley
- who, together, form Dreamskin Cradle - met in 1990 when Nick wrote
the music to Philip’s first feature film as writer and director, The
Reflecting Skin. Nick’s highly distinctive and emotional score -
employing full orchestra and chorus - contributed greatly to the success
of the film and in making it the cult classic it has since become.
Their next project together, Ridley’s second feature, The Passion of Darkly Noon, saw them pushing their collaboration even further. Not only was a great deal of Nick’s soaring and disturbing electronic score written prior to filming, thus enabling Phil to both shoot and edit to music, but they also wrote two original songs specifically for the film: Look What You’ve Done (To My Skin) (sung by Gavin Friday) and Who Will Love Me Now? (sung by P J Harvey). The latter become a surprise hit, being selected as Favourite Film Song by Radio 1 in 1998, and going on to be covered by the dance band Sunscreem (as Please Save Me, which itself became a huge club hit, entering the top 40 UK chart and subsequently being used in the film South West 9).
Nick and Phil’s interest in song writing continued to grow, and when they worked together on Ridley’s third film, Heartless, they decided to write a sequence of ten songs that would work like a Greek chorus, commenting on the action. Every song in the film - whether heard on the radio, in a club, or used as part of the score - is by them. The film’s theme song, Heartless, was sung by the film’s lead actor, Jim Sturgess, along with one other, The Other Me. The rest of the songs were performed by the wonderful Joe Echo and Mary Leay.
It was collaborating with Mary on Heartless that inspired Nick and Phil to write specifically for her; the result is their new Dreamskin Cradle project, Songs From Grimm.
These are songs about straying from the path you know (Little Red Riding Hood), being lost in a forest where nothing bad can happen, surely, no not here (Hansel and Gretel) , about putting up with drudgery because you’re convinced, one day, things will change (Cinderella) and finding a love that brings you to life again, a love that has always been waiting for you (Snow White) - all performed by the hypnotic, enchanting and ‘edge of your seat’ voice that is Mary Leay.