Joe Walker

  • BA Music, 1984
  • Celebrated Film Editor and Composer

For twenty-five years, Joe Walker has edited some of the most prestigious and exciting projects in the feature film and TV industries.  His credits include 12 Years a Slave, Shame, Hunger, Harry Brown, The Escapist and the documentary Life in a Day. He also continues to write music for film and TV.

"As soon as I arrived for my interview in the Music Department I fell in love with the place – the rehearsal rooms, the concert space and, of course, the broad open skies of York.

The Music Department was a fascinating environment, with much cutting-edge music being performed and chewed over.  I liked the way the course was marked by continual assessment - we had to immerse ourselves from the outset.  There were no wilderness years followed by excruciating last-minute pressure, the experience for many of my University chums.

I was bowled over by the teaching staff who were all people with phenomenal levels of practical experience: Alan Hacker, my tutor, the foremost clarinettist of his generation who had worked closely with Harrison Birtwistle; Graham Treacher, a brilliant conductor; Richard Orton, who had lovingly nurtured the electro-acoustic department [and is currently a Reader Emeritus in the department]; Neil Sorrell, who disappeared to Java in my first year and came back with a Gamelan [he is currently a senior lecturer in the department].  With its emphasis on 20th century music and with numerous ensembles and an orchestra to write for, I was like a pig amongst the acorns.

I discovered my ear there. This stood me in good stead with my career in film editing. I can’t think of a better place to sharpen your instincts about music. I wish I could do it all over again – perhaps this time I’d grab even more opportunities than I did."




I was bowled over by the teaching staff who were all people with phenomenal levels of practical experience.