Key Points:

I collaborate

with writers, directors and producers to enhance the dramatic experience of a film, TV show or commercial by composing and producing music with all sorts of instruments and a healthy dose of technology. I play most of the band and electronic instruments myself and much of the orchestral music is from a sophisticated sample library, complemented by various musicians recorded in my studio.

I might play


a scene or movie clip over and over to understand how the music will relate to the pictures. I then experiment with sounds and motifs to find the right atmosphere or musical statement.

Although 350 pieces of music

was rather daunting, my most enjoyable composing experience was the TV series Rude Awakenings. The show was a fresh and funny local oasis in a sea of mostly mediocre television.

I've always been into

soundtrack music but I developed musically through writing and playing original music in bands.

Some people are unsure

how it is possible to make a living creating music in our small Pacific nation, or doing anything slightly outside the box. But there are plenty of opportunities out there if you take some risks, you're dedicated and approach life creatively.

People often ask

if I'm related to the "other" Hobbs. You know, the acting variety. I'm not.

I've always wanted

to be a spaceman and/or a composer. My first record was the soundtrack to Star Wars, aged 7. It was a revelation to have the thrill of the soundtrack behind me while playing with Star Wars toys, and to learn how music can change an experience. I'm still a sucker for the rare combination of great sci-fi and soundtrack - Cliff Martinez's score to Solaris is exquisite.

I had a fascination for

fire and explosives, and briefly considered being a pyrotechnist. I set fire to our shed (joined to the house) when I was 6 and rode off intending to come back as a fireman and put it out. Thankfully a neighbour put it out while I was distracted at the beach. At 14 I ended up in hospital after setting myself on fire playing with petrol - thankfully I discovered music soon after.

Once in a blue moo

n I'll sneak off to the movies during the day. The simple pleasure from that can resonate for weeks.

I get furious

every time I drive behind an SUV. Who are these idiots that buy these planet-f***ing machines? Were they born stupid, or did their upbringing dumb them down to this level? I'd love to make a bumper sticker, "Meats in Jeeps", and plaster them on all the SUVs around Auckland.

The birth of my daughter

Mira was an incredible experience. I caught Mira as she came into the world. Bella, our dog, had been watching the process with a mixture of fascination and concern, and when Mira was born she announced it by howling to the neighbourhood (whether she was trumpeting the birth or bemoaning the end of life as she knew it, we'll never know). We had thick walls of a brick and plaster art deco house in Avondale at the time - it might be a bit loud to try that in Kingsland, where the thin wooden walls and close houses would make a birth more of a community event.

I set up music workshops

and a recording studio in Bosnia in 1995-96. I originally volunteered to drive World War II-era British army trucks to the small villages the UN wasn't getting to. But once the situation opened up more for the UN and people were getting basic food supplies, I focused on "cultural aid": youth music workshops and a recording studio in Mostar and an arts and music festival in Sarajevo. It's a beautiful part of the world and we're hoping to travel there again soon as a family. My daughter Mira's name is Bosnian for peace.

My golden rule of dressing

is deal to the hair first and all else will follow.