The ICMP Spotlight aims to champion as many students and alumni as possible in their music industry careers.

Whether you're working on a musical, have joined a cover band, started out as a booking agent/artist manager/music journalist/etc, we want to know all about it and support you by any possible means.

Each month we present a student or graduate music project, making them our #ICMPSpotlight. This time we have our alumnus, Ghost Temples. 

Ghost Temples

Christian Vage is a freelance composer who records under his own name and as the artist, Ghost Temples.

His background is removed from the world of music, having worked as a medical doctor back home in Norway before coming to London to follow his musical passions and study ICMP's BA Creative Music Production.

From having never completed a full song prior to the lockdowns of 2020, Christian has now unveiled a debut album as a solo artist, a release he has completely self-written, recorded, produced, mixed and mastered.

Titled 'Jagged Teeth Cut Deeper', the album was released in December 2023 and was the work Christian submitted as his final 'major production project' for his degree, leading to a first.

We quizzed Christian on the project and how he found his time with us...

Could you introduce the Ghost Temples project? 

Ghost Temples is a project that's all about combining my various musical influences and sources of inspiration into something of a (hopefully) cohesive whole.

In short, it's the sound of me trying to arrive at an answer to a question I was asked early on in my time at ICMP; 'what's your sound?' - because I honestly had no idea how to respond and probably just made something up on the spot. 

Over time I've realised there really was no meaningful answer I could've given back then, as the concept of 'a sound' is far too nebulous and multi-faceted, it has to be found and continually redefined through a process of discovery. That's what Ghost Temples is, me synthesising something by throwing all my favourite ingredients into a pot (instrument choices, sound design, orchestration, lyrical themes, song structures…), making a giant mess and crossing my fingers what comes out the other end makes sense. Suffice to say a lot of tracks don't make the cut.

It's pop, it's alternative, it's indie, it's modern film music, it's disco and chamber pop and electronic beats and jazzy trumpet solos. 

How did your time at ICMP studying music production help inform the debut record you released in December? 

First off, it gave me confidence to hit that big, scary space bar in front of other people to play my rough and unmixed ideas through speakers far too expensive for the sound of my demos, then not just shrink into a little ball of self-deprecating jokes.

I think that's pretty essential if you want to create something meaningful.

Studying at ICMP gave me the technical knowledge and confidence I needed to approach such a big project, and it put me in touch with collaborators that I'd never have been able to meet otherwise."

Even just having a few extra pairs of ears to tell me if my mix is rubbish or not was truly invaluable!


What were the key things you learned on the course? 


But beyond those essential takeaways, gaining a more holistic view of the entire music production process, starting from pure acoustic theory on the movement of air particles and room treatment, to in-depth knowledge on recording a vast array of sound sources (and doing it well), to finally mixing and even mastering your own music to a level of quality that's actually fit to publish.

It's funny to think that before starting that course I hadn't ever recorded a single piece of music and I found entry-level audio interfaces confusing and maybe a little bit intimidating.

How did you find making the album? What are the themes on the record? 

Daunting, maddening, ear fatigue-inducing, ultimately cathartic.The main themes running through the album are mental health struggles and self-destructive behaviour, and how one leads to the other and vice versa.

The through-line of the album is this idea that you've burnt your bridges because you simply built a shit bridge, out of painfully obviously flammable material, and you kinda-sorta knew it all along and for some reason you did it anyway. And now you need to deal with that and try to learn from your mistakes instead of repeating them. 

Musically, it moves from the naively positive to the outright depressive, all while I’m trying not to give the listener too much of a tonal whiplash. It’s fun! And sad."

What is next for you and your music?

More songs, more albums, hopefully more visibility on social media and more attempts to market my music. I'm currently working on albums two and three, writing music to pitch to media projects, soundtracks for short films and indie games AND working a full-time job in medicine as a GP, so it’s a bit of a process.

'One thing at a time' is what I want to say, but clearly that's not what I'm doing here at all...

Listen to the album below and connect with Ghost Temples on Instagram

Great producers change the way the world listens

If you’re looking to turn heads with your own unique production style, ICMP’s pioneering approach to music education will provide everything you need. Our Music Production students all benefit from fully equipped Audient and SSL recording studios, Mac Labs, world-class gear, an exceptional team of tutors, masterclasses, exclusive events, collaborative opportunities, and a curriculum that covers studio and live work, engineering, composition, advanced skills, business, and professional development.

To completely immerse yourself in your music career, chat with our friendly Admissions Team via email or give them a call on 020 7328 0222.

Production Courses