When I think of Derek, I think of his generosity, his love for his family, his kindness, sense of humour, astonishing talent, warm energy and brilliant sense of humour. Derek was an all round sweetheart.
I worked with him in BIMM and also worked with him on an animation scoring project, and while I say that we ‘worked’ together, really, Derek was more of a mentor to me than anything else, as I learned so much from him.
I loved observing his classes, his rapport with his students. He was as cool as a cucumber and students were so open with him, as he created such a safe and nurturing space in his classroom.
When I worked with him in his studio, and saw him composing, I felt like I was observing a masterclass for free, and got a glimpse of the wonderfully creative mind that he had, which I think he didn’t feel the need to talk about - he just did his thing.
I loved Derek’s quirky personality too, his geeky jokes, and his warmth. I will miss him a lot and am privileged to have been in his orbit in some way on and off over the last number of years. My condolences to Aoibhe, Cole and Cora - sending you love and deepest sympathies.