BBC Radio 3 is perhaps better known for its classical music and its live recording of the Proms concerts.

But this weekend a Colchester-based composer of sounds of a different kind will be getting his new piece aired on the national station.

Composed of three movements, Hidden Sounds of Coastal Arcades is based upon the architecture of Walton Pier, beginning in the bustling arcade, then moving into the cacophonous fairground and finishing above the water at the end of the pier itself.

It's been created by Frazer Merrick, who has well as writing music for computer games, also runs a number of projects with Signals Media Arts in the town.

Born and brought up in Grays, Frazer went to St Martin's School in Brentwood before going on the study music technology in Huddersfield where he did a placement with producer and composer Nitin Sawhney CBE, who received the Ivor Novello Lifetime Achievement award in 2017.

"My very first project," Frazer says, "was assisting him with the score for the BBC series Human Planet, which was a phenomenal experience.

"I then lived and worked in Leeds where I played in a band in which the keyboard player liked Stevie Wonder, the drummer was into heavy metal and I liked indie rock. It was quite the melting pot of genres."

After getting a job composing karaoke backing tracks, Frazer moved to Colchester in 2015 where, with a group of like-minded creatives, he eventually set up his own gaming company, Teaboy Games.

"I'm interested in creating games for good," he tells me, "for example our last one was for Essex Police, used as part of a recruitment drive, called Fit The Bill, which identified the kind of skills required to be a police officer."

While continuing his work with Teaboy, Frazer spent some time working with Firstsite art gallery, where, among other things, he ran the Flipside Festival.

Now Signals' Education Co-ordinator running all sorts of projects including hACkT with the Mercury Theatre, Frazer is also one of the first artists to be accepted on to the New Creatives scheme run by BBC Arts and Arts Council England.

"It's a bit like BBC Introducing for bands," he says, "except this is for artists.

"The idea is to give emerging creatives a step up with the chance to make short films and audio pieces, and I had the beginning of an idea, which I then pitched to them."

Piers and arcades are distinctly English shrines to the act of play which dot the country's coastline.

Steeped in heritage they still hold a place in many hearts to this day, including Frazer's and so through a series of recordings, interviews and musical composition Frazer made an audio documentary exploring the infectious energy of Walton Pier in North Essex and uncovering its hidden sounds, including those of the people, the place and even the electromagnetic fields produced by the machines.

Through the mentorship of Pier Productions director Peter Hoare and former Creative Director of BBC Radio’s Documentaries Unit Simon Elmes, Frazer set about treading a line between Charles Parker’s Radio Ballads and Steve Reich’s Different Trains.

What he ended up with was an experimental documentary that tells the story of Walton Pier through recordings made there, but subsequently composed into music and soundscape through his own compositional devices.

Frazer says: "It was a wonderful experience to visit the same place across many months, from wet Wednesday evenings to Bank Holiday lunchtimes, capturing the sounds of the pier and the people who inhabit it at different times of the day.

"I met some fantastic characters, from old staff who would hide in the ghost train and scare punters to fisherman who remember tides so high the water was coming up through the boardwalk. There was also a particularly hilarious moment where one staffer thought I was ‘diddling’ the machines when she saw my EMF mic, it was pure coincidence I won the jackpot, I swear."

Made earlier this year, Frazer originally wanted the piece to be on Southend, Clacton and Walton but decided to stick with just the one so he could really focus on the story.

"That's where Peter and Simon's help was invaluable," he adds. "At first I was keen to just make a piece of music but by incorporating documentary elements to the piece, it really tells the story of Walton Pier.

"There were occasions I did have to ask them to turn the music off and on busy days that was never going to happen because it might effect sales but I managed to persuade them to do it twice, which was really great of them."

Best experienced on headphones, Hidden Sounds of Coastal Arcades is next due for broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on Saturday, December 21, at 9.50pm.