Category Archives: Orchestra

Nineteen Eighty-Four performed by Northern Ballet opens and embarks on UK tour

Very happy that the production of 1984 performed by Northern Ballet, on which I was composer, has opened to some brilliant reviews. Choreographed by Jonathan Watkins the ballet’s 100 minute score is performed live by the 30 piece Northern Ballet Sinfonia.

“From the opening sequence, Jonathan Watkins’ deft choreography coupled with Alex Baranowski’s score conjures a powerful sense of isolation in the anti-hero Winston Smith. The pairing reunites the creative team responsible for the recent dance theatre adaption of another classic, Kes, at Sheffield, last year with similarly successful results.” The Independant 

“The show’s richest source of imaginative texture is Alex Baranowski’s ravishing score, mournful and agitated by turns and played live by the Northern Ballet Sinfonia” The Times

“Watkins has the luxury of a fine commissioned score by Alex Baranowski, who reinforces the totalitarian mindset with anxious strings and metronomic percussion. His excruciating discords as Winston inches upstage towards the strobing screen filled with rats guarantee a chilling climax” Financial Times

“The choreographer is aided by Alex Baranowski’s score, where acerbic, almost Nymanesque staccato rhythms punctuate more romantic, idealistic music for the love scenes” Dancing Times

To book tickets for the tour or to find out more about the production, visit Northern Ballet’s website here.

It has also recently been announced that the BBC will be filming the Manchester leg of the production to put on it’s “The Space” website along with some behind the scenes videos. More information can be found here and I’ll post with more information soon.

Nineteen Eighty-Four performed by Northern Ballet

Work is nearly complete composing the score for 1984 which will be performed by Northern Ballet and directed & choreographed by Jonathan Watkins. The live 90 minute score will be performed by the 30 piece Northern Ballet Sinfonia.

Rehearsals start in July with the first performance at Northern Ballet’s brilliant home in Leeds in September, with a subsequent UK tour including Sadler’s Wells in London going into 2016.

For more information or to book tickets, visit Northern Ballet’s website here.


“The Messenger” for Wieden + Kennedy

Continuing a brilliantly creative relationship with ad agency Wieden + Kennedy (having previously contributed music to award winning campaigns including Lurpak, Tesco Christmas and most recently Finish) I’ve just completed work on composing music for a new film for Arla Skyr called “The Messenger”. Beautifully shot by Dougal Wilson through Blink, the short was filmed in Iceland and tells the story of a young messenger..

“Dishes” with award winning directing collective Megaforce

I’ve just written the music to a dishwasher tablets ad. Although this one was rather fun… for the brilliantly creative folks at Wieden + Kennedy, directed by the wonderful collective of Megaforce, and music produced along with the fab SIREN, this is a Finish ad like no other.. quirky little instruments recorded at my studio, with the small orchestral elements recorded at Abbey Road with the London Metropolitan Orchestra.



George Orwell’s 1984 for Northern Ballet

I’ve been working away writing for Northern Ballet’s upcoming main stage show, based on George Orwell’s 1984. Choreographed by Jonathan Watkins (who I previously collaborated with for Kes) a brand new 90 minute score will be performed live by the Northern Ballet Sinfonia.

The production starts rehearsals in July and opens in September, initially touring to West Yorkshire Playhouse, Nottingham Theatre Royal, Manchester Palace Theatre and Sheffield Lyceum. The first four dates are available to book on NB’s website here.


“McCullin” score released with limited run of CD’s

After so many people have asked over the last couple of years since McCullin was released, I have produced a very limited run of CD’s of my music score (previously only available as a digital iTunes download). These can be purchased from my Bandcamp site by clicking here (or alternatively email via the contact page).

The music won a Music + Sound Award for Best Feature Film Score in 2014, and a version of “Biafra” featured on violinist Daniel Hope’s Spheres album for Deutsche Grammophon which reached no 1 in the UK and no 3 in the US Classical Billboard charts. It also featured on Classic FM’s Chillout album. The film was also nominated for two BAFTA’s including Best Documentary and Outstanding Debut.

The CD case is made of thick cardboard and each is numbered and signed.

The follow up film, Attacking The Devil, which I have also scored, was the recent winner of Sheffield Documentary Festival and will be released in cinemas later in 2015.

Alex McCullin CDs

Wieden + Kennedy’s “Tesco Christmas” campaign

I’ve been working on a number of arrangements for Tesco’s Christmas television advertising campaign which launched yesterday, produced by the brilliant Wieden + Kennedy (who I previously collaborated with for the multi award winning Lurpak “The Cook”). The launch film consists of a brass band arrangement of Irene Cara’s “What A Feeling” which I arranged for 20 piece brass band (consisting of the London Metropolitan Orchestra), which was recorded in London’s Abbey Road Studio 2.

More films from the campaign will be released in the coming weeks.