I’m presently deep into writing and rehearsals for Kes which is premiering at the Sheffield Crucible from 27th March to 5th April 2014. A mixture of dance, puppetry, physical theatre and of course music (an hour and a half of it), the production is directed and choreographed by Jonathan Watkins (who I previously collaborated with at the Royal Opera House for Ballet Black).
A re-imagining of Barry Hines’ celebrated book A Kestrel for a Knave the production tells the story of Billy Casper, a boy shaped by the contrasting worlds of an industrial working class Barnsley.. and the natural landscape around him.
For more information and to buy tickets, visit the Sheffield Crucible’s website here.
Once the show is opened, I’ll be putting a selection of the soundtrack up here on my website and to download from iTunes. To keep up to date with the release and the odd music freebie, feel free to join my email list here (it won’t be passed on to anyone, ever).
Posted in Arranger, Composer, Dance, Jonathan Watkins, Kes, Orchestra, Orchestrator, Sheffield Crucible, Sound Design, Soundtrack, String Arranger, Theatre
Tagged Barry Hines, Jonathan Watkins, Kes, Sheffield Crucible
Very happy that my score for Lurpak‘s worldwide advertising campaign “Weave Your Magic” for Wieden + Kennedy has been nominated for “Best Original Composition” in the Television Advertising category at the Music + Sounds Awards 2014. Already the winner of a Cannes Lion Silver Award, the film was directed by Scott Lyon and features the voice of Blade Runner’s Rutger Hauer. The score was recorded in Abbey Road Studio 2 with the London Metropolitan Orchestra and Choir.
Posted in Abbey Road, Arranger, Composer, Film, Lurpak, Music + Sound Awards, Orchestra, Orchestrator, Producer, Soundtrack, String Arranger, Wieden + Kennedy
Tagged Cannes Lion Silver Award, Lurpak, Music + Sound Awards, Rutger Hauer, Scott Lyon, the London Metropolitan Orchestra
Thrilled that the five star production of The Cripple of Inishmaan, written by Martin McDonagh and directed by Michael Grandage (on which I was composer & sound designer at the Noel Coward Theatre summer 2013), will be transferring to the Cort Theatre, New York in April 2013.
The production stars Daniel Radcliffe as Billy, with set and costume design by Christopher Oram and lighting design by Paule Constable.
Previews begin on 12th April with a strictly limited run until 20th July.
To find out more visit the Michael Grandage Company website here or to buy tickets click here.
Here’s a snippet of Ben Brantley’s raving review in the New York Times about the original production;
“Inishmaan” feels completely organic. Designed by Christopher Oram, Mr. Grandage’s frequent collaborator, the show has a heightened picturesqueness that is equally cozy and bleak, echoed in Alex Baranowski’s lonely penny-whistle music.
(which you can hear on my Listen page, by the way..)
Posted in Arranger, Composer, Cripple of Inishmaan, Daniel Radcliffe, James Bierman, Michael Grandage, Sound Design, String Arranger, Theatre
Tagged Christopher Oram, Daniel Radcliffe, Martin McDonagh, Michael Grandage Company, Noel Coward Theatre
Just before Christmas I took The EL Train band and choir to record some of the music from the five star reviewed production (showing at Hoxton Hall Dec 2013 directed by Sam Yates and Ruth Wilson).
Available just to listen online for the moment, the tracks will be available to download in the coming weeks.
VOCALS Nicola Hughes
PIANO / MD Adam Sopp
TRUMPET Mark Kavuma
DRUMS Billy Stookes
UPRIGHT BASS Jason Simpson
TROMBONE Christian Edwards
ALTO SAX Zubin Varla
THE EL CHOIR Simon Coombs, Sharon Duncan-Brewster, Christian Edwards, Adam Sopp, Ony Uhiara, Zubin Varla, Ruth Wilson
Produced and mixed by Alex Baranowski
Recorded at Strongroom, London
Very pleased that the The El Train opened this week at Hoxton Hall to some wonderful five star reviews. I’ve written music and created the sound design for the collection of three one act Eugene O’Neil plays directed by Sam Yates and Ruth Wilson – Before Breakfast, The Web and The Dreamy Kid. Ruth Wilson (who has two Olivier awards including last year’s best actress for Anna Christie) also stars in two of the plays.
The score features a live seven-piece jazz band led by vocalist Nicola Hughes linking each of the three plays.
The reviews so far have been fantastic, with the Telegraph writing -
“..the staging is bleakly beautiful, the original score by Alex Baranowski sensational, the performances brutally truthful.” ****
Michael Billington in the Guardian -
“..a spellbinding 90-minute evening… the atmospheric power of Alex Baranowski’s prefatory jazz music and the resonant singing of Nicola Hughes, who sombrely tells us that “death is slow, death is sure” ****
And Kate Kellaway in the Observer -
“The joint is jumping.. to the ecstatic sound of virtuoso jazz trumpeter Mark Kavuma and company. The magnificent Nicola Hughes – velvet-voiced – seals each play with a song… a pitch-perfect sense of O’Neill’s prose and of theatrical sound: the thunder of train and storm.” *****
The show is running up until the end of December at Hoxton Hall. For more information and to book tickets, go to the El Train website here.
Posted in Arranger, Composer, Hoxton Hall, Ruth Wilson, Sound Design, Soundtrack, The EL Train, Theatre
Tagged Before Breakfast, Mark Kavuma, Observer review, Sam Yates, Telegraph review, The Dreamy Kid, The El Train, The Web
Excited to announce I’m writing the original music for a very special dance theatre adaptation of Kes directed and choreographed by Jonathan Watkins opening at the Sheffield Crucible in March 2014.
Based on Barry Hines’ celebrated book “A Kestrel For A Knave” the production is being designed by Ben Stones and will feature eight professional and 20 young local dancers to combine dance, physical theatre and puppetry in this world premiere production.
I previously collaborated with Jonathan for “Together Alone” with Ballet Black at the Royal Opera House and for short film “Sofa” commissioned by Channel 4.
For more information and to buy tickets (twelve performances only!) head to the Sheffield Theatre’s website here.
Posted in Arranger, Ballet Black, Composer, Dance, Experimental, Jonathan Watkins, Kes, Orchestra, Orchestrator, Sheffield Crucible, Sound Design, Soundtrack, Theatre
Very happy that the National Theatre will be broadcasting again to cinemas Sir Nicholas Hytner’s acclaimed 2010 production of Hamlet, on which I was composer, on the day that the NT turns 50 – 22nd October 2013. The production stared Rory Kinnear in the title role and gained numerous five star reviews.
The encore screenings also include Frankenstein directed by Danny Boyle, on which I was music associate with electro duo Underworld and staring Benedict Cumberbatch, which is being shown later in October.
As bonus material leading up to the broadcast, the NT has also released the original programme in PDF form here. Below is the trailer (featuring my score) and some snippets of the soundtrack I released in 2010.
Posted in Arranger, Cinema, Cinema Trailer, Composer, Experimental, Film, Frankenstein, Hamlet, National Theatre, Nicholas Hytner, Online, Orchestra, Orchestrator, Rory Kinnear, Sound Design, Soundtrack, String Arranger, Theatre
Tagged Artistic Director National Theatre, Iskra String Quartet, National Theatre 50th birthday, Nicholas Hytner, Rory Kinnear
Proud to have collaborated again with Mercury winning band The xx for their biggest live show to date at the Hollywood Bowl with the LA Philharmonic Orchestra. The arrangements were overseen and conducted by David Campbell… based on The xx Symphony which was performed last year by the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, live on Radio 1 for Zane Lowe.
Very pleased that the Deutsche Grammophon album Spheres by virtuoso violinist Daniel Hope, on which I collaborated with Daniel for two pieces, has gone to number one in the UK Classical Album charts. The pieces are Biafra (from my soundtrack to the BAFTA nominated feature film McCullin), and Musica Universalis which I composed especially for Daniel. Earlier in the year the album debuted at number three in the US Classical Billboard chart. The album can be downloaded from iTunes here (and my soundtrack to McCullin here). Below is a video of Daniel performing Musica Universalis during the recording session in Berlin.
I’m presently writing music for The Masque of Anarchy showing at Manchester International Festival from 12th June. Directed by Royal Exchange artistic director Sarah Frankcom and featuring Maxine Peake – it is an atmospheric reading of the poem by Percy Bysshe Shelley about the Peterloo Massacre in Manchester 1819.. performed in the Manchester Albert Hall a few steps from the site of the massacre itself. Excitingly, the pipe organ in the hall has been restored especially for the performances, and it sounds fantastic.For more information on the MIF website click here.
Posted in Arranger, Composer, Manchester International Festival, Masque of Anarchy, Sound Design, Soundtrack, String Arranger, Theatre
Tagged Masque of Anarchy, Maxine Peak, MIF, Sarah Frankcom