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
McCullin, the feature film I composed for last year nominated for two BAFTA’s (including Best Documentary) at the 2013 BAFTA film awards, was broadcast on BBC 1 on Tuesday 2nd July as part of Alan Yentob’s Imagine series. I’ve been genuinely thrilled by the positive reaction to the music score – which available to download from iTunes here (snippets below) with DVD / Blu-Ray of the film out now, and available to watch in the UK on BBC iPlayer until August here.
I’m presently working on music for the next film with the McCullin team, which should see the light later this year….
Posted in Arranger, BBC, Cinema, Composer, Documentary, Don McCullin, Film, Soundtrack, String Arranger
Tagged Alan Yentob, BBC 1, McCullin Film, McCullin Soundtrack
Very happy that Wieden + Kennedy have won a Cannes Lion Silver Award for their film The Cook (see below) for Lurpak, for which I composed and arranged the music recorded at Abbey Road Studio with the London Metropolitan Orchestra and Choir earlier this year.
Back in London, the reviews have come in for The Cripple of Inishmaan directed by Michael Grandage in the West End, with some 5 star reviews including this from the Telegraph (here) and this from the New York Times (here) – the second time Ben Brantley has mentioned my music this month (the other one being Cornelius which is presently showing in New York).
Alex Baranowski’s evocative music set the scene without being as overbearing as much music in drama has become lately – here is a composer who understands theatre. (Broadway World).
The show stars Daniel Radcliffe and is on at the Noel Coward Theatre in London’s West End until August 2013. Watch the trailer below (with some snippets of the music);
Finally, I’ve been working on the latest series of TV commercials for UK supermarket Waitrose – with a number of films being broadcast in the last few months including this one below.. the music has been rather popular, with numerous people asking if I’m going to release the full piece (alas not!).
Posted in Abbey Road, Advert, Arranger, Composer, Cripple of Inishmaan, Documentary, Don McCullin, Film, Lurpak, Orchestra, Orchestrator, Producer, Rankin, Sound Design, Soundtrack, String Arranger, Theatre, Waitrose, Wieden + Kennedy
Tagged Alan Yentob, BBC 1, Cannes Lion, Daniel Radcliffe, London Metropolitan Orchestra, Michael Grandage, The Cook
Very happy that Cornelius directed by Sam Yates has opened at 59e59 Theater in New York to brilliant reviews, including a glowing article by Ben Brantley in the New York Times (read the article here). I’ve composed music and sound on the project that transfered from London’s Finborough Theatre after a sell out run last year. The production is showing in New York until the end of June 2013.