Category Archives: Don McCullin

Iskra String Quartet launch new album “Iskra”

Very proud to have contributed to the new album by the Iskra String Quartet entitled Iskra with new composition “For Then”. I’ve known and collaborated with the quartet for a number of years having featured on a number of my projects including Hamlet at the National Theatre and the BAFTA nominated McCullin – so was very happy to be asked to compose a new piece for the album. Other composers featured on the album include Jóhann Jóhannsson, David Julyan and another long time collaborator, cellist and composer Peter Gregson.

The album was launched at the Union Chapel in Islington and I even made a rare live appearance performing “For Then” with the quartet on the piano which was a joy.

Iskra has been released on 1631 Recordings and be purchased from here.

Iskra album cover1

“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

A look back at 2014..

I’ve been lucky to have been involved with some brilliant projects this year, many of which have been included in a number of the “Best of 2014” lists that are inevitably played out every run up to Christmas. Here are some of my favourites-

The Cripple of Inishmaan transferred to Broadway in April – directed by Michael Grandage & staring Daniel Radcliffe, it gained six Tony nominations (including one for me for best Sound Design). It featured in a number of “Best of..” lists including Ben Brantley from the New York Times and Time Magazine’s “Top Plays and Musicals 2014”.

Kes, my first full length ballet, opened at the Sheffield Crucible in February, choreographed by Jonathan Watkins. It got some fantastic reviews and responses from the Sheffield audience, and featured in The Guardian’s top 10. Keep an eye/ear out for its return…

Greanpeace’s Lego Campaign against Shell attracted a lot of attention (attaining nearly 7 million views on Youtube at time of writing) and was so successful that Lego subsequently ended it’s £70m contract with the oil giant. I re-arranged the song “Everything is Awesome” for the film along with vocalist Sophie Blackburn. The film was even parodied by a Danish TV show

Fathers and Sons directed by the brilliant Lyndsey Turner at the Donmar Warehouse also appeared in Michael Billington’s top theatre of 2014..

If that wasn’t enough, it was the year that McCullin won Best Feature Film Score at the Music + Sound Awards in Cannes (and “Biafra” was performed from Daniel Hope’s album Spheres.. also finding itself onto Classic FM’s Chillout album); its sequel Attacking The Devil won Sheffield Documentary festival; A Streetcar Named Desire was broadcast across the world for NT Live from the Young Vic; Hamlet was filmed for cinema release at the Royal Exchange Theatre; the animated promo for Stand Up To Cancer was broadcast simultaneously across all UK television channels; and nearly thirty films for Tesco’s Christmas TV advertising campaign were arranged and recorded in Abbey Road with a brass band. Not to mention The Merchant of Venice transferring to the Almeida in London from the RSC; East is East opening in the West End; The Last Days of Troy written by poet Simon Armitage at the Royal Exchange; and a whole host of other brilliant collaborations that are due out next year.

Here’s to an equally as exciting 2015!

Daniel Hope’s no1 album “Spheres” to be released on 2LP vinyl by Deutsche Grammophon

Very pleased that the album on which I collaborated on with virtuoso violinist Daniel Hope (two pieces Musica Universalis and Biafra) along with Max Richter, Ludovico Einaudi and Gabriel Prokofiev, is now to be released on vinyl by Deutsche Grammophon. Already reaching number 1 in the UK and number 3 in the US Classical charts on CD and downloads, it is exciting to have the release on vinyl (a medium that I absolutely love). For more information and to pre-order, click here.

The piece Biafra is taken from my award winning score to BAFTA nominated feature film McCullin. To purchase the album from iTunes, link here.

Below is Musica Universalis as performed by Daniel at the recording sessions in Berlin.

“McCullin” wins Best Feature Film Score at Music + Sound International Awards in Cannes

Very pleased that my score to last years’ twice BAFTA nominated McCullin has just won Best Feature Film Score at the Music + Sound International Awards in Cannes.

Against some brilliant competition, including Frank Ilfman’s fantastic “Big Bad Wolves”, it is a great honour to win.. especially after the recent success of the sequel, Attacking the Devil, at the recent Sheffield Documentary Festival this month.

Below is a selection of music from the film, and the whole score can be downloaded on iTunes here.

The film is available to buy on DVD and Blu-Ray, as well as ready to stream on Netflix.

“Attacking the Devil” wins top Special Jury Prize at Sheffield Documentary Festival

Very proud that the film I’m composing for, Attacking the Devil, directed by Jacqui Morris, has just won the prestigious Special Jury Prize at Sheffield Documentary Festival. The team behind the film were also behind last years’ twice BAFTA nominated McCullin including director Jacqui, editor David Fairhead and producer Steve Milne of the British Film Company.

Attacking The Devil: Harold Evans and the Last Nazi War Crime is a documentary about Harold Evans, the former editor of The Sunday Times – and his investigation into the drug thalidomide which left 10,000 babies with deformities in the 1950s and ’60s.

The film is not quite finished, with the score to be recorded with an orchestra over the coming months. I’ll be putting snippets up closer to the film release..

harold evans

“Spheres” is Number 1 Classical Album in the UK

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.