Category Archives: Film

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!

Greenpeace film ends Lego’s partnership with Shell (after a viral ad)

A good friend of mine, director Martin Stirling came to me with an idea for a short film he was working on for Greenpeace. Martin makes beautiful films (including Myron & Hester on my audio/video page) and this one was no exception. It was a campaign to get Lego thinking about their relationship with Shell – who have been selling Lego playsets of arctic oil drilling platforms and oil tankers aimed at children.

Produced by agency Don’t Panic, the film went viral quickly amassing nearly 6 million hits, attaining “ad of day” for Campaign and featured in the Creative Review.

I produced and arranged the music in my studio – with myself on piano and the super talented Sophie Blackburn on vocals.  It is a slow remix of the track “Everything is Awesome” written for the recent Lego Movie.

The news came today that Lego won’t be renewing it’s partnership with shell after the success of Greenpeace’s campaign (read more in the Guardian article here). Which is great news. I guess we can change stuff, little by little…

NT Live Broadcast “A Streetcar Named Desire” to cinemas worldwide

From today the Young Vic Theatre will be broadcasting their production of A Streetcar Named Desire as part of NT Live, directed by Benedict Andrews. I was composer on the production that opened in July. There will be numerous encore screenings worldwide over the coming months… for more information on screenings, visit the NT Live website here.

The production stars Gillian Anderson, Vanessa Kirby and Ben Foster, and received a host of brilliant five star reviews when it opened in July.

The soundtrack of my original jazz and orchestral score can be downloaded here. It features the brilliant talents of Mark Kavuma, Ruben Fox, Giacomo Smith and Jason Simpson.

I’ve also put up a free download from the score on my Facebook page, so feel free to go and give it a “like” and download.

[EDIT] After a lot of requests I’ve just added a tracklisting of the other songs used in the show on my blog here.

4Creative “Stand Up To Cancer” 2 min commercial

I’ve recently composed the music for this brilliant 2 min commercial for 4Creative’s latest campaign Stand Up For Cancer, a partnership between Channel 4 and Cancer Research UK. It is being rolled out to cinemas nationwide this weekend and broadcast across more than one hundred commercial channels on Sunday night (7th Sept)… and subsequently for the next month working up to a dedicated night on Channel 4 in October.

Directed by Oscar nominated Nexus directors Adam Foulkes and Alan Smith, I worked alongside music production company SIREN on the epic score featuring orchestra and dark male voice choir. Epic.

Streetcar Named Desire jazz soundtrack released

I’ve just released an album consisting of much of my score heard in A Streetcar Named Desire from the sold out Young Vic production. It can be listened to online below or downloaded from Bandcamp here.

Featuring Mark Kavuma (Trumpet), Ruben Fox (Tenor Sax), Giacomo Smith (Clarinet), Jason Simpson (Upright Bass) and myself on Piano, Mellotron, Moog and Hammond.

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The Young Vic / National Theatre have also just released the trailer for the forthcoming NT Live broadcast of Streetcar on September 16th. The music used is from my piece “Number Six Thirty-Two” (the number of Stella and Stanley’s apartment in Elysian Fields New Orleans).

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.