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.
Posted in 1984, Arranger, BBC, Composer, Dance, Film, Jonathan Watkins, Kes, NT Live, Online, Orchestra, Orchestrator, Producer, Soundtrack, String Arranger, Theatre
Very proud to have contributed music to We Are Many (along with Brian Eno and Simon Russell), a feature documentary about the largest global protest in history preceding the Iraq war in 2003 – and how the small group of people behind it started a movement that ultimately led to the Arab Spring…
With contributions from Tony Benn, Mark Rylance, Ken Loach, Richard Branson, Damon Alburn, Noam Chomsky and a host of others, the film was many years in the making, directed by Amir Amirani.
Released in cinemas on 22nd May 2015, with a live Q+A on 21st May at Curzon Mayfair chaired by Jon Snow, the film has already received some brilliant reviews..
★★★★ “A work of beautiful rage.. provokes anger and goosebumps” (Empire)
★★★★★ “The only film I’ve ever watched where the audience started clapping halfway through” (Huffington Post)
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..
Posted in Advert, Arla Skyr, Arranger, Cinema, Composer, Film, Finish, Lurpak, Orchestra, Orchestrator, Producer, Soundtrack, Tesco, Wieden + Kennedy
Very pleased that Hamlet staring Maxine Peake will be released in cinemas on 23rd March. Originally produced by the Manchester Royal Exchange in 2014 and directed by Sarah Frankcom, the screen version was produced by Anne Beresford and directed by Margret Williams, and getting some brilliant reviews. For more information visit the film website here.
Excerpts from my dark jazz score can be heard in the trailer below..
Posted in Arranger, Composer, Film, Hamlet, Jazz, Theatre
Tagged Film, Hamlet, Maxine Peak, Picturehouse, Royal Exchange Theatre, Sarah Frankcom, Theatre
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.
Posted in Arranger, Attacking The Devil, British Film Company, Cinema, Composer, Daniel Hope, Deutsche Grammophon, Documentary, Don McCullin, Film, Jacqui Morris, Music + Sound Awards, Orchestra, Orchestrator, Producer, Rankin, Soundtrack, Spheres, String Arranger
Very happy to have contributed music to The Departure, a short film directed by Gillian Anderson (her directorial debut) produced by the Young Vic Theatre and The Guardian. Inspired by Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire, this prequel sees Blanche DuBois in the days before she arrives at her sister Stella’s home (and the start of the play).
Gillian also played Blanche in the Young Vic production of Streetcar directed by Benedict Andrews in 2014, on which I was also composer.
The film is available to watch in full on the Guardian’s website here.
The music score from the production is available to listen online and download here.
Posted in A Streetcar Named Desire, Arranger, Benedict Andrews, Cinema, Composer, Film, Gillian Anderson, Jazz, National Theatre, Online, Soundtrack, The Departure, Theatre, Young Vic
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!
Posted in A Streetcar Named Desire, Abbey Road, Arranger, Benedict Andrews, Composer, Daniel Hope, Daniel Radcliffe, Deutsche Grammophon, Don McCullin, Donmar, East is East, Fathers and Sons, Gillian Anderson, Greenpeace, Hamlet, Jacqui Morris, James Bierman, Jamie Lloyd, Jonathan Watkins, Kes, Last Days Of Troy, Lily Cole, Lyndsey Turner, Manchester Royal Exchange, Maxine Peake, Merchant Of Venice, Michael Grandage, Music + Sound Awards, National Theatre, Nick Bagnall, NT Live, Orchestrator, Rupert Goold, Sam Yates, Shakespeare's Globe, Sheffield Crucible, Sound Design, Soundtrack, Spheres, Stand Up To Cancer, String Arranger, Tesco, The Cripple of Inishmaan, The Globe, Theatre, Tony Awards, Young Vic