Category Archives: Film

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

Nineteen Eighty-Four performed by Northern Ballet opens and embarks on UK tour

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.

“We Are Many” in cinemas 22nd May

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)

we are many

“The Messenger” for Wieden + Kennedy

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..

Maxine Peake’s “Hamlet” in cinemas 23rd March

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..

“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

The Departure directed by Gillian Anderson

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.

Gillian Departure