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 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
Simon Armitage’s Last Days of Troy has been adapted for radio by BBC Radio 4 in two parts starting from 11th January 2015. Originally produced as a stage play directed by Nick Bagnall, it was performed at the Royal Exchange and Globe Theatres in 2014. With the cast including Lily Cole, a number of songs from the play were also used in the radio adaption. It will be available on the BBC iPlayer very soon (links to follow).
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…
Posted in Composer, Film, Greenpeace, Lego, Martin Stirling, Online, Orchestrator, Producer, Soundtrack
Tagged Don't Panic, Lego, Shell, Sophie Blackburn, Youtube
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
It’s been an absolute pleasure working with The xx and BBC Philharmonic Orchestra (conducted by Clark Rundell) along with Radio 1 for The xx Symphony in Bridlington, Yorkshire. Thanks for everyone involved who made it happen – an experience I’ll never forget. I’ve posted some more pictures of the event and rehearsals on my blog here. [update] It’s not available to watch on iPlayer any more although there is a low-res version on Youtube which I’ve linked to on my Listen/Watch page. Hopefully a higher resolution video will surface soon!
Posted in Arranger, BBC, BBC Philharmonic, Bridlington Spa, Clark Rundell, Composer, Film, Online, Orchestra, Orchestrator, Soundtrack, String Arranger, The XX, xx symphony
Tagged Alex Baranowski, BBC Philharmonic, Clark Rundell, The xx, The xx symphony
Below is the trailer for Hamlet, now playing at the National Theatre’s Olivier until January and staring Rory Kinnear in the title role. It is being broadcast to cinemas globally on 9th December and will go on a European tour in Feb 2011.