Category Archives: Orchestrator

“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!

The Merchant of Venice directed by Rupert Goold at the Almeida Theatre

The production of The Merchant of Venice directed by Rupert Goold (which was previously shown at RSC Stratford in 2011) has recently been re-staged at the Almeida Theatre in London with Ian McDiarmid taking over from Patrick Stewart in the role of Shylock. I was music associate and co-orchestrator on the project, with music by Adam Cork.

Set in modern day Las Vegas, the original gained some brilliant four and five star reviews for its originality. The arrangements were recorded for the Almeida production by a twelve piece big band, with Jim Hustwit acting as Associate Musical Director.

For more information find the Almeida’s website here. The production opens officially on 15th December.

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Wieden + Kennedy’s “Tesco Christmas” campaign

I’ve been working on a number of arrangements for Tesco’s Christmas television advertising campaign which launched yesterday, produced by the brilliant Wieden + Kennedy (who I previously collaborated with for the multi award winning Lurpak “The Cook”). The launch film consists of a brass band arrangement of Irene Cara’s “What A Feeling” which I arranged for 20 piece brass band (consisting of the London Metropolitan Orchestra), which was recorded in London’s Abbey Road Studio 2.

More films from the campaign will be released in the coming weeks.

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…

1984 a new ballet choreographed by Jonathan Watkins for Northern Ballet

Very pleased to be collaborating again with director / choreographer Jonathan Watkins (after the success of Kes earlier in the year) on a new ballet based on George Orwell’s 1984. Staged by Northern Ballet, with a live 30 piece orchestra, the piece will open in Autumn 2015.

I’ll be putting up more information closer to the time. For more information about Northern Ballet, visit their website here.

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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.