I’m presently deep into writing and rehearsals for Kes which is premiering at the Sheffield Crucible from 27th March to 5th April 2014. A mixture of dance, puppetry, physical theatre and of course music (an hour and a half of it), the production is directed and choreographed by Jonathan Watkins (who I previously collaborated with at the Royal Opera House for Ballet Black).
A re-imagining of Barry Hines’ celebrated book A Kestrel for a Knave the production tells the story of Billy Casper, a boy shaped by the contrasting worlds of an industrial working class Barnsley.. and the natural landscape around him.
For more information and to buy tickets, visit the Sheffield Crucible’s website here.
Once the show is opened, I’ll be putting a selection of the soundtrack up here on my website and to download from iTunes. To keep up to date with the release and the odd music freebie, feel free to join my email list here (it won’t be passed on to anyone, ever).
Posted in Arranger, Composer, Dance, Jonathan Watkins, Kes, Orchestra, Orchestrator, Sheffield Crucible, Sound Design, Soundtrack, String Arranger, Theatre
Tagged Barry Hines, Jonathan Watkins, Kes, Sheffield Crucible
Thrilled that the five star production of The Cripple of Inishmaan, written by Martin McDonagh and directed by Michael Grandage (on which I was composer & sound designer at the Noel Coward Theatre summer 2013), will be transferring to the Cort Theatre, New York in April 2013.
The production stars Daniel Radcliffe as Billy, with set and costume design by Christopher Oram and lighting design by Paule Constable.
Previews begin on 12th April with a strictly limited run until 20th July.
To find out more visit the Michael Grandage Company website here or to buy tickets click here.
Here’s a snippet of Ben Brantley’s raving review in the New York Times about the original production;
“Inishmaan” feels completely organic. Designed by Christopher Oram, Mr. Grandage’s frequent collaborator, the show has a heightened picturesqueness that is equally cozy and bleak, echoed in Alex Baranowski’s lonely penny-whistle music.
(which you can hear on my Listen page, by the way..)
Posted in Arranger, Composer, Cripple of Inishmaan, Daniel Radcliffe, James Bierman, Michael Grandage, Sound Design, String Arranger, Theatre
Tagged Christopher Oram, Daniel Radcliffe, Martin McDonagh, Michael Grandage Company, Noel Coward Theatre
Just before Christmas I took The EL Train band and choir to record some of the music from the five star reviewed production (showing at Hoxton Hall Dec 2013 directed by Sam Yates and Ruth Wilson).
Available just to listen online for the moment, the tracks will be available to download in the coming weeks.
VOCALS Nicola Hughes
PIANO / MD Adam Sopp
TRUMPET Mark Kavuma
DRUMS Billy Stookes
UPRIGHT BASS Jason Simpson
TROMBONE Christian Edwards
ALTO SAX Zubin Varla
THE EL CHOIR Simon Coombs, Sharon Duncan-Brewster, Christian Edwards, Adam Sopp, Ony Uhiara, Zubin Varla, Ruth Wilson
Produced and mixed by Alex Baranowski
Recorded at Strongroom, London
Very pleased that the The El Train opened this week at Hoxton Hall to some wonderful five star reviews. I’ve written music and created the sound design for the collection of three one act Eugene O’Neil plays directed by Sam Yates and Ruth Wilson - Before Breakfast, The Web and The Dreamy Kid. Ruth Wilson (who has two Olivier awards including last year’s best actress for Anna Christie) also stars in two of the plays.
The score features a live seven-piece jazz band led by vocalist Nicola Hughes linking each of the three plays.
The reviews so far have been fantastic, with the Telegraph writing -
“..the staging is bleakly beautiful, the original score by Alex Baranowski sensational, the performances brutally truthful.” ****
Michael Billington in the Guardian -
“..a spellbinding 90-minute evening… the atmospheric power of Alex Baranowski’s prefatory jazz music and the resonant singing of Nicola Hughes, who sombrely tells us that “death is slow, death is sure” ****
And Kate Kellaway in the Observer -
“The joint is jumping.. to the ecstatic sound of virtuoso jazz trumpeter Mark Kavuma and company. The magnificent Nicola Hughes – velvet-voiced – seals each play with a song… a pitch-perfect sense of O’Neill’s prose and of theatrical sound: the thunder of train and storm.” *****
The show is running up until the end of December at Hoxton Hall. For more information and to book tickets, go to the El Train website here.
Posted in Arranger, Composer, Hoxton Hall, Ruth Wilson, Sound Design, Soundtrack, The EL Train, Theatre
Tagged Before Breakfast, Mark Kavuma, Observer review, Sam Yates, Telegraph review, The Dreamy Kid, The El Train, The Web
Excited to announce I’m writing the original music for a very special dance theatre adaptation of Kes directed and choreographed by Jonathan Watkins opening at the Sheffield Crucible in March 2014.
Based on Barry Hines’ celebrated book “A Kestrel For A Knave” the production is being designed by Ben Stones and will feature eight professional and 20 young local dancers to combine dance, physical theatre and puppetry in this world premiere production.
I previously collaborated with Jonathan for “Together Alone” with Ballet Black at the Royal Opera House and for short film “Sofa” commissioned by Channel 4.
For more information and to buy tickets (twelve performances only!) head to the Sheffield Theatre’s website here.
Posted in Arranger, Ballet Black, Composer, Dance, Experimental, Jonathan Watkins, Kes, Orchestra, Orchestrator, Sheffield Crucible, Sound Design, Soundtrack, Theatre
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
I’m presently writing music for The Masque of Anarchy showing at Manchester International Festival from 12th June. Directed by Royal Exchange artistic director Sarah Frankcom and featuring Maxine Peake - it is an atmospheric reading of the poem by Percy Bysshe Shelley about the Peterloo Massacre in Manchester 1819.. performed in the Manchester Albert Hall a few steps from the site of the massacre itself. Excitingly, the pipe organ in the hall has been restored especially for the performances, and it sounds fantastic.For more information on the MIF website click here.
Posted in Arranger, Composer, Manchester International Festival, Masque of Anarchy, Sound Design, Soundtrack, String Arranger, Theatre
Tagged Masque of Anarchy, Maxine Peak, MIF, Sarah Frankcom
Very happy that Wieden + Kennedy have won a Cannes Lion Silver Award for their film The Cook (see below) for Lurpak, for which I composed and arranged the music recorded at Abbey Road Studio with the London Metropolitan Orchestra and Choir earlier this year.
Back in London, the reviews have come in for The Cripple of Inishmaan directed by Michael Grandage in the West End, with some 5 star reviews including this from the Telegraph (here) and this from the New York Times (here) – the second time Ben Brantley has mentioned my music this month (the other one being Cornelius which is presently showing in New York).
Alex Baranowski’s evocative music set the scene without being as overbearing as much music in drama has become lately – here is a composer who understands theatre. (Broadway World).
The show stars Daniel Radcliffe and is on at the Noel Coward Theatre in London’s West End until August 2013. Watch the trailer below (with some snippets of the music);
Finally, I’ve been working on the latest series of TV commercials for UK supermarket Waitrose – with a number of films being broadcast in the last few months including this one below.. the music has been rather popular, with numerous people asking if I’m going to release the full piece (alas not!).
Posted in Abbey Road, Advert, Arranger, Composer, Cripple of Inishmaan, Documentary, Don McCullin, Film, Lurpak, Orchestra, Orchestrator, Producer, Rankin, Sound Design, Soundtrack, String Arranger, Theatre, Waitrose, Wieden + Kennedy
Tagged Alan Yentob, BBC 1, Cannes Lion, Daniel Radcliffe, London Metropolitan Orchestra, Michael Grandage, The Cook
I’m presently in rehearsals for The Cripple of Inishmaan with director Michael Grandage and writer Martin McDonagh, with Daniel Radcliffe playing the role of Billy. I’m composer and sound designer for the project opening in June 2013 at the Noel Coward Theatre in London’s West End as part of the first season from the Michael Grandage Company - which also includes performances by Judy Dench, Jude Law and Ben Whishaw. To find out more and book tickets click here.
Posted in Arranger, Composer, Cripple of Inishmaan, Orchestrator, Sound Design, Soundtrack, String Arranger, Theatre
Tagged Cripple of Inishmaan, Daniel Radcliffe, Martin McDonagh, Michael Grandage, Noel Coward Theatre
A busy time here heading into Spring/Summer 2013. Privileged to be working with Michael Grandage during his first west end residency at the Noel Coward for The Cripple of Inishmaan, followed soon after by three stunning plays at Shakespeare’s Globe directed by the lovely Nick Bagnall, Henry VI parts I, II and III which will also tour this summer. Over in New York I’ll be opening Cornelius at 59e59 directed by Sam Yates, and for the Manchester International Festival I’m working alongside sound designer Peter Rice for The Masque of Anarchy directed by Sarah Frankcom.
Out of the theatre I’m also excited to soon be working on another feature film project (after the BAFTA success earlier this year for McCullin) as well as working on an album project of my own music. More details to come about those later in the year…