Category Archives: String Arranger

Nineteen Eighty-Four performed by Northern Ballet

Work is nearly complete composing the score for 1984 which will be performed by Northern Ballet and directed & choreographed by Jonathan Watkins. The live 90 minute score will be performed by the 30 piece Northern Ballet Sinfonia conducted by John Pryce-Jones.

Rehearsals start in July with the first performance at Northern Ballet’s brilliant home in Leeds in September, with a subsequent UK tour including Sadler’s Wells in London going into 2016.

For more information or to book tickets, visit Northern Ballet’s website here.

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“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

“Dishes” with award winning directing collective Megaforce

I’ve just written the music to a dishwasher tablets ad. Although this one was rather fun… for the brilliantly creative folks at Wieden + Kennedy, directed by the wonderful collective of Megaforce, and music produced along with the fab SIREN, this is a Finish ad like no other.. quirky little instruments recorded at my studio, with the small orchestral elements recorded at Abbey Road with the London Metropolitan Orchestra.

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George Orwell’s 1984 for Northern Ballet

I’ve been working away writing for Northern Ballet’s upcoming main stage show, based on George Orwell’s 1984. Choreographed by Jonathan Watkins (who I previously collaborated with for Kes) a brand new 90 minute score will be performed live by the Northern Ballet Sinfonia.

The production starts rehearsals in July and opens in September, initially touring to West Yorkshire Playhouse, Nottingham Theatre Royal, Manchester Palace Theatre and Sheffield Lyceum. The first four dates are available to book on NB’s website here.

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“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

“Dreaming in Code” for 2Faced Dance

Along with composer Angus MacRae, I’ve recently written the music for dance piece Dreaming in Code for award winning choreographer Tamsin Fitzgerald’s 2Faced Dance company, which is presently on a UK tour.

Tour dates up to the end of March 2015 can be found on 2Faced website here. Angus and I have released the soundtrack to download which can be found on Angus’ bandcamp page here.

The trailer was put together by the shows designer, Luke Evans.

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!