Category Archives: String Arranger

The Cripple of Inishmaan opens on Broadway

Very happy that the production of The Cripple of Inishmaan directed by Michael Grandage has just opened for previews at the Cort Theatre on Broadway, New York. Following a sell out run in London’s West End last year I’m thrilled to be working on the production again, which stars Daniel Radcliffe and Sarah Greene (who was nominated for an Olivier for the role).

The production opens officially on the 20th April 2014.

Ben Brantley at the New York Times last year gave the production a wonderful review -

“…the show has a heightened picturesqueness that is equally cozy and bleak, echoed in Alex Baranowski’s lonely penny-whistle music.”

I’ve already posted snippets of the score after the London run, which also can be heard here -

KES opens at Sheffield Crucible

Very happy that Kes has officially opened at the Sheffield Crucible Theatre to a brilliant response. A dance theatre adaptation directed and choreographed by Jonathan Watkins based on Barry Hines’ celebrated novel A Kestral For A Knave, I wrote and produced the hour and a half score.

The reviews have already been coming in -

“Alex Baranowski’s impressive score marries rippling, Nyman-esque piano figures with a keening, locally sourced flugelhorn…” (The Guardian) ****

“This unique production hits every note near-perfectly, bringing together an insistent and compelling new musical score, ravishing movement, puppetry and top notch performances to create a really special and fast-moving experience – even for those who turned up expecting a more traditional telling of this classic tale.” (Independent) ****

“The movements of the characters echo the freedom-constraint dichotomy of the environment.. the long-arcing strings and pizzicato percussive sounds of composer Alex Baranowski’s score play with the same elongation-punch counterpoint” (Observer) ****

“Makes your heart soar” (The Telegraph) ****

I’ll be putting some musical snippets up of the music very shortly, and I’m planning to release some of the music in the future. Feel free to join my mailing list here to be notified of its release and to receive the odd free music track.

Chester Hayes in Kes

“Kes” dance theatre piece at Sheffield Crucible

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).

KES Picture

“Weave Your Magic” for Wieden + Kennedy nominated for Music + Sound Awards “Best Original Composition”

Very happy that my score for Lurpak‘s worldwide advertising campaign “Weave Your Magic” for Wieden + Kennedy has been nominated for “Best Original Composition” in the Television Advertising category at the Music + Sounds Awards 2014. Already the winner of a Cannes Lion Silver Award, the film was directed by Scott Lyon and features the voice of Blade Runner’s Rutger Hauer. The score was recorded in Abbey Road Studio 2 with the London Metropolitan Orchestra and Choir.

Lurpak

The Cripple of Inishmaan transfers to Broadway staring Daniel Radcliffe

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..)

Pat Shortt and Daniel Radcliffe in The Cripple of Inishmaan, Noel Coward, London

“Hamlet” encore screening to cinemas on the National Theatre’s 50th birthday

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.

The xx and LA Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl

Proud to have collaborated again with Mercury winning band The xx for their biggest live show to date at the Hollywood Bowl with the LA Philharmonic Orchestra. The arrangements were overseen and conducted by David Campbell… based on The xx Symphony which was performed last year by the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, live on Radio 1 for Zane Lowe.

xx bowl

“Spheres” is Number 1 Classical Album in the UK

Very pleased that the Deutsche Grammophon album Spheres by virtuoso violinist Daniel Hope, on which I collaborated with Daniel for two pieces, has gone to number one in the UK Classical Album charts. The pieces are Biafra (from my soundtrack to the BAFTA nominated feature film McCullin), and Musica Universalis which I composed especially for Daniel. Earlier in the year the album debuted at number three in the US Classical Billboard chart. The album can be downloaded from iTunes here (and my soundtrack to McCullin here). Below is a video of Daniel performing Musica Universalis during the recording session in Berlin.

spheres

The Masque of Anarchy at the Manchester International Festival

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.

masque

BAFTA nominated McCULLIN on BBC 1 for Alan Yentob’s “Imagine” series

McCullin, the feature film I composed for last year nominated for two BAFTA’s (including Best Documentary) at the 2013 BAFTA film awards, was broadcast on BBC 1 on Tuesday 2nd July as part of Alan Yentob’s Imagine series. I’ve been genuinely thrilled by the positive reaction to the music score – which available to download from iTunes here (snippets below) with DVD / Blu-Ray of the film out now, and available to watch in the UK on BBC iPlayer until August here.

I’m presently working on music for the next film with the McCullin team, which should see the light later this year….