Category Archives: String Arranger

“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!

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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4Creative “Stand Up To Cancer” 2 min commercial

I’ve recently composed the music for this brilliant 2 min commercial for 4Creative’s latest campaign Stand Up For Cancer, a partnership between Channel 4 and Cancer Research UK. It is being rolled out to cinemas nationwide this weekend and broadcast across more than one hundred commercial channels on Sunday night (7th Sept)… and subsequently for the next month working up to a dedicated night on Channel 4 in October.

Directed by Oscar nominated Nexus directors Adam Foulkes and Alan Smith, I worked alongside music production company SIREN on the epic score featuring orchestra and dark male voice choir. Epic.

Hamlet at Manchester Royal Exchange staring Maxine Peake

Very pleased to have just started rehearsals for Hamlet at the Manchester Royal Exchange directed by Sarah Frankcom, with Maxine Peake playing the iconic role of Hamlet. I last collaborated with Sarah and Maxine on the hugely successful Masque of Anarchy at the Manchester International Festival last year.

For more information, visit the Royal Exchange website here.

Hamlet Poster

Five Star reviews for “A Streetcar Named Desire” at the Young Vic which will be broadcast to cinemas for NT Live on 16th September 2014

Thrilled that the production of A Streetcar Named Desire, on which I was composer, has opened to some brilliant reviews. Directed by Benedict Andrews, and staring Gillian Anderson, the show opened this week at the Young Vic after previews last week.

Working alongside sound designer Paul Arditi, the music is a mixture of dark jazz, orchestral electronics and moog-infused Polkas (along with an eclectic soundtrack of rock music). I’ll be putting an album of the score up very shortly, which includes the brilliant talents of Mark Kavuma (trumpet), Ruben Fox (saxophone), Giacomo Smith (clarinet), Jason Simpson (upright bass) and myself on piano, hammond, moog and percussion.

It was recorded and mixed at my own studio in London. Set in the round with an almost constantly spinning revolve, reviewers have commented on the raw, visceral quality of the production. The Telegraph, Observer and the Evening Standard gave five star reviews, with many saying Gillian Anderson gives the performance of her career. The Sunday Times has written –

“Benedict Andrews’s direction has some powerful pluses.. Alex Baranowski’s music is a powerful accompaniment, from dreamy ambient to Southern grunge, and the production also uses well-known songs to great effect”

With the entire production being sold out in a matter of hours, there is also the exciting news that the play will be broadcast live to cinemas as part of NT Live on 16th September worldwide (with some encore screenings afterwards). For more information click here.

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Daniel Hope’s no1 album “Spheres” to be released on 2LP vinyl by Deutsche Grammophon

Very pleased that the album on which I collaborated on with virtuoso violinist Daniel Hope (two pieces Musica Universalis and Biafra) along with Max Richter, Ludovico Einaudi and Gabriel Prokofiev, is now to be released on vinyl by Deutsche Grammophon. Already reaching number 1 in the UK and number 3 in the US Classical charts on CD and downloads, it is exciting to have the release on vinyl (a medium that I absolutely love). For more information and to pre-order, click here.

The piece Biafra is taken from my award winning score to BAFTA nominated feature film McCullin. To purchase the album from iTunes, link here.

Below is Musica Universalis as performed by Daniel at the recording sessions in Berlin.