Category Archives: String Arranger

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. Both the Telegraph and the Evening Standard gave five star reviews, with many saying Gillian Anderson gives the performance of her career.

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.

“McCullin” wins Best Feature Film Score at Music + Sound International Awards in Cannes

Very pleased that my score to last years’ twice BAFTA nominated McCullin has just won Best Feature Film Score at the Music + Sound International Awards in Cannes.

Against some brilliant competition, including Frank Ilfman’s fantastic “Big Bad Wolves”, it is a great honour to win.. especially after the recent success of the sequel, Attacking the Devil, at the recent Sheffield Documentary Festival this month.

Below is a selection of music from the film, and the whole score can be downloaded on iTunes here.

“Attacking the Devil” wins top Special Jury Prize at Sheffield Documentary Festival

Very proud that the film I’m composing for, Attacking the Devil, directed by Jacqui Morris, has just won the prestigious Special Jury Prize at Sheffield Documentary Festival. The team behind the film were also behind last years’ twice BAFTA nominated McCullin including director Jacqui, editor David Fairhead and producer Steve Milne of the British Film Company.

Attacking The Devil: Harold Evans and the Last Nazi War Crime is a documentary about Harold Evans, the former editor of The Sunday Times – and his investigation into the drug thalidomide which left 10,000 babies with deformities in the 1950s and ’60s.

The film is not quite finished, with the score to be recorded with an orchestra over the coming months. I’ll be putting snippets up closer to the film release..

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“Fathers and Sons” at the Donmar

Very pleased to have just started rehearsals for Fathers and Sons at the Donmar, directed by Lyndsey Turner (who recently won the Best Director Olivier for “Chimerica”). Written by Brian Friel, and based on the novel by Ivan Turgenev, previews start on the 5th June 2014. I am composer for the production, collaborating with Sound Designer Carolyn Dowling (who also just won an Olivier Award for her work on “Chimerica”). The designer is Rob Howell, and lighting by James Farncombe.

I’ve been collaborating again with brilliant cellist Peter Gregson (who previously performed on my scores to McCullin and Kes as well as numerous others).

For more information about the production, visit the Donmar’s site here.

Fathers Sons

Tony Award nomination “Best Sound Design of a Play” for The Cripple of Inishmaan

Overjoyed to have been nominated for a Tony award for my work on the Cripple of Inishmaan which opened at The Cort Theatre, Broadway earlier this month. I was composer and sound designer on the production which was nominated for six Tony’s – including best director (Michael Grandage), best design (Christopher Oram), best lighting (Paule Constable), best actress (Sarah Greene) and best revival of a play. The awards are on 8th June.

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The Cripple of Inishmaan opens on Broadway

Very happy that the production of The Cripple of Inishmaan directed by Michael Grandage has opened 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 reviews have been overwhelmingly positive…

“Set and costume designer Christopher Oram creates vivid images of human life as it’s lived on this limestone rock in the middle of the sea. Hearing the crashing waves and the eerie cries of seabirds and the mournful folk music supplied by composer and sound designer Alex Baranowski, it’s easy to understand how the intolerable loneliness of the place has worked its way into Billy’s bones.” (Variety)

Judging by the reviews, designer Christopher Oram and composer Alex Baranowski could well feature alongside Grandage and Radcliffe when the Tony nominations are announced next week.” (The Guardian)

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).

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“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.

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