Simon Armitage’s Last Days of Troy has been adapted for radio by BBC Radio 4 in two parts starting from 11th January 2015. Originally produced as a stage play directed by Nick Bagnall, it was performed at the Royal Exchange and Globe Theatres in 2014. With the cast including Lily Cole, a number of songs from the play were also used in the radio adaption. It will be available on the BBC iPlayer very soon (links to follow).
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!
Posted in A Streetcar Named Desire, Abbey Road, Arranger, Benedict Andrews, Composer, Daniel Hope, Daniel Radcliffe, Deutsche Grammophon, Don McCullin, Donmar, East is East, Fathers and Sons, Gillian Anderson, Greenpeace, Hamlet, Jacqui Morris, James Bierman, Jamie Lloyd, Jonathan Watkins, Kes, Last Days Of Troy, Lily Cole, Lyndsey Turner, Manchester Royal Exchange, Maxine Peake, Merchant Of Venice, Michael Grandage, Music + Sound Awards, National Theatre, Nick Bagnall, NT Live, Orchestrator, Rupert Goold, Sam Yates, Shakespeare's Globe, Sheffield Crucible, Sound Design, Soundtrack, Spheres, Stand Up To Cancer, String Arranger, Tesco, The Cripple of Inishmaan, The Globe, Theatre, Tony Awards, Young Vic
The production of The Merchant of Venice directed by Rupert Goold (which was previously shown at RSC Stratford in 2011) has recently been re-staged at the Almeida Theatre in London with Ian McDiarmid taking over from Patrick Stewart in the role of Shylock. I was music associate and co-orchestrator on the project, with music by Adam Cork.
Set in modern day Las Vegas, the original gained some brilliant four and five star reviews for its originality. The arrangements were recorded for the Almeida production by a twelve piece big band, with Jim Hustwit acting as Associate Musical Director.
For more information find the Almeida’s website here. The production opens officially on 15th December.
Posted in Almeida, Arranger, Earthquakes in London, Headlong, Music Associate, Orchestrator, Rupert Goold, Sound Design, Soundtrack, Theatre
Tagged Almeida Theatre, Ian McDiarmid, Merchant of Venice, music associate, Patrick Stewart, Rupert Goold
I’ve been working on a number of arrangements for Tesco’s Christmas television advertising campaign which launched yesterday, produced by the brilliant Wieden + Kennedy (who I previously collaborated with for the multi award winning Lurpak “The Cook”). The launch film consists of a brass band arrangement of Irene Cara’s “What A Feeling” which I arranged for 20 piece brass band (consisting of the London Metropolitan Orchestra), which was recorded in London’s Abbey Road Studio 2.
More films from the campaign will be released in the coming weeks.
Posted in Abbey Road, Advert, Arranger, Christmas Advert, Lurpak, Orchestra, Orchestrator, Soundtrack, Tesco, Wieden + Kennedy
Tagged band arrangement, Christmas television advertising, Irene Cara, London Metropolitan Orchestra, Tesco
A good friend of mine, director Martin Stirling came to me with an idea for a short film he was working on for Greenpeace. Martin makes beautiful films (including Myron & Hester on my audio/video page) and this one was no exception. It was a campaign to get Lego thinking about their relationship with Shell – who have been selling Lego playsets of arctic oil drilling platforms and oil tankers aimed at children.
Produced by agency Don’t Panic, the film went viral quickly amassing nearly 6 million hits, attaining “ad of day” for Campaign and featured in the Creative Review.
I produced and arranged the music in my studio – with myself on piano and the super talented Sophie Blackburn on vocals. It is a slow remix of the track “Everything is Awesome” written for the recent Lego Movie.
The news came today that Lego won’t be renewing it’s partnership with shell after the success of Greenpeace’s campaign (read more in the Guardian article here). Which is great news. I guess we can change stuff, little by little…
Posted in Composer, Film, Greenpeace, Lego, Martin Stirling, Online, Orchestrator, Producer, Soundtrack
Tagged Don't Panic, Lego, Shell, Sophie Blackburn, Youtube
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.
Posted in 1984, Arranger, Composer, Dance, Experimental, Jonathan Watkins, Kes, Northern Ballet, Orchestra, Orchestrator, Producer, Sheffield Crucible, Sound Design, Soundtrack, String Arranger, Theatre, Uncategorized, xx symphony
Very pleased to be working again with the brilliant Sam Yates (who I previously collaborated on for The EL Train at Hoxton Hall, Cornelius in New York) on East Is East for the second season of Jamie Lloyd’s Trafalgar Transformed season. I’m composer and sound designer on the production, designed by Tom Scutt and Lighting by Richard Howell.
It stars Jane Horrocks and Ayub Khan Din, who also wrote the play, originally shown at the Royal Court before becoming an iconic film.
The production opens on 4th October 2014 and runs until 3rd January 2015.