Hawaii!

Pacific Basin Music Festival goodies. #conductor #rangitoto #concertbandLet’s be honest, we always proceed cautiously when someone asks you for a favour… but when they’re asking you to go to Hawaii it’s a completely different story! I’m in, 100%.

To make it even better, it was with the wonderful students and staff of the Rangitoto College Music Department, conducting their concert band for a friend who sadly could no longer go. Also on the tour was the orchestra, chamber orchestra and big band.

We were there as part of the Pacific Basin Music Festival, with groups from USA, Philippines, Australia and New Zealand – about 700 people in total. Events were at the Sheraton Waikiki, Pacific Beach Hotel and Hawaii Theatre, as well as performances at the incredible Ala Moana Shopping Centre, as well as the Hard Rock Cafe for the big band. Continue reading “Hawaii!”

A week in LA and London

I would never give up an opportunity to travel. So when it looked like I could take a week to make it to London (to meet my wife before our Spanish adventure…!), I went for it.

First stop, Los Angeles. There I met with some very fine people in the music biz that until now I’ve never been able to meet in person. The aim of course to keep strong connections and talk possible future work.

There’s things to love about LA, and things to drive you completely loopy, but what you gotta admire is the vibe that anything is possible. Most people are there to make their dreams come true, not surprisingly mostly as actors, but what’s awesome is that there is so much opportunity for that to happen. And for the bulk of whom are still waiting, they’re still friendly, still optimistic and still driving Ubers – and they’re okay with that.

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Shoes Extravaganza 2016

DJ? Ringmaster? Curator of sound? Find out next Saturday, 8:30pm, Tepid Baths. #shoesextravaganzaSome friends of mine have just put on a most fascinating show at Auckland’s Tepid Baths, Shoes Extravaganza.

Everyone will no doubt have heard of the Wearable Arts show in Wellington. Well this is that, but for shoes. Annie Tatton is the brains behind the operation and she asked me to be involved with the music after hearing my work with the Auckland Symphony Orchestra.

The concept of the music within the show took so many directions throughout the journey with Annie and choreographer Nansi Thompson. What a joy to be a part of these minds coming together as they crafted their vision.

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Christmas greetings!

Well, another year has come to an end. A massive thank you to everyone who has made this year a great one. It’s been busy for sure, so much so that my newsletter and blog posts took a forced rest. I hope to write about a few of those things I’ve been up to in the coming weeks, so keep an eye out for that. In the meantime, I’m taking a holiday. The car is packed, Christmas Day awaits us tomorrow and summer fun looms.

This time last year my wife and I went to Midnight Mass at Salzburg Cathedral and the absolute highlight was hearing Silent Night sung by candlelight, as it was originally intended, in the town it was written. I took a field recording, have a listen below, it’s extraordinary.

Continue reading “Christmas greetings!”

Preparing for Mahana

Mahana posterI had the great pleasure of working on the Mahuia Bridgman-Cooper and Tama Waipara score for Mahana – a new feature film opening in cinemas on March 3. It’s directed by Lee Tamahori and based on the Bulibasha book by Witi Ihimaera. The best place to read more about it is probably the movie Facebook page, so check that out.

I was doing the music preparation, some orchestration and also flew to Wellington for the main day of recording to ensure everything worked a treat.

The score is really stunning, has a unique New Zealand flavour and it’s so great to see new voices coming through in New Zealand film scoring. It was my first time working with Mahuia and I definitely hope not the last.

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Bringing together the classic Porgy and Bess Overture

Pretty special few days typesetting the glorious Porgy and Bess Overture, arranged by Russ Garcia for Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong’s 1957 album, ‘Porgy and Bess’.

The access and digitisation of the score was courtesy of his wife, Gina.

Check it out at the Auckland Symphony Orchestra’s ‘Jazz!’ concert, Auckland Town Hall, on July 26th.

Orchestrating ‘Belief: The Possession of Janet Moses’

I was delighted to recently orchestrate Rhian Sheehan’s score for ‘Belief: The Possession of Janet Moses’ – a new film premiering at this year’s NZ International Film Festival.

The film is about the 2007 Wainuiomata mākutu lifting of Janet Moses. I haven’t seen the film myself yet but everything I’ve heard is that it is an impressive production.

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‘The Forest Room’ reaches Auckland finals

The 48Hours film-making weekend is always one to look forward to and this year we struck ‘mystery’ as our genre – good fun. Compared to previous years, the team was cut to only four crew and rightfully so one of those was a composer!

This year we managed to make the Auckland finals and the guys picked up an award for best editing. Yay.

The film has very little dialogue and so I managed to create a single piece of music to last the whole film. Here’s how it was looking in Logic:

Continue reading “‘The Forest Room’ reaches Auckland finals”