Orchestrating ‘Belief: The Possession of Janet Moses’

BELIEFI 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 Forest Room IMAGEThe 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:

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‘School of Fools’ makes it to Tropfest finals

At The Tropfest NZ Finals
Watching the finalists at the Bowl of Brooklands, Pukekura Park, New Plymouth

Last weekend we went to delightful New Plymouth to the Tropfest NZ finals. Sideways Productions has got into the finals the last three years, and I have enjoyed being part of the team. We finally had the chance to head down and see what all the hype was all about. It was a great event with some wildly good films (see all the finalists here).

School of Fools image

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Musical adventures in Europe

Eiffel Tower, ParisIf you have been following my twitter page you will know that I have just got back from an absolutely wonderful seven weeks in Europe. While most of the time my wife and I were doing our best to elegantly float from historic building to museum to gallery…, we did manage to make the most of the amazing musical offerings that Europe provides.

London Symphony at the Barbican Centre, London

We saw two orchestral concerts – the first being the London Symphony at the Barbican playing Brahms’ 3rd symphony and 2nd piano concerto. Daniel Harding was at the helm with Emanuel Ax on piano. The second was the Czech Philharmonic in Dvořák Hall of the Rudolfinum. Jiří Bělohlávek conducted Martinů’s “What Men Live By” and then Dvořák’s Slavonic Dances. Such a thrill to hear Dvořák played in his own concert hall by an orchestra that he conducted the first concert of in 1896. Amazing also to hear how two of the world’s top orchestras can sound so completely different.

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Prepping music for The Hobbit’s “The Last Goodbye”

HOBBIT-BILLY-BOYD_612x380I was delighted to play a small role on the final song on the soundtrack for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.

As was the case in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the tremendously wonderful Victoria Kelly was called on to write the arrangement and orchestration for the final track, “The Last Goodbye”, and so I landed the music preparation role.

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“Sounds Perfect” at Cannes

I am deeply honoured that Sounds Perfect, a film that I wrote the music for and that has already appeared at a number of festivals, has now been selected for the Short Film Corner at the Cannes Film Festival in France this month.

SoundsPerfectCANNES

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“On The Rocks” off to Tropfest!

On The Rocks

An accidental ‘serial pet killer’ thinks his luck has changed when he stumbles across a beautiful mermaid – but he soon finds she’s no fairy tale girlfriend.

Just before Christmas I had the pleasure of working once again with the guys at Sideways Productions on the music for their new short film, On The Rocks. After having great success with our efforts last year on Sounds Perfect

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“Sounds Perfect” goes to Austin

I am super proud of my friends at Sideways Productions who are enjoying success with their film, Sounds Perfect, including selection for the Austin Film Festival.

Sounds Perfect wins!

  • Official selection, AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL 2013
  • Official selection, TROPFEST NEW ZEALAND 2013
  • Official selection, WAIROA MAORI FILM FESTIVAL (NZ) 2013
  • Official selection, imagineNATIVE
  • Winner, best actor, TROPFEST NEW ZEALAND 2013
  • Winner, best Maori director, TROPFEST NEW ZEALAND 2013

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The best of 2012

2012 was a year full of great things, cool things, intriguing things, wonderful things and things to completely knock your socks off. Here’s my list of the best (musical and digital) things of 2012.

MUSIC BLOGS

Sibelius 7One of the first things I do each day is read all of the blog posts that are waiting eagerly for me in Google Reader. There are three feeds that, without fail, I will read and learn something from every time.

  • Of Note – a Sibelius and Finale blog by the legendary Robert Puff.
  • Sibelius Blog – hints, tricks and interesting stories about Sibelius by Philip Rothman (originally Daniel Spreadbury).
  • Technology in Music Education – if you’re a music teacher of some description you’ll love hearing about how the latest technologies can be used in music education.

MUSIC BOOKS

behindbarscover I’m usually not a big reader of actual books but there are some that sit pride of place on my shelf, actually, only when they’re not sitting open on my desk.

  • Behind Bars by Elaine Gould – my bible of music notation. I’d really love a digital version too!
  • How to Write for Percussion by Samuel Z Solomon – the title sounds very underwhelming, but is a wonderfully comprehensive guide to writing for percussion.
  • Essential Dictionary of Orchestration – mine is looking old and tatty – a good sign! It’s an essential reference for instrument ranges, general characteristics, tone quality descriptions, technical pitfalls and more.

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I survived 2012. This is how it was!

The New Year means it’s time to have a look back over the past year and see, through my blog posts, what has taken shape and what I have to say for myself!

January started with a very well deserved “Shout-out to VaultPress” after they marvellously got my website back up and running after a meltdown!

3100508059_5c99a0f9e1_zFebruary is the start of the school term and I posted about the preparation work I do for schools.

My typing fingers must have been tired at the end of March – it started with two popular posts, iOS apps for music professionals and Digital music stands vs iPads, following on from, again, two very popular posts I did in 2010.

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“Sounds Perfect” to be in a final

I recently wrote the music for Sounds Perfect – a short film by Sideways Productions which has made it to the finals for Tropfest New Zealand 2013. Tropfest International is the world’s largest short film festival.

Sounds Perfect image

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My Confession…

My Confession image…is an erotic thriller written and produced by Allan George and Ben Fowler from Sideways Productions as part of this year’s V48Hours.

I did their music as I did last year for their film “Goodbye Gilbert”. Being a thriller there are plenty of strings, a Wurlitzer electric piano and a little percussion – simple but effective.

The film is beautifully shot – last year they were a nominee for “Best Cinematography” and won the award for “Sexiest Short” – and this year the audio post production took a big step forward.

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2011 through the eyes of a blog

And just like that, another year is gone! Here is a look at my posts for the year.

thinking web picThe blogging year started in March with my favourite book arriving, “Behind Bars”, which I preordered in 2010. It is definitely the most used book on my shelf! I then talked about two approaching projects:

In April I introduced my new work, “blimp”, and reviewed two projects – a song I helped a friend create and my work at the BOP music school: Continue reading 2011 through the eyes of a blog

48 hours to say “Goodbye Gilbert”

On the 21st and 22nd of May was the 2011 48 Hours Film Festival. This year I was on board with Sideways Productions and masterminds Allan George and Ben Fowler. They approached me to work with them last year, but I couldn’t due to other commitments, so it was great to finally get things rolling with them.

The genre we got was revenge movie, and Allan and Ben put together a good script. I packed up some gear and followed them around their two main locations, fine-tuning initial draft ideas as the structure and feel of the film came to life.

48 Hour Film Festival

I was reasonably happy with the result, loved the feel of the music, but not so much the final edit of it in the film. Have a listen to a few of the tracks below:

Or check out the movie here:

Although initially gutted not to get through, the team were then awarded the “Sexiest Images & Sound” award for Auckland and therefore nominated for that award at the nationals. Well done guys.

The team was Director: Ben Fowler Producer: Allan George, Ben Fowler Writer: Allan George, Ben Fowler Actors: Andy Nicholson, Yulie Great, Gwendoline Taylor Editor: Ben Fowler, Manuel Castelltort Sound / Music: Ryan Youens Cinematography: Allan George