Appalachian Octet wins best performance of a NZ work

Appalachian Octet I am so proud of the Appalachian Octet from Diocesan School for Girls who has just won the National Award for the Best Performance of a New Zealand Work at the 2014 NZCT Chamber Music Contest with my piece Kiwi in Appalachia.

The musicians are:

  • Gwyneth Nelmes, violin
  • Debbie King, viola
  • Breeanah Mcbain, flute
  • Christine Li, violin
  • Rachel Sun, clarinet
  • Rebecca Brimble, bassoon
  • Clarissa Wei, bass clarinet
  • Hannah Kang, piano

As I briefly talked about in this post, it's a standalone piece commissioned for this group but it's also to be used in conjunction with my arrangement of Copland's Appalachian Spring. My programme note says:

Kiwi in Appalachia is derived from the chamber version of Aaron Copland’s seminal work, Appalachain Spring. It has been re-scored and sections from the original have been arranged to create the first part of the work. The second part is a new work composed for this group as a response to Copland's work. It is inspired by and uses motifs and ideas from the original in a new way.

They have worked so hard and have done an incredible job, so a very well deserved award for them. They will now travel to Christchurch and perform it at the National Finals of the NZCT Chamber Music Contest on the 1st - 2nd August. Gosh I might just have to book a flight too!

Here's a video of the piece, recorded at the Raye Freedman Arts Centre on Sunday 8th of June at the Auckland regionals. 0'00" - 6'46" is my arrangement, 6'47" - 11'16" is my original work. You'll get better audio if you watch it in HD.

According to the Chamber Music NZ website, during June 2014...

...507 secondary school ensembles of between three and eight musicians including 19 octets and involving close to 2000 students, took part in the District Rounds of the 49th NZCT Chamber Music Contest.

You can see all of the award winners here.

Amazing stuff, what a great festival.

"Broken Record" film

Broken Record Screen Shot 1 Morgan's best man tries to help him fulfill his destiny on his last day of freedom.

I always look forward to the Rialto 48Hour Film Competition and the chance to work with the guys at Sideways Productions.

After getting through the ongoing nightmare that we may be tasked with a 'musical' - I was relieved that the team got given 'film within a film' as the genre.

They did a really great job and ended up getting the audience choice award at the heats -  but unfortunately no further successes this year.

I had fun exploring an assortment of VSL strings, a shaker or two and a "tweed picked synth" for good measure.

Here's how the music looked at my end:

Broken Record Music

I arranged the 14-or-so cues from the soundtrack into a single piece of music which you can listen to here:

[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/146068564" params="color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_artwork=true" width="100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]

And here's the film. WARNING: it's not for the faint-hearted...:

Starring:

  • Greg Stubbings as Morgan Foster
  • James Wells as Jeff Tyler
  • Christina Cortesi as Park Manager
  • Andy Nicholson as Frank Waldo
  • Jonathan Riley as Gary Mooney
  • Edward Newborn as Terry Bean
  • Astra McLaren as Lauren Bean
  • Gracie Taylor as Bridesmaid

Crew:

  • Directors: Allan George and Greg Stubbings
  • Writers: Allan George, Greg Stubbings and Ben Fowler
  • Producers: Ben Fowler and Allan George
  • DOP: Allan George
  • 1st Assistant Director: Aleksander Sakowski
  • Production Manager: Maha Albadrawi
  • Camera Operator/Grip/Gaffer: Ben O'Hanlon
  • Art Direction: Maha Albadrawi and Marcel Vidot
  • Boom Operator: Craig Macintosh
  • Lighting Assistant: Isaiah Vaega
  • 2nd Unit Camera Operator: Nate McKinnon
  • Make Up: Kerri Thomassen
  • Editors: Ben Fowler and Allan George
  • Colourist: Allan George
  • Audio Post-Production: Adam Peri
  • Music: Ryan Youens

2010 through the eyes of a blog

monkey-thinkingIt is December 31 and I just wondered "what exactly has happened this year?" So through the eyes of this blog, let's have a look. We'll start with January and the tail end of our South America trip, along with the workshopping and recording of my music in Brazil.

January 4th Leg Four – Argentina to Paraguay to Brazil January 11th Leg Five – Rio de Janeiro to Paraty to Auckland January 12th A day with Sphaera

After spending too many hours hunting down good repertoire for my school orchestras, in February I explored the efforts of conducting. I also set up my newsletter with MailChimp.

February 20th Conducting – 90% perspiration, 10% exhilaration February 26th Automating the monthly issue

It was a plentiful month of posts in March, many on great discoveries I recently made but also highlighted a new piece, Picture for Emily, for my niece.

March 14th Sibelius First – if you’re so inclined March 15th Moana Ataahua programme launched March 16th Picture for Emily – aiming for the small market March 16th Scoring Avatar March 18th My indispensables March 19th If Lake Taupo was a piece of music, what would it sound like?

In April it was all about preparing Moana Ataahua for its massive premiere at the ERUPT Lake Taupo Festival.

April 24th Moana Ataahua set to ERUPT in May (article from SOUNZ) April 28th Moana Ataahua, the rehearsals begin

I explored digital music stands in May, how they compare and how I wanted one. Do I still want one now? That is another post!

May 15th Digital music stands, hook me up – Music Pad, Music Reader, eStand

I summed up the Moana Ataahua premiere in June and did a very popular post on music apps for your iOS devices.

June 1st Moana Ataahua, the premiere June 2nd iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad apps for the music professional

It was great to see plenty of music getting performed through July.

July 12th Wild Daisies premiere July 18th Breathe In, Breathe Out – a concert of overtures and finales July 27th SoundCloud, move your music July 29th Three pieces performed by Brazil’s Sphaera Ensemble

The Auckland schools orchestra festival happened in August, so did some pondering on music theory.

August 27th Sounds great! I want it, I want it now August 30th KBB Music Festival 2010, thumbs up August 31st Music theory, do we need it or not?

Spent a fantastic few days in Wellington in September recording Rakaia with the NZSO. Also, Rhian Sheehan's amazing score for The Cult, which I helped out with, won best score!

September 9th More iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad apps for the music professional September 20th The Cult wins at Qantas Film and Television Awards September 23rd NZSO/SOUNZ Readings 2010

In November I did a three part post looking at music printing, engravers, copyists and how things are changing. I also hooked up Sibelius users with some great resources!

November 29th So, you’re a Sibelius user? November 30th Music printing, a journey for engravers (part 1 of 3) November 30th Music copying and confusion (part 2 of 3) November 30th Changing times for music preparers (part 3 of 3)

As you would expect, I got festive in December but also looked at a new feature for sounz.org.nz.

December 7th A Christmas wish list for composer-musicians December 24th SOUNZ moves forward, again December 24th Merry Christmas and very best wishes for the New Year

Happy New Year everyone!!

The Cult wins at Qantas Film and Television Awards

Big congratulations to Rhian Sheehan, who won Best Original Music in General Television at this year's Qantas Film and Television Awards for his score on The Cult. the-cult

Rhian asked me to do a series of string arrangements for his score based on his main theme. These were then recorded by members of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra in Wellington and used throughout the thirteen episodes.

The Cult also won awards in acting, design, editing and cinematography for the Great Southern Television production.