Plenty of music for Music Month

LBCConcertBandCAMP Well it's the last day of NZ Music Month, so that's a good excuse to post about a few projects I've been working on lately. I've been a bit quiet online in recent months so here's a good chance to make up for that.

Picture This! is a new work I've written for the Long Bay College Concert Band. They won gold at the KBB Music Festival last year so a new work had to take shape! I spent last weekend with them at their rehearsal camp and had loads of fun. Look out for Picture This! at this year's festival.

My friends at Diocesan School for Girls have commissioned two new works for their groups:

I ask of you no poetry is for their award-winning elite choir, St Cecelia Singers, and is written for SSA choir, handbells and organ (with text by Madeleine Ballard). Kiwi in Appalachia is for their chamber ensemble consisting of flute, Bb clarinet, bass clarinet, bassoon, 2 violins, viola and piano (cello part also available). It's a standalone piece but for this group was written to be used in conjunction with my arrangement of Copland's Appalachian Spring. I'm hoping to get along to see some rehearsals soon and will post some performance dates when available.

SMCOUnwrapped1

I have also just written Unwrapped for the St Matthew's Chamber Orchestra which was premiered last Sunday. I've written about it here, check it out.

Back in April was the 48Hour Film Festival and although we didn't get far this year with our film, On The Rocks, it was great to work with the guys from Sideways Productions once again. The music turned out nicely (finally, I got to use almost all strings!) and I later arranged it into a one movement work - listen here:

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

Another film by these guys that I did the music for, Sounds Perfect, was screened at the Cannes Film Festival during May - I posted about it here, check it out.

ASO PromsIn conducting news I had a great weekend down at the Bay of Plenty Music School working with the concert band. I was so happy with the standard they reached - read about my weekend here. I'm also currently working with the Auckland Symphony Chorus - preparing them for the Auckland Symphony Orchestra's hugely popular "Night of the Proms" concerts at the end of June. Great to have "Song of the Lonely Mountain" as part of the programme - a song I did the preparation of for "The Hobbit" movie two years ago.

That's all for now. A few other projects on the go, but I'll save those for a future post!

"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

The film, an adults-only comedy, was made for the inaugural Tropfest NZ Festival in 2012 and was a finalist, winning several awards. It has since gone on to play at about seven festivals around the world.

Dave Dobson is a self -proclaimed 'audio enhancement engineer' in the film industry. While his uninspiring workmates are happy to churn out the same clichéd slaps and squelches film after film, Dave hears a higher calling.

I put the music together in a matter of hours (they got it to me a day before it was due) and it definitely isn't characteristic of any other writing I've done but it makes me laugh and serves the film well.

It's amazing how we creators just do what we do and then sometimes a film just gets picked up and has a life of its own.

Cannes takes the cake, but it is also about to screen in the:

  • Wet Your Pants Comedy Film Festival in Indianapolis
  • Iron Mule Comedy Series in New York
  • LA Comedy Ninja Film Festival

Congrats to the Sideways Team (www.sidewaysproductions.co.nz). Bring on our next project!

"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

"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...

  • 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

...the pressure was on. But we're very happy that On The Rocks has made it again into Tropfest with its world premiere being on 16th Feb at the TSB Bowl, New Plymouth.

If you're around New Plymouth, go and check out the festival.

Merry Christmas

christmasAnd just like that, another year is coming to an end. Thanks so much to everyone who has supported me in some way this year - that may have been with work, with ideas or just with conversation.

It has been an incredible time of music making for me with many wonderful opportunities, inspiring people to work with and some stunning ensembles and musicians to bring the music to life. Some of these include:

Auckland Philharmonia, New Zealand Symphony, Auckland Symphony, Christchurch Symphony, Auckland Youth Orchestra, St Matthew's Chamber Orchestra, Manukau Concert Band, Victoria Kelly, Neil Finn, NZTrio and Horomona Horo, Tecwyn Evans, Michael Norris, Leonie Holmes, John Rowles, Ben Hoadley, Val Landi and Scott Hunt (USA), Bluebird Avenue, Fatcat & Fishface, Alexandros Pappas (Greece), Sideways Productions, Elizabeth Mandeno and David Kelly, the Polkadots, the KBB Music Festival and The Big Sing.

Next year is going to be a big year and absolutely business as usual so get in touch to get me involved with your projects - either as a music preparer, typesetter or editor, or as an arranger and orchestrator.

Over Christmas and New Year I'll be fishing and eating too much near here, chill-axing and probably still eating too much here, and then tramping and working off the Christmas food here. I'll be back working full-time on Monday 6th January, but feel free to get in touch over the break.

To leave you with some music, earlier this year I received the New Zealand Symphony recording of my original work, Rakaia. Auckland Symphony commissioned it in 2007, the NZSO workshopped it in 2008 and then this is their recording from 2010:

[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/5080029" params="color=ff6600&auto_play=false&show_artwork=false" width="100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]

Enjoy, and have an absolutely wonderful Christmas!

"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

Dave Dobson is a self –proclaimed ‘audio enhancement engineer’ in the film industry. The adult film industry. While his uninspiring workmates are happy to churn out the same clichéd slaps and squelches film after film, Dave hears a higher calling.

I did the music - an interesting mix of styles and themes.

It's a hugely enjoyable yet slightly disturbing watch. Not for younger viewers or those with sensitive eyes!

Fusing music!

FusionThe premise for this year's 48 Hour Film Festival film:

"One man's dream to fuse a nation... is shattered."

It was my third year with the Sideways Productions team and I think it may have been our best yet! It's called, "Fusion".

We got crime as a genre and although it may be a half-hearted attempt at the genre, it is a great watch so check it out below.

More importantly(!), if you're interested in the music, here are the tracks on their own, in all of their glory:

[soundcloud url="http://api.soundcloud.com/playlists/6467368" params="" width=" 100%" height="450" iframe="true" /]

And here's the film:

DIRECTORS: Ben Fowler, Allan George PRODUCERS: Ben Fowler, Allan George WRITERS: Ben Fowler, Allan George ACTORS: Omar Al-Sobky, Jonathan Riley, Andy Nicholson, Edward Newborn, Shoshana McCallum, Christina Cortesi, Isaiah Vaega, Jonathan Potton, Ketan Nathoo EDITORS: Ben Fowler, Allan George, Larissa Soares SOUND: Craig Macintosh, Adam Peri MUSIC: Ryan Youens CINEMATOGRAPHY: Allan George

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.

2012-05-15 APO Open Days 236

Following that were four posts on current projects - "Working on workshops" looked at some teaching workshops I was involved with, "An opportunity to make the floor rumble" talked about my upcoming new work for the Auckland Philharmonia and the Auckland Town Hall Organ. I conducted at the Bay Of Plenty Music School once again and my post, "Bay Of Plenty music school hit Rotorua!", pre-empted my visit there, and finally "Opening up an orchestra" reviewed the first two Auckland Philharmonia Open Days were I ran the "meet the composer" area.

In April I reviewed my time at the Bay Of Plenty Music School in "Making music in Rotorua" and posted photos in "Checking out the pipes" after an inspiring tour of the Auckland Town Hall Organ.

My Confession image May is music month and "A month of New Zealand music" checked out the events me or my music was involved with. It's also 48 Hour Film Festival time and our film this year was "My Confession…".

In June I talked about my involvement with Auckland Symphony's "Night Of The Proms" concerts in "Promenading in the colony" and I posted "Questions for a composer" after answering questions for a student's school assignment.

In July I posted my one word review of each piece from the "Nelson Composers Workshop 2012" where I was very happy to go this year as a mentor.

APO "Tiraki" workshopAugust is KBB Music Festival time and I also posted on the ongoing saga regarding the future of Sibelius in "What the heck is happening with Sibelius!". My piece, Tiraki, started to take shape after another workshop with the Auckland Philharmonia.

September was rather dormant on the blog front but in October I reviewed “What Lurks Among Saints” after being invited by a student I met earlier in the year.

The-Hobbit1In November I had the privilege of "Playing my role in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey", and I posted about the experience.

December was busy with a number of projects. In "Little pieces of Christmas" I talked about a bunch of Christmas arrangements I did for the Auckland Philharmonia and Auckland Symphony orchestras. I also talked about a film I was involved with, called "Sounds Perfect" and its selection into the Tropfest final in “Sounds Perfect” to be in a final". I then prepared music for some very fine New Zealand singers and talked about it in "Preparing for some legends!".

christmas-musicFinally, no year is complete without a "Merry Christmas" post thanking you for all of your support during the year and the compliments of the season.

Another year ticked off the list, another year doing my absolute dream job - let's get ready for an even better 2013!

"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

Dave Dobson is a self –proclaimed ‘audio enhancement engineer’ in the film industry. The adult film industry. While his uninspiring workmates are happy to churn out the same clichéd slaps and squelches film after film, Dave hears a higher calling.

A disturbingly amusing and enjoyable film.

All finalists will be screened at an outdoor gala event at the TSB Bowl of Brooklands, New Plymouth, on Sunday 27 January. This is a free event and you are welcome to come along, bring a picnic and join in that buzz that is the inaugural Tropfest NZ screening. The winning film will be announced on the night. Venue opens at 5pm, films start 6.30pm.