Summer Tidings

Although it’s taken some time to schedule due to work demands, the audiobook of Theatre of Widdershins’ The Magic Porridge Pot & Other Tasty Tales is now finished! You can listen to a snippet and buy it here.

Earlier this year I composed for the music for a very funny short film called The Last Post starring Ryan Sampson and Mark Heap. The film has been submitted for festivals and has been getting a very positive response, including award nominations from Madrid International Film Festival and Austin Comedy Short Film Festival. Adam Preston, the writer and director, has been keeping a blog on the making of the film (amongst other things) which you can find here. You can listen to some of the music here.

In addition I recently finished assisting Dominik Scherrer on a BBC TV adapation of JB Priestley’s famous stage play An Inspector Calls starring David Thewlis, Miranda Richardson and Ken Stott. Also, congratulations to Dom on his Emmy nomination for his music for The Missing.

It’s been great to see Red Kingdom Rising mentioned by MJ Simpson in his annual round-up of 2014’s notable British horror films and by Jonathan Rigby in English Gothic, a new edition of his landmark book tracing the rise and fall (and rise again) of English horror cinema from its beginnings in the 1890s right through to the present day.

On a sadder note, James Horner died recently aged 61. His music was the soundtrack to a number of my favourite films when I was growing up and continued to be an influence in my own career. I first heard his score for Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan at the tender age of 10 and not long after noticed the very same name attached to films like Battle Beyond the Stars, Aliens & Cocoon. It would be hard to name all the scores of his that I enjoyed, especially given a career as prolific as his, but titles such as The Rocketeer, Glory, Sneakers, Apollo 13, Bicentennial Man, The New World & Apocalypto all come to mind. I was lucky enough to see him in conversation at the Royal Albert Hall in what was to be his last public engagement. He talked with great enthusiasm about working with Mel Gibson on his forthcoming project and it’s a great shame that we will never hear his finished score. RIP Maestro.

A Triptych of Tantalising Tuck

Regular co-conspirators Theatre of Widdershins’ The Magic Porridge Pot & Other Tasty Tales is hitting the road this coming weekend at The Quay Theatre in Sudbury. As usual I supplied music and sound effects for this trio of food-related fairytales. You can find information about further dates at their website. For those who are interested, we’re currently making plans to record an audiobook of the show as soon as possible and I’ll put some of the music from the show up on this website in the near future for your delectation!

In addition to the above I’ve also been working as an assistant composer on a couple of TV series; the third season of Ripper Street, which was saved from cancellation by popular demand earlier this year and The Missing, a mini series starring James Nesbitt, Frances O’Connor, Tcheky Karyo and Jason Flemyng.

Histories of Hatred

It’s a profoundly uncomfortable theme, and one that is rarely discussed in academic circles: what is our responsibility as intellectuals when it comes to writing histories of hatred?

How can we talk about hatred? Do we merely sanction and further discourses of violence by engaging with them? When is documentation participation? Should we be chroniclers, or should we get involved?

The London Consortium convened a panel of academics, artists and critics to tackle these questions. Drawing on their own experiences in diverse fields and disciplines – from medieval Christian visual culture to contemporary litigation – they offered a series of compelling reflections on ethics and practice. This short documentary reviews key moments from the discussion with organiser Noam Leshem, and features Anthony Julius, Deborah Lipstadt, Pratap Rughani, Senam Okudzeto, Anthony Bale and Joanna Bourke.

This documentary was directed by Jonathan Law and Lily Ford for London Consortium TV. They had used Arvo Pärt’s Fratres on the temp track and after discussing that choice with them I decided not to stray too far from that style of music.