Last year I had a productive few days songwriting with Icelandic musician and friend Biggi Hilmars. The results can now be heard on his latest album Dark Horse released last week. We co-wrote the song Calm and I provided piano arrangements on others. I particularly love the sax which kicks in at the end! Enjoy.
Over the past month I’ve been writing music for Our Fathers, a new show written and performed by Rob Drummond and Nicholas Bone co-produced by Magnetic North and the Traverse Theatre Company. This new play takes the classic book Father and Son (not the Cat Steven’s song, although I’m sure Yusuf Islam read the book) by Edmund Gosse as its inspiration. In the book Edmund describes in detail his strict religious upbringing and his gradual move away from his Father’s evangelical beliefs. Nick and Rob, both atheist sons of clergymen, look for their own answers to some big questions.
For the sound world I make use of choral singing, church organ, manipulated contemporary organ textures, voice over material from Rob and Nick’s fathers and the powerful sounds of the sea combined with the brittle sound of glass.
In the following clip Rob and Nick talk a little more about the book and this production.
Previews at The Traverse, Edinburgh Sat 21 Oct & Tue 24 Oct, 7:30
Opens at The Traverse, Edinburgh Wed 25 - Sat 28 Oct, 7:30
On tour 21 October - 18 November 2017 to Glasgow (Tron), Inverness, Banchory, Aberdeen, Greenock, Glasgow (Platform), St Andrews and Peebles. All dates and ticket booking websites can be found here.
Earlier in year I wrote music for Gaynor MacFarlane's drama short The Hide written by Beatrice Colin which follows a woman’s bird-watching obsession as she looks after her ailing mother and the turn of events after she discovers someone living in her hide. I'm happy to report that the film won best drama award at The Women Over Fifty Fim Festival last week in Brighton. Congratulation to everyone involved.
Over the past month I've been writing music and designing sound for Rob Drummond's new play The Majority at The National Theatre in London. Narative drama coupled with a game show aesthetic, the audience dictate certain aspetcs of the show making it a different experience each night. Some questions have a direct impact while others are more hypothetical moral and ethical dilemmas designed to challenge our ideas in the time of Brexit, Trump and the rise of the far right in global politics. I should add it's also a brilliant piece of storytelling and fun.
Here's Rob talking a bit about it...
The show runs for another week. Please check out The National Theatre website for more information and ticket booking.
Dreamt as a living poem In the Ink Dark is the latest work by Luke Pell and collaborators. A multi-disciplinary project it takes in live art, podcast, dance, music and poetry. The work has developed over the past few months from conversations between Luke and residents of Edinburgh about things they have loved and lost. We opened in Leith theatre last friday and the piece continues in unique venues across the city this week. I've been priveleged to have been one of the collaborators and have written a score to accompany the dance.
Unusually for dance I've not spent much time in the room but rather developed the piece through conversation, poetry and my own memory. Inspired by the partly refurbished old Leith Theatre with its flaking paint, faded grandeur, heavily worn floor boards my starting point was to create something layered, something raw - the feeling of musical material sitting on top of lost songs that are sometime revealed. I dusted down my 20 year old dictaphone for its broken grainy sound quality to start the composition and the result is a 45 minute piece for electonics, shruti box, electric guitar, autoharp, piano and string quartet. Live artist Brian Hartley and Luke are putting together a publication of words and drawing which will be published later in the year.
For more information on this fascinating project and to listen to the podcast series please visit In The Ink dark. And if you get the chance please pop along to one of the venues this week. Here's a review from The Herald to tempt you.
I've had the pleasure of scoring a new aerial dance piece for Newtons Ladder. Directed by Liv Lorent we showcase the work in Newcastle on April 25th 2017. This work in progress performance will be streamed live via the Newtons Ladder facebook site at 4pm.
In the summer it will premier at The Stockton International Riverside Festival before touring.
This week I'm off down the pits in Wakefield working with Experiential Dance on Trapped, a newpiece inspired by the story of the San Jose mine in Chile which trapped 33 miners back in 2010. I remember watching the story unfold at the time, and watched along with the rest of the world as all 33 men were rescued. It's not often I'm asked to write and perform underground and I'm excited by the prospect. So far I've read Hector Tobar's Deep Down Dark, a compelling account of the incident, which has given me a greater appreciation of simle domestic tasks! I've also paid a visit to Europen Metal Recycling to arm myslef with banks of industrial sounds. We have a free sharing of the weeks work on Friday so if you are in the Wakefield/Leeds area pop along. Hardhats provided! Details on the flyer below...
Last year I wrote the music and sound for Sam Rowe's intimate and beautiful one man show Denton and Me. This week begins a 24 day run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. It plays each day at Summerhall at 3:05 and runs approx 75min. To tempt you along please view the trailer below and read more about it on the Summerhall website.
I'm delighted to working once again with BalletLORENT on a site specific piece to mark the opening of Live Theatre's new outdoor garden space in Newcastle. We've been busy devising with Live's Youth Theatre and performances will take place on Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 July. For more information including how to book tickets please visit the Live Theatre website.