Das Ei (The Egg) – Great show for ORF Universum & ARTE

I had the pleasure of having a few zoom chats with this lovely chap called Marc Kosak and he mentioned that ORF were working on this show about eggs. Yeah, eggs! He asked if I’d be up for scoring it, which, being a lover of all things egg, I was totally on board for. It was a little tough at first, working with a German script, but the footage was good and the stories pretty interesting, and overall I’m super pleased with the results. At first I wanted to go with a real experimental sound design vibe and recorded some eggs cracking in the soundbooth at our studios then ran them through a whole bunch of modular gear :

But that was a little too ‘out there’ for the Universum brand, we had to reign it back a bit so I stripped it all down and went for recording live flutes, violins, and bagpipes (big shout out to Stu Barker and Patty Q, always a good time working with those two).

Got there in the end, and the show got 23% of all terrestrial viewers on its first broadcast so I’m super happy with that. Thanks, Marc and all the team at WEGA films!

Killer Whale VS Killer Shark!

Just finished scoring the 3rd instalment of the Killer Whale vs Great White shark shows for the National Geographic Channel, and once again working with the awesome Emma Rigney directing and Steve Lipton editing. Such an informative show, make sure you check it out to find out who the ultimate apex predator of the ocean is. Gotta give a shout out to Jay Olszewski too for the amazing job on the mix; you da man, Jay!

Andreas Wannerstedt United – Collab with Tom Joyce (Sound Canvas)

Just had the pleasure of scoring a little animation for ‘oddly satisfying’ Stockholm based digital artist Andreas Wannerstedt  in collaboration with award-laden Tom Joyce (otherwise known as Sound Canvas). Here‘s a little write-up about Andreas’ work and the rise of ASMR (Autonomous sensory Meridian Response) in The Guardian. This was a real treat to work on as it was the first time I’ve worked alongside my studio bro, Tom, and it was also a bit of a challenge since I’m so used to working on long form projects nowadays. This clip is 22 seconds long and had to loop, and we wanted to create an ambience of togetherness and humanity through the use of music and sound design.. think we did a pretty good job with it, hope you like it!

Alex

10 Animals that Will (Might) Kill you! 2 x 1 hour shows for Nat Geo

Since late September, I’ve had the pleasure of scoring a 2 part series for Nat Geo called “10 Animals that Will (Might) Kill you”. It’s a fantastic idea for a show, detailing animals that we may encounter in the wild (or not so wild) and how they may possibly be a threat to us, and so great to be working with Ralph Quattrucci editing and Emma Rigney steering the ship. I love how the main thrust of the narrative is how these animals would hardly ever attack humans if we just left them alone to live within their ecosystems, it’s only when we try and have them as pets or infringe upon their habitats that we humans could be hurt or even killed by them. Great point to push in our ever-expanding world.

The show actually started out as a 1 hour, “20 Animals That Will (Might) Kill you”, but there was so much to be said about the animals in question that it was turned into 2 X 1 hour shows. With the tempo of the show dictating quick cutting by Ralph, it’s jam packed with music literally from the start.. and doesn’t stop to hold its breath until the final frame. Full on! But in a good way.

Judging for Wildscreen 2020

I had the pleasure of being asked to judge the music category for Wildscreen 2020, which was a real honour as well as being super fun and informative in equal measure. My co-judges were none other than Nainita Desai and Segun Akinola, two incredibly talented and respected composers, and we spent a good 4 hours over Zoom debating the final 10 films out of the 56 that we’d had to watch and whittling them down to a list of 3. I’ve got to say the standard of composition overall was superb and we had real trouble deciding on the 3rd place spot, but the first 2.. there was no question that they’d go through, they stood out a mile from the rest of the scores. I’m not allowed to name anything yet as judging is still taking place, so you’ll just have to keep your ear to the ground for when the finalists are announced, but it was a fantastic experience and great to chat music with some amazing composers whom I hope to meet in the flesh one day. Thanks, Nainita, Segun and the Wildscreen Team!

Hidden Kingdoms of China – new commission!

 

I’ve had the pleasure of being asked by National Geographic to score a two hour special of their 5-part series “The Hidden Kingdoms of China”. This was originally produced by Brian Leith Productions here in Bristol Town, and I can tell you it’s one heck of an awesome show. The visuals are stunning and some of the animals you get to learn about, such as the golden snub-nosed monkey, are not the sort of animals you would normally encounter in a wildlife documentary. It’s fascinating to really get into the fauna of China, and I hope to be able to share some clips of it with you once it’s done. 干杯 !

Echoes up for award at Cinedanza festival!

Echoes, the awesome short film I scored for my old friend Luisa Lazzaro is up for an award at Cinedanza, one of the world’s premiere festivals for Screendance. I’m so excited for her and her team! This film is a culmination of years of dancing.. she was already dancing big time in school, so I’m really happy for all her hard work to be recognised. Go Lou!

 

Winning at Jackson Wild!

There were so many good films at Jackson Wild.. I know because I ended up having to watch about 40 hours of documentaries as I was judging the “Long Form – People & Nature” category. One film that I had no idea was going to be shown, however, was a short I scored a while ago for Nardine Groch. It’s a beautiful little film that was made as part of Nardine’s final project for her UWE Masters in Wildlife Filmmaking course, and documents new animal behaviour of the impressive Lyre bird. I had a great time scoring this and loved the final piece; it’s interesting but not too heavy, with real human sentiment throughout. Nardine couldn’t make it to Jackson Wild unfortunately, but I went along to the screening of it and answered the Q&A to the best of my abilities. At the awards ceremony, I wasn’t at all prepared for it to win but win it did! I was so caught off guard (and far from the stage, as I was in the bar area having just returned from the little boy’s room) that I never made it to the stage in time to collect the award, unfortunately. But massive thanks to the judges who picked this film to win and BIG UP to Nardine who believed in this project right from the start.

Jackson Wild – what an awesome festival!

Oh Jackson Wild… you took my hand and led me through a labyrinth of feelings and experiences. You showed me breathtaking landscapes and introduced me to some truly memorable people. Thank you. And thanks to all the amazing volunteers who made this week work seamlessly!

I’m a judge for Jackson Wild!

Super stoked to have been picked to be a preliminary judge for this year’s Jackson Wild festival, the other Oscars of Natural History documentary film-making (the other being Bristol’s very own Wildscreen). I’ve had to watch 25 hours of documentaries in the People and Nature Long form category and I can honestly say that there are some truly outstanding films coming your way from such diverse production companies as Terra Mater, Plimsoll, National Geographic, Smithsonian, amongst many others. It’s been an incredible experience to watch these films, and two themes really stood out as running through them all in one way or another; conservation of our planet and it’s ecosystems, and how interconnected and intertwined ecosystems are (termites being the backbone of the Okavango Delta, forests affecting the oyster population downstream in the bays of Northeast Japan…). Stay tuned!